Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, January 28, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Agenda

1. Call to order


A. Invocation - Reverend Warren H. Litchfield


B. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America


C. Roll call


2. Approval of Minutes


A. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Third Meeting of January 14, 2019.


3. Report of the Mayor and City Council


A. Reporting on various community events, meetings and announcements.


4. Mayoral Reappointment


A. Mayoral reappointment of Michael Bleything to the Emergency Services Commission.


5. General public hearing


A. Members of the public are asked to sign the speakers list at the back of the Council Chambers. Council President calls the speakers from the sign in sheet. Each speaker is asked to give their name and address for the record. Each speaker is allowed three minutes to speak


6. Presentation


A. Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments


7. Legislation


A. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1935, Text Amendment No. 249, an ordinance to amend the Laurel Unified Land Development Code; Chapter 20 Land Development and Subdivision, Article I Zoning, Division 7 Signs and Advertising Structures, Section 2--17.2, Section 20-17.3, Section 20-17.5, Section 20-18.2 and Section 20-18.3 of the City's Zoning Code to allow for existing billboards to be converted to digital billboards; and providing an effective date.


B. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1936, an ordinance to amend the Laurel City Code, Chapter 2, "Administration," Article IV, "Public Ethics," Sections 2-52, 2-54, and 2-57, to allow for certain technical changes, to expand the list of those who may be subject to financial disclosure requirements, to change the manner of providing legal counsel to the Ethics Commission, to expand the list of those who must file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement with the Ethics Commissiona nd providing an effective date.


C. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1937, an ordinance to amend the Laurel City Code, Chapter 6, "Campaigning and Campaign Financing," Sections 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, and 6-5, and Article II, Campaigning and Campaign Financing," Section 6-30, 6-31, 6-32, 6-33, 6-35 and 6-36; to allow for certain technical Changes, and changes regarding the provision and distribution of information in connection with candidacies, information to be provided on a Certificate of Candidacy, Financial Disclosure Statements to be filed in connection with a Certificate of Candidacy, the filing fee for a Certificate of Candidacy, the manner of filing a Certificate of Candidacy, the late filing fee for the report or statement of contributions and disbursements, those individuals authorized to remove a non-compliant election sign, and the requirement that all candidates be fully qualified registered voters in Prince George's County, Maryland; and providing an effective date.


D. Second public hearing with possible action on Resolution No. 1-19, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel authorizing and approving the participation of the City in potential litigation in the State of Maryland aginst those responsible for the opioid addition problem in and around the City of Laurel, and authorizing the employment of legal counsel to represent the City in this litigation.


8. Special Recognition - Police Chief Richard McLaughlin

Minutes

Twenty-Fourth Meeting of the Mayor and City Council - Regular - Monday, January 28, 2019


Present:


Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Council President Frederick Smalls; Carl W. DeWalt, Councilmember; Keith R. Sydnor, Councilmember; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Councilmember; Michael R. Leszcz, Councilmember; William Goddard, City Administrator; Lou Ann Crook, Deputy 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; Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation; Dave Cope, Fire Marshall; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; Joseph Ajayi, Chief Engineer; Larry Taub, City Solicitor and Kimberley Rau, Clerk.  There were thirty members of the public present.


President Smalls called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Mayor Moe led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.


Clerk Kimberley Rau called the roll. 


Approval of Minutes:


On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, the Minutes of the Twenty-Third Meeting of January 14, 2019, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.


Report of the Mayor and City Council:


Laurel CATS held a fundraiser at Firehouse Subs on Thursday, January 17, 2019. 


Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Peace Pole at the Laurel Municipal Center was held on Friday, January 18, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. 


Tastee Diner Appreciation Day held on Saturday, January 19, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


National Day of Service held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., held at the Laurel Municipal Center on Monday, January 21, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.  Appreciation extended to Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications and her staff. 


Pure Hannah withdrew their application for a medical marajuana dispensary during the Board of Appeals Meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2019.  


2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair held at the Laurel Armory on Sunday, January 27, 20190, from 12:00 until 4:00 p.m.  Congratulations to Pat Haag for her efforts organizing this very successful event. 


Councilmember Sydnor sponsored a voter registration drive at the Laurel Senior High along with the Student Government Association in honor of Dr. King's 90th Birthday.  


