Twenty-First Meeting of the Mayor and City Council Meeting - Regular - Monday, November 26, 2018
Present: Michael R. Leszcz, Council President; Keith R. Sydnor, Councilmember; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Councilmember; Frederick Smalls, Councilmember; William Goddard, City Administrator; Kevin Frost, Director of Information Technology; S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services; Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation; Dave Cope, Fire Marshal; Larry Taub, City Solicitor and Kimberley Rau, Clerk. There were twenty-five members of the public present.
President Leszcz called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Council President Pro Tem Nicholas led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Clerk Kimberley A. Rau called the roll.
On motion by Councilmember Sydnor, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, the Minutes of the Work Session on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.
On motion by Councilmember Sydnor, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, the Minutes of the Twentieth Meeting of Tuesday, November 13, 2018, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.
On motion by Councilmember Smalls, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, the Minutes of the Closed Session on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.
Under Report of the Mayor and City Council:
Laurel Board of Trade Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 6:00 p.m. at Partnership Hall.
"Pop-up Market" at Sips on C Street held on Sunday, November 25, 2018, during which Council President Leszcz and Councilmember Nicholas were able to do some Christmas shopping.
"Stop the Bleed" Training held on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Partnership Hall. Steve Allen, Emergency Manager, did an excellent job conducting the training on Stop the Bleed, Hands Only CPR and AED.
Prince George's County Councilmember Mary Lehman distributed 300 turkeys and bags of groceries to the needy on Monday, November 19, 2018, at Partnership Hall.
Councilmember DeWalt participated in the LARS Annual 5K Turkey Trot on Thursday, November 22, 2018, during which only three women with strollers and one barefoot woman with a dog passed him.
Tom's 17th Annual 5K Reindeer Run in memory of Tom Linsenmeyer held on Saturday, November 24, 2018, to benefit Sara's House in Fort Meade, Md.
Breakfast with Santa scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m. at Partnership Hall.
Annual City of Laurel Holiday Parade and Winterfest Celebration scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2018, parade lineup at 3:00 p.m.
Council President Leszcz and Deputy Chief Kevin Gray presented a $500.00 check to Community Advocates for Family & Youth (CAFY). During the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Laurel Police Department chose to make the first donation from the sales of the plush Laurel Police K9 Dog fundraiser to CAFY. Ms. Joel accepted the check and expressed her appreciation for the trust placed on their organization to serve the residents of Laurel. The check with help with transportation and emergency stays for people in need.
Report of the City Administrator William Goddard:
Department of Communications
- Is shining a spotlight on the City of Laurel through our participation in two Maryland Municipal League initiatives.
- Throughout the month of November, they have been posting as many photos as they can of City employees doing what they do to serve the Citizens of Laurel as part of Municipal Government Works Month.
- They are also participating in MML’s Go Purple Month to raise awareness about drug abuse prevention efforts and resources for those who are suffering. That’s why the Lobby of the Municipal Center has been glowing purple at night.
- City employees and our Mayor and City Council all wore purple and posed for group photos to send the message that we want to help those struggling with substance abuse issues.
- They also have been sharing phone numbers and email addresses for organizations that can help people recover and lead healthy lives.
Office of Emergency Management
- Conducted “Citizens Helping Citizens Stop the Bleed” & “Hands-only CPR” program. Both of these programs are earmarked for all our citizens as part of the City’s overall Resiliency Project. The first citizen-training day on November 17, 2018, was a huge success
- The Office of Emergency Management is working with officials from the City of Rockville in helping them develop their City’s emergency management program.
- Participated in the “Annual Trick or Treat” on Main Street
- St. Mary’s Fall Festival
- Drug Take Back event
- Halloween Spooktacular at the Robert J. DiPietro Community Center
- Participated, along with Fire Marshal’s Office, in teaching Elementary Schools Fire Prevention
- Attended the Grand Opening of the “Good to the Glory Zion Ministries” Church
- Participated in the Wreaths Across America flag event at Ivy Hill Cemetery
- Currently taking part in “No Shave November” to bring attention to Prostate Cancer
- Assisted LARS with their Holiday Basket give-away program
Parks & Recreation
- Continue monthly treatment of Sweitzer Park pond to help reduce algae
- Created a partnership with American Center for Intellectual and Diverse Disorders Maryland. This is an organization that works with behavior and mentally challenged adults. Clients meet several times a week to volunteer their time cleaning up Emancipation Community Park
- Partnered with the Community Health & Research Corporation by providing space at the Laurel Armory and 3 month fitness memberships as part of a grant they have for offering health services and education to underserved minorities
- Prepared/decorated Facilities for holiday season
- Collected 210.55 tons of refuse and 57.56 tons of recycling
- Added a yard debris collection during the holiday week
- Continue to replace recycling Bins/Toters with the “Slow Down to Get Around” decals
- Reviewed, updated and processed 80 Public Stuff requests that were made on the “My Laurel App”
- Responded to over 100 voice and e-mail requests from residents
- Completed bid analysis for Street Improvement Projects and Citywide Concrete Repairs
Office of the City Administrator
- As each of you are aware, the City is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG)
- Founded in 1957, COG is an independent, nonprofit association, with a membership of 300 elected officials from 24 local governments; Maryland and Virginia state legislatures; and the United State Congress.
