Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, September 23, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm


1. Call to order

A. Invocation

B. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America - Mayor Craig A. Moe

C. Roll call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

2. Approval of Minutes

A. Approval of Minutes of the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of July 22, 2019.

B. Approval of Minutes of the Thirty-Sixth Meeting of September 9, 2019.

3. Report of the Mayor and City Council

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

4. Report of the City Administrator

A. William Goddard, City Administrator, reports on the various activities of the City's Departments.

5. 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. Recommendation

7. Adjournment


Craig A Moe, Mayor; Frederick Smalls, Council President; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Keith R Sydnor, Councilmember; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Councilmember; William Goddard, City Administrator; Sara Green, Chief of Staff; S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services; Steve Allen, Emergency Manager; Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development; Rob Ferree, Director of Public Works; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; Dave Cope, Fire Marshal; Lieutenant Hamilton, Police Department; Kimberley Rau, Clerk and Larry Taub, City Solicitor. There were three members of the public present.


1. Call to Order


A. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America - Mayor Craig A. Moe


C. Roll Call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

After Roll Call took things out of order.

Presentation to Prince George's County Maryland Special Olympics. Mayor Moe and Council President Smalls made the presentation. Coach Brodie expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to recognize his basketball team. He is proud of each and everyone of his players for their commitment to the team and bringing home the gold. Councilmember Sydnor referred the championship game and invited the coach to bring his team to a meeting to be recognized.


2. Approval of Minutes


A. Minutes of the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of July 22, 2019, were approved on motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas.


3. Report of the Mayor and City Council:

9/11 Memorial Vigil held at the Laurel Municipal Center on Monday, September 11, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

City Hall in the Park at Casula Point on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

2020 Census Kick-off on Thursday, September 19, 2010, 6:30 p.m. at Discovery Park.

Condolences to the family of Sally Glenn a long-time resident of Laurel.

American Legion Post 60 Centennial Celebration on Sunday, September 22, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

4. Mayoral Appointments/Reappointments

A. Appointments - Inka Patel, Laurel Arts Council; Monica Sturdivant, Laurel Arts Council; Dave Everett, Tree Board. Reappointments - Brian Lee, Board of Appeals; Edward Rowe, Public Safety and Transportation CAC; James Phillips, Tee Board; Don Gavelek, Public Safety and Transpiration CAC; Fred Carmen, Emergency Services Commission and Marjorie McCeney, Laurel Historic District Commission. On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, the Mayoral appointments/reappointments were confirmed.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation into the record proclaiming the month of October National Arts and Humanities Month in the City of Laurel.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation proclaiming Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Walk Laurel Day in the City of Laurel.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation into the record proclaiming October 2019, Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the City of Laurel.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation into the record proclaiming October 2019, Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the City of Laurel.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation into the record proclaiming October 20, 2019, Community Media Day in the City of Laurel.


Mayor Moe read a proclamation into the record proclaiming October 20 – 26, 2019, October Economic Development Week in the City of Laurel.


5. Report of the City Administrator:


A. William Goddard, City Administrator, reports on the various activities of the City's Departments.


  • Congratulations to our Chief of Staff, Ms. Sara Green, as she completed a multi-year training program and recently received her “Certified Municipal Clerks” designation.


  • Christian Pulley, Economic & Community Development Director has been accepted into the Washington Council of Governments (COG) Institute for Regional Excellence Program. This is a yearlong executive program focusing on leadership, management, and increasing exposure to innovation in local government from a regional perspective. Upon successful completion of the program, she will obtain a “Certified Public Manager” designation.


  • Councilmember Sydnor Keith Sydnor recently graduated from the “Academy for Excellence in Local Governance” program from the University of Maryland.


  • The Academy of Excellence was co-founded by the Maryland Municipal League (MML) and its purpose is to:
    • Assist local officials in the understanding of local government and how it works.
    • Promote high ethical standards in public service.
    • Provide an informational base so local officials will be able to perform more informed policymaking.


  • Staff continues to work on enhancing security for all city facilities following tragic events across the country and most recently at the Government Office Building in Virginia Beach. We have met with staff who work at the various facilities to hear directly from them about steps they feel we could take to make them feel safe in the workplace. Our Parks & Recreation Department and Police Department will be implementing a number of changes based on employee recommendations.


  • Training continues for our supervisors and those interested in becoming a supervisor. We had so much interest in a training program that was going to be held in Bowie that the training sponsor has agreed to provide a class here in Laurel.


  • The City’s 2020 annual event calendar is in the design stage and expected to be delivered throughout the community by mid-December


Parks & Recreation


  • St. Mary's Heritage Girls participated in a McCullough Field clean up event. We assisted them with paint and supplies to paint the stage and other supplies to spruce up the park.


