School capacity, 1st Town Hall meeting, details on next Council meeting

I hope everyone is having a pleasant March. I have a number of important updates, including information on my first Ward 7 Town Hall meeting, a public hearing Monday on an ordinance seeking to address school overcrowding, and more. Please reach out if you have any questions about anything. 

Special announcements

Town hall meeting

I’ve scheduled my first town hall meeting for April 17th from 6-7:30pm at the Eastport Library. I’ll probably kick it off with a few remarks and then just open the floor to your questions and comments. I hope you can join me! I look forward to hearing your concerns and comments.

Vacancies on City Boards and commissions

There are many vacancies on the City’s volunteer Boards and Commissions. I’ll create a list below. Let me know if you are interested in serving on any of them, and please provide your first and second choices.

Street sweeping

If your road needs street sweeping, you can contact the Department of Public Works at 410-263-7967 or use “report a problem” on the City’s website.

Police Department community engagement satisfaction survey

This survey is independently conducted by IXP Corporation. Your responses to this survey are anonymous, and no one from the Annapolis Police Department or City of Annapolis will know how you personally responded to these questions, or even if you responded at all. No personally identifiable information is collected, and IXP will collect the data and present the findings to the Annapolis Police Department and the City of Annapolis in aggregate form. This survey should take approximately 15 minutes or less to complete.

Speaker Busch secures sea-level rise funding for Annapolis

Next year's state budget will include $1.25 million for flood mitigation to address nuisance flooding at City Dock as well as an additional $1.267 million for road improvements here in Annapolis. I want to thank Speaker Mike Busch for his leadership in securing the funding for these critical projects!

Report on last Council Meeting

Market House

In case you missed it, we passed an ordinance approving a final lease with the Market House. As of this week, the lease has been officially signed. I’m happy to say that New Market LLC will be proceeding with renovating the Market House and will hopefully be opening later this Spring.

O-1-18 public ethics improvements was passed

This ordinance improves our ethics code so it is in compliance with the State code. We also changed it so that former officials cannot assist other groups for profit on issues they worked on when they were with the City.

R-5-18 Opposes drilling off Maryland shores

I’m happy to say that this Resolution, which I sponsored, has passed.

Priorities of the Annapolis Environmental Commission

At the last Environmental Matter Committee meeting, the Annapolis Environmental Commission presented on their priorities. I encourage you to read through their report.

Next Council meeting

Public hearings:

There will be a number of public hearings on Monday. The big two are on O-8-18, dealing with school capacity, and O-10-18, dealing with the Police Advisory Board.

  • O-8-18 Adequate School Facilities.(this is co-sponsored by me)  Please come and speak to this and let us know your thoughts. All of the development we have been experiencing in Annapolis and surrounding areas has overcrowded many of our schools. While the previous Council did pass an APF ordinance that addresses school capacity, it didn’t set 100% as the limit for all of our schools; they chose 105% for Elementary and Middle schools, and 120% for our High School. It certainly isn’t acceptable that our schools are overcrowded, yet that is ultimately managed by the County. All we can do is make sure we aren’t contributing to that overcrowding. However, it should be known that this ordinance is proposing to change the percentages to 95% across the board, and if that happens, it will freeze all residential development in the City that is over 11 units in size, because Annapolis High School is over capacity. Is this acceptable to you? Should we create exceptions? Should we reduce or increase that 11-unit threshold?
  • O-10-18 Police Advisory Board - This is a Police-led initiative that is going through Alderwoman Pindel-Charles. This has not originated from the Council. The Police chief is proposing to create this Advisory Board. The members would be selected by the Police Chief, not the City Council. This Board would only be an advisory board to the Chief, and would not have any other quasi-judicial powers or other authority over the Chief or the Department. I also believe the Chief wanted members to go through some kind of training at the Police Academy. What are your thoughts on this? Should members be selected by the Police Chief or by the Council? Should the Board have more powers or will this be sufficient? For example, should they have the power to investigate complaints? Please send me your thoughts or come testify.
  • O-11-18 Stanton Center Lease Agreement - This would authorize a lease of City property at the Stanton Community Center, 92 West Washington Street for the purpose of an office for a Community Workforce Specialist and Youth Career Navigation Specialist, and other related activities.
  • O-12-18 Boards, Commissions, Committees and Authorities Attendence at Meetings - This would allow Board members to “phone in” to meetings if they cannot physically attend.

Second reader (final) votes:

Two related pieces of legislation are up for a final vote: R-1-18 and O-3-18, both dealing with how the City handles abandoned vehicles, allowing them to take enforcement actions. I intend to support both pieces of legislation and the proposed amendments, barring any last minute concerns raised by you.

That’s it for this week!

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  • Rob Savidge