Councilmember Leszcz attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sunday, at Mt. Zion Church in Fulton, Senior at DeMatha, captain of the crew team.


Condolences extended to Nancy Becraft on the passing of her husband Wayne; to Marlene Collins on the passing of her mother and to Marty Flemion on the passing of his mother.


Quarterly Breakfast Meeting with the Principals held at Laurel Elementary School on Thursday, January 17, 2019. 8:00 p.m.


Prince George's County Municipal Association (PGCMA) Meeting held at Brentwood Town Hall on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. with Attorney General Ayesha Braveboy as guest speaker.  


Annual City of Laurel Open House will be held Sunday, March 1, 2019, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  


Mayoral Appointments/Reappointments:


On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, the mayoral reappointment of Michael Bleything to the Emergency Services Commission was approved on a unanimous roll call vote.


Report of the City Administrator:


William Goddard, City Administrator, had previously advised that the reporting format for the City Administrator is going to change.  Instead of a list of accomplishments being reported, a new formate will share with the audience how the City employees make the lives of our citizens bettter.  He said the City is blessed with caring and compassionate employees.  The new series will take the viewing audience behind the scenes to meet the City's employees.


Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications, said she has the special honor tonight to highlight her department, the Department of Communications.  She presented a short video on the Department of Communications, prepared by her Assistant Director Joyce Jackson.


Presentations:


Chuck Bean, Executive Director for the Council of Governments (COG) gave an overview of the benefits of being a member of COG.  Every month, more than 1,500 officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s major challenges. Together, they help advance COG's Region Forward Vision for a more prosperous, accessible, livable, and sustainable future.  Founded in 1957, COG is an independent, nonprofit association, with a membership of 300 elected officials from 24 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress. COG is supported by financial contributions from its member governments, federal and state grants and contracts, and donations from foundations and the private sector.  The Board of Directors is COG’s governing body 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, 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.


General Public Hearing:


President Smalls opened the public hearing at 7:52 p.m.


Leah Palley, Executive Director of LARS, 311 Laurel Avenue, Laurel, here tonight to thank the City of Laurel for past financial and in-kind support over the years.  She respectfully requested the Mayor and City Council consider a $10,000 contribution to LARS in the upcoming City budget. 


Mayor Moe noted that since 2004, the City has contributed roughly $50,000 in financial assistance and in-kind services.  Mayor Meo and President Smalls presented Ms. Palley with a check for $5,000 which was included in this year's budget.  


President Smalls closed the public hearing closed at 8:04 p.m.


Legislation:


President Smalls read the title of Ordinance No. 1935, Text Amendment No. 249, an ordinance to amend the Laurel Unified Land Development Code; Chapter 20 Land Development and Subdivision, Article I Zoning, Division 7 Signs and Advertising Structures, Section 2--17.2, Section 20-17.3, Section 20-17.5, Section 20-18.2 and Section 20-18.3 of the City's Zoning Code to allow for existing billboards to be converted to digital billboards; and providing an effective date, into the record for the second reading.  The public hearing was opened at 7:15 p.m.


Christian Pulley, Director of Community Planning and Business Services, said Text Amendment Application No. 249 was filed on July 23, 2018, by Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. to amend the City of Laurel's Unified Land Development Code.  On December 10, 2018, the proposed ordinance was sent to teh Maryland Department of Planning for Comment.  No comment received.  The file contains a certificate of publication verifying that this application and public hearing was advertised as required by law in the December 2, 2018, January 3, 2019, and January 10, 2019, editions of the Prince George's Sentinel. A memorandum from the City of Laurel Planning Commission to the Mayor and City Council dated January 15, 2019, recommends approval of the Text Amendment.


President Smalls opened the public hearing at 7:17 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak.


On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, ORDINANCE NO. 1935, TEXT AMENDMENT NO. 249, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE LAUREL UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE; CHAPTER 20 LAND DEVELOPMENT AND SUBDIVISION, ARTICLE I ZONING, DIVISION 7 SIGNS AND ADVERTISING STRUCTURES, SECTION 2--17.2, SECTION 20-17.3, SECTION 20-17.5, SECTION 20-18.2 AND SECTION 20-18.3 OF THE CITY'S ZONING CODE TO ALLOW FOR EXISTING BILLBOARDS TO BE CONVERTED TO DIGITAL BILLBOARDS; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.