- The Board of Directors is COG’s governing body (Mayor Moe) and is responsible for its overall policies. In addition, a wide network of policy, technical, and advisory committees, partnerships, and programs advance COG’s regional work. Elected leaders, police chiefs, fire chiefs, emergency managers, housing directors, environmental experts, transportation planners, and more find value in working together at COG. A staff of more than 130 subject matter experts and other professionals support COG and its members.
- Currently, various City Department Heads serve as members of one or more committees.
- As the City Administrator, I represent the City at the Chief Administrative Officers, Regional Transportation Planning Board, Climate Energy & Environmental Policy and Human Services Committees.
- We are currently setting up committee folders in our electronic BoardDocs system to share the agendas and documents provided at each meeting for your review. Special thanks to our Clerk of the Council (Kim) for creating and managing this information.
- Next month the Executive Director of COG will be attending the Council Meeting to provide you with an update on regional activities.
President Leszcz opened the General Public Hearing at 7:24 p.m. Each speaker is allowed three minutes to speak.
Jhanna Levine, 418 Main Street, Laurel, is here on behalf of the Laurel Historic Society to talk about the Tastee Diner. She said they are not opposed to the Pure Hana Synergy Medical Dispensary, but are opposing the City's blessings of "entombing" the Tastee Diner. The Tastee Diner is currently one of two intact diners in existence. While the Historical Society appreciates the gesture to get artifacts from the building, they believe there is an opportunity for the City, the Historical Society and Pure Hana to harness the resources available to find a creative solution to this unnecessary destruction of an icon.
Douglas Hays, 324 Montgomery Street, Laurel, has lived in Laurel for 31 years and is the current Chairman of the City of Laurel Historic District Commission. He readand ode about diners from Gunther Toody about the importance of the classic diner. He concluded his remarks by saying there is an American Diner Museum in Rhode Island.
Karen Lubienicki, 421 Prince George Street, Laurel, is a member of the Laurel Historical Society currently serves on the Historic District Commission and has been working on saving buildings in Laurel for the past twenty-five years. She is disappointed to have to be here today to have to fight to save the diner. If you have only one of two remaining, you have something significant. She wants to hear what we can do to save the Diner and make the City proud to work together to save this important structure.
President Leszcz announced that the diner would not come to the Mayor and City Council for action but would be heard by the Planning Commission Meeting on December 11, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. and the Board of Appeals on December 20, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
President Leszcz closed the General Public Hearing at 7:34 p.m.
President Leszcz read the title of Ordinance No. 1933, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, MD to amend the City of Laurel Unified Land Development Code; Chapter 20, Land Facilities in Public Rights-of-Way", to provide for certain amendments to the standards and regulations relating to the locations placement, design, construction and maintenance of Telecommunications Towers, Antennas, and other structures within the City's Public Rights-of-Way, consistent with the recently issued final order of the Federal Communications Commission regarding this subject matter; and providing an effective date, into the record for the second reading. The public hearing was opened at 7:35 p.m. and closed with no one present who wished to speak.
On motion by Councilmember Sydnor, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, ORDINANCE NO. 1933, AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF LAUREL, MD TO AMEND THE CITY OF LAUREL UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE; CHAPTER 20, LAND FACILITIES IN PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY", TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN AMENDMENTS TO THE STANDARDS AND REGULALTIONS RELATING TO THE LOCATIONS PLACEMENT, DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS, ANTENNAS, AND OTHER STRUCTURES WITHIN THE CITY'S PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY, CONSISTENT WITH THE RECENTLY ISSUED FINAL ORDER OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION REGARDING THIS SUBJECT MATTER; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was adopted on a roll call vote, with Councilmember DeWalt ABSTAINING.
President Leszcz read the following statement regarding the Mayor and City Council adjourning to Closed Session on this date: The reason for adjourning to a Closed Session is to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice. The authority for this Closed Session is contained in the General Provisions article Subsection 3-305 (b) (7).
On motion by Councilmember Nicholas, seconded by Councilmember Sydnor, the Mayor and City Council adjourned to Closed Session at 7:40 p.m.
The Mayor and City Council reconvened the regular meeting at 8:51 p.m.
The Clerk opened the floor for nominations for Council President.
On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, Councilmember Fred Smalls was elected Council President on a unanimous roll call vote.
President Smalls appointed Councilmember Valerie Nicholas his Pro Tem. President Smalls then presented former President Leszcz witj a gift thanking his for his leadership for the past two years as Council President.
There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting was adjourned at 8:54 p.m.
Kimberley A. Rau, MMC
Clerk to the Council
Approved: December 10, 2018.