  • A pavilion structure and grill was installed at Roland B. Sweitzer Park.


  • Phase I of the Municipal Center restrooms renovations were completed, new low water, energy efficient, commodes and sinks have been installed.


  • New LED Security lights were installed in Municipal Center Parking Lot.


  • Municipal pools were open for 100 days this summer with only 1 day of closure due to rain.


  • Assisted the Laurel Arts Council with the mosaic glass art installation at the Municipal Pool. The work represents the importance of the Patuxent River and the history of Laurel’s Mill. A special thanks to the students and staff at Pallotti High School who designed and constructed the mosaic.


  • The department wrapped up a full summer of events and activities with the “Annual Doggie Dip Day” that hosted a record 200 dogs and their owners.


  • The department is gearing up for a new season of classes and holiday special events.


  • The “Laurel Teen Outdoors Club” expanded its offering of trips this past summer to include, hiking in the Shenandoah National Park, excitement at King’s Dominion and fun in the sun in Ocean City.


  • The department has expanded trip offerings to include both adult and family offerings. Laurel High School retirees Robert Guilliani and former principal Dwayne Jones are chaperoning the fun that have already included the Orioles vs Nationals at Nationals Park and an outing to tour the new Guinness Brewery at Open Gate.


Information Technology


  • Our IT Department has been working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that our technology infrastructure exceeds all the requirements established at the federal level. At the beginning of September, the City participated in a two-day tabletop exercise to test our continuity of operations plan. While there are always lessons learned from these exercises, I was tremendously impressed with how well prepared we are in the event of a catastrophic event.


  • Deployed 50 new Police Mobile Data Computers on Firstnet. First Net is a dedicated nationwide network that provides interoperable communications for the public safety community, enabling information sharing across disciplines and jurisdictions, and improved situational awareness.


  • Transitioned our Law enforcement software to Prince George’s County’s CAD/RMS system.


  • Upgraded our Storage Area Network creating 30 Terabytes of additional storage.


Economic & Community Development


  • ECD had a very successful “Business Card Bingo” networking event in August.


  • Staff visited the Town of Thurmont’s Main Street over the summer to learn more about how the community is managing their Main Street Maryland Program.


  • ECD staff and I performed a Main Street Walking audit on the 17th to look at the conditions of the properties, the Streetscape and businesses in the area. More to come!


  • The Mayor’s office held the City’s “Census Kickoff” event on September 19th. It was a family fun event for everyone to learn more about the upcoming census.


  • Director, Christian Pulley is serving on Prince George’s County Census 2020 municipalities subcommittee and has attended two Census meetings over the summer and volunteered at the Prince George’s County fair on September 7th.


Public Works


  • See DPW Report


Office of Communications


  • In addition to the numerous City You-Tube productions, The City of Laurel held a candlelight vigil in the Memorial Garden for those impacted by the tragedy of 9/11, 18 years ago.


  • And provided Live Coverage of the Census Kick Off Event on the City’s Facebook.


Budget & Personnel Services


  • Our Human Resources Officer has been working with the City’s insurance brokers to negotiate the cost of our new Health and Dental contracts for employees, dependents and retirees. The original proposal from our insurance carrier was for an increase of 8%. Mrs. Woods and her team successfully negotiated 1.98% increase.


  • Mrs. Woods provided a retirement seminar to interested employees in August. The seminar was well attended. Don’t know if that means a lot of employees are retiring or simply looking at the possibility.


  • Our annual audit is underway. During the summer, our BAPS team continued to finalize all FY-2019 invoices.


  • State and County revenues as well as annual adjustments have been recorded. Annual reports for seized currency, red light camera, and highway user revenue have been completed and submitted to the appropriate oversight jurisdictions.


Fire Marshal


  • Finalized the opening of “Carbri Express” - a new restaurant on Main Street and the opening of MD Furniture Store at the open center (Old Sports Authority) and Club Pilates Studio at 14712 Baltimore Ave 103.


  • Installed 3-10 year smoke alarms.


  • Deputy Chief Blankenship and the Fire Marshal are serving on a regional Maryland State Fire Marshal task force to look at issues pertaining to Elderly and Vulnerable Adults/Children throughout the region.


  • Best Buy remodeling project is now completed.


  • Reviewed and approved plans for the expansion of the Asbestos Workers Union Local #24 - at 901 Montgomery Street.


  • Carol's Western Wear (site of the new WAWA) has been demolished.


Police Department


  • Chief Hamill provided an update on the Laurel Police Department.


6. Public Hearing


A. President Smalls opened the General Public Hearing at 8:02 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak.

There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting adjourned at 8:02 p.m.


Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

Clerk to the Council