President Smalls read the title of Ordinance No. 1936, an ordinance to amend the Laurel City Code, Chapter 2, "Administration," Article IV, "Public Ethics," Sections 2-52, 2-54, and 2-57, to allow for certain technical changes, to expand the list of those who may be subject to financial disclosure requirements, to change the manner of providing legal counsel to the Ethics Commission, to expand the list of those who must file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement with the Ethics Commission and providing an effective date, into the record for the second reading.  The public hearing was opened at 8:05 p.m. and closed with no one present who wished to speak.


On motion by Councilmember Sydnor, seconded by Councilmember Leszcz, ORDINANCE NO. 1936, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE LAUREL CITY CODE, CHAPTER 2, "ADMINISTRATION," ARTICLE IV, "PUBLIC ETHICS," SECTIONS 2-52, 2-54, AND 2-57, TO ALLOW FOR CERTAIN TECHNICAL CHANGES, TO EXPAND THE LIST OF THOSE WHO MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS, TO CHANGE THE MANNER OF PROVIDING LEGAL COUNSEL TO THE ETHICS COMMISSION, TO EXPAND THE LIST OF THOSE WHO MUST FILE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE STATEMENT WITH THE ETHICS COMMISSION AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was approved on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.


President Smalls read the title of Ordinance No. 1937, an ordinance to amend the Laurel City Code, Chapter 6, "Campaigning and Campaign Financing," Sections 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, and 6-5, and Article II, Campaigning and Campaign Financing," Section 6-30, 6-31, 6-32, 6-33, 6-35 and 6-36; to allow for certain technical Changes, and changes regarding the provision and distribution of information in connection with candidacies, information to be provided on a Certificate of Candidacy, Financial Disclosure Statements to be filed in connection with a Certificate of Candidacy, the filing fee for a Certificate of Candidacy, the manner of filing a Certificate of Candidacy, the late filing fee for the report or statement of contributions and disbursements, those individuals authorized to remove a non-compliant election sign, and the requirement that all candidates be fully qualified registered voters in Prince George's County, Maryland; and providing an effective date, into the record for the second reading.


On motion by Councilmember Nicholas, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, ORDINANCE NO. 1937, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE LAUREL CITY CODE, CHAPTER 6, "CAMPAIGNING AND CAMPAIGN FINANCING," SECTIONS 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, AND 6-5, AND ARTICLE II, CAMPAIGNING AND CAMPAIGN FINANCING," SECTION 6-30, 6-31, 6-32, 6-33, 6-35 AND 6-36; TO ALLOW FOR CERTAIN TECHNICAL CHANGES, AND CHANGES REGARDING THE PROVISION AND DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION IN CONNECTION WITH CANDIDACIES, INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED ON A CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY, FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS TO BE FILED IN CONNECTION WITH A CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY, THE FILING FEE FOR A CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY, THE MANNER OF FILING A CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY, THE LATE FILING FEE FOR THE REPORT OR STATEMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS AND DISBURSEMENTS, THOSE INDIVIDUALS AUTHORIZED TO REMOVE A NON-COMPLIANT ELECTION SIGN, AND THE REQUIREMENT THAT ALL CANDIDATES BE FULLY QUALIFIED REGISTERED VOTERS IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.


President Smalls read the title of Resolution No. 1-19, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel authorizing and approving the participation of the City in potential litigation in the State of Maryland against those responsible for the opioid addition problem in and around the City of Laurel, and authorizing the employment of legal counsel to represent the City in this litigation, into the record for the second reading.  The public hearing was opened at 8:08 p.m. and closed with no one present who wished to speak.


on motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, RESOLUTION NO. 1-19, A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF LAUREL AUTHORIZING AND APPROVING THE PARTICIPATION OF THE CITY IN POTENTIAL LITIGATION IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND AGAINST THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPIOID ADDITION PROBLEM IN AND AROUND THE CITY OF LAUREL, AND AUTHORIZING THE EMPLOYMENT OF LEGAL COUNSEL TO REPRESENT THE CITY IN THIS LITIGATION, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.


Special Recognition - Police Chief Richard McLaughlin


At this time, Mayor Moe and the Laurel City Council recognized Chief Richard McLaughlin on the occasion of his retirement from the Laurel Police Department. 


There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


 


Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

Clerk to the Council


 


Approved: February 11, 2019

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