I. Feb. 15 Council Meeting Highlights:
Mayor Searcy reported the resignation of City Manager Jamal Fox effective on Feb. 13 at 4pm. A resolution was passed to designate Deputy City Managers Grigsby and Clark to perform duties of the office of City Manager. Note, the Council is prohibited from commenting on personnel matters.
MD Legislative Update: (Ann Ciekot) Hundreds of bills introduced in both Senate and House. Mayor Searcy had testified on “Just Cause Evictions” legislation and Council Member Small testified on “Unlawful Restricted Covenants”.
Public Comments: Arthur Olson shared the newly released constant yield rate (rate of taxation that would yield the same amount of taxes as last year) and projected various taxing scenarios. His projections suggested various levels of possible tax increases. He encouraged the Council to focus on resident tax bills, not simply the tax rate. I take this challenge seriously and expressed my thanks to Mr. Olson for his diligence.
Council Comments: Several Council Members 1) thanked the City Staff for their dedication and hard work and 2) acknowledged recent crime incidents across the City and efforts to address. I noted the following: 1) Praise for City Staff efforts to bring the Direct Cash Assistance Program to Victory Towers residents, 2) Post Office delivery problems and Mayor’s Letter to Cong. Raskin to seek solutions, and 3) My participation in the Council of Government (COG) Food and Agriculture Committee meeting focused on assisting MD farmers to prosper and to continue efforts to reduce Food Insecurity.
City Manager Comments: Roz Grigsby introduced the new ARPA Manager, Andrew Bolduc. $17.5 million in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) have been allocated to the City through the ARPA legislation. Andrew introduced himself and a brief background including 8 years’ work in municipal government.
a. A resolution was unanimously passed authorizing the two Deputy City Managers to have City Manager authority to sign needed documents for the City.
b. The Council unanimously approved a motion to replace the roof of the Recreation Center. Public Works Mgr. confirmed that the current roof is failing and redevelopment of the Rec. Center will take many months to years to complete.
a. The Council heard from Council Member Dyballa on recommended appointments and reappointments to several city commissions, boards and committees. 19 applications were received and 8 nominations presented.
b. The Council discussed a Contract Amendment for increased hourly rates for the City Attorney. Discussion included reference to prior agreements reached with the City Manager as well as inflation and market rate comparisons. The Mayor emphasized the need to consider when the Council utilizes attorney services.
II. Feb. 22 Council Meeting Agenda
City Council meetings usually take place in the Community Center Auditorium. The public may attend the meeting or view the meeting as always: on City TV (RCN – 13, HD 1060; Comcast/xfinity – 13, HD 997; Verizon Fios – 28), on the City Council Video Page of the City Website; on YouTube, or on Facebook. Meetings may also be viewed on Zoom.
CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA / AGENDA SCHEDULING UPDATE
FOR THE RECORD: Proclamation of Lee Jordan Day (February 23)
1. Traffic Calming – Second Avenue Speed Hump (PDF)
PUBLIC COMMENTS ON VOTING ITEMS
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
(Sign up for public comments over Zoom will be open until 5:00 PM on the day of the meeting. Registration is not required to comment in person.)
CITY MANAGER COMMENTS
ADOPTION OF MINUTES
2. 2022 Election Report and Debrief
3. Single Reading Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Amendment to the City Attorney’s Contract (PDF)
4. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Resolutions Providing for Appointment to the Arts and Humanities Committee
B. Resolution Providing for Appointment to the Board of Elections
C. Resolution Providing for Appointment to the Emergency Preparedness Committee
D. Resolution Providing for Appointment to the Ethics Commission
E. Resolution Providing for Appointments to the Grants Review Committee
F. Resolution Providing for Appointments to the Sustainable Maryland Committee
5. Traffic Calming – Second Avenue Speed Bump (PDF)
6. Overview of Traffic Calming and Sidewalk Request Processes
7. Recommended Board/Committee Appointments