Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, March 8, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Agenda

1. Call to order

A. Call to order - Council President Valerie M.A. Nicholas

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

2. Minutes

A. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of Monday, February 22, 2021 - Regular

3. Report of the Mayor and City Council

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

4. General Public Hearing

A. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Laurel will be holding virtual meetings. The public is asked to submit written testimony on agenda items to the Laurel City Clerk at [email protected] by 2:00 p.m. on meeting days and to register for the Zoom meeting information.

5. Recommendations

A. Consideration of Bid Recommendation - Department of Information Technology - Fiber Construction Project Van Dusen Road

6. Legislation

A. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1969, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to Amend Chapter 14, “Streets And Sidewalks,” Article VII, “Illegal Signs,” Sections 14-150, 14-151 and 14-152, to Expand the Types of Streets that are subject to Illegal Sign Restrictions, the City’s Authority to Remove Such Signs, and the City’s Authority to Impose Fines and Seek Injunctive Relief for Such Signs, and Providing an Effective Date.

B. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1970, an ordinance to Amend the General Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland, for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

C. Introduction and first public hearing on Resolution No. 2-21, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to Set the Date, Time and Polling Location for Early Voting in the City of Laurel for the General Election of November 2021, and to Begin Consideration of Early Voting for the General Election to be Held in November 2023.

7. Adjournment

Minutes

Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Mayor and City Council – Regular - Monday, March 8, 2021, 6:00 p.m. Zoom

 

Present: Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Council President; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Brencis Smith, Councilmember; Michael R. Leszcz, Councilmember; Keith R. Sydnor, Councilmember; Lou Ann Crook, MMC, Acting Chief Administrative Officer; Christian Pulley, Acting Chief Operations Officer; Sara Green, CMC, Chief of Staff; Kevin Frost, Chief Information Officer; Steve Allen, Fire Marshal; Chief of Police Russell Hamill, Laurel Police Department; Joanne Barr, Director of Park and Recreation; Robert Love, Acting Director of Economic and Community Development; S. Michele Saylor, Chief Financial Officer; Brian Lee, Director of Public Works; Kenya Barno, Administrative Assistant; Larry Taub, City Solicitor and Kimberley Rau, MMC, Clerk.

 

1. Call to order

 

A. Call to order - Council President Valerie M.A. Nicholas

 

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

 

2. Minutes

 

A. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of Monday, February 22, 2021 - Regular

 

On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, the Minutes of the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of Monday, February 22, 2021, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

3. Report of the Mayor and City Council

 

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

 

Councilmember Carl DeWalt announced another food distribution on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at Laurel Elementary School. Distribution will continue every Wednesday through the month of March. Commenting on the recent arrest of former Police Chief David Crawford, he said it was very disheartening. He commended Chief Hamill for providing educational opportunities for the department and for his professionalism and integrity.

 

Councilmember Mike Leszcz said the developers of a development in Howard County will be attending the next Patuxent River Commission Meeting to talk about its impact on the Patuxent River. The Maglev has people taking a stand on both sides, $14Million dollar project. Comment period on the environmental impact is still open. Appears that many of the delegates in Maryland are against it because of the environmental impact. Attending the National League of Cities Congress of Cities virtually, with the Vice President and Secretary of Transportation speaking to the attendees today.

 

Councilmember Keith R. Sydnor attended Zoom meeting hosted by the Laurel Historical Society on Black History Month in the Laurel area. On March 4th he registered 72 senior citizens at Laurel Senior Apartments for the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Councilmember Brencis Smith received his second vaccine on March 3rd. He encouraged everyone to get the vaccine. He has also been attending the National League of Cities Congress of Cities and finding it interesting. He acknowledged all the women in the City of Laurel in recognition of International Women’s History Month.

 

Mayor Moe commented on the press release he issued regarding the arrest of David Crawford, former Chief of Laurel Police Department. He appreciates all the phone calls expressing support for the men and women of the Laurel Police department. Grace2Grace, Royal House Chapel, held a food distribution on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Attended the grand opening for Celebree Learning Center at Laurel Lakes Court. Attending the National League of Cities Congress of Cities being held virtually this year. Dr. Facui spoke about vaccine and the new guidelines from the CDC. The City is working with the County to bring their mobile/pop up unit for vaccinations in Laurel. He thanked Councilmember Sydnor for his efforts getting so many senior citizens registered. He welcomed Fresh Green to Laurel, saying they opened in Laurel Towne Center on Sunday, March 7th.

 

Mayor read PROCLAMATION 2021-3 into the record celebrating the month of March WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH in the City of Laurel.

 

4. General Public Hearing

 

A. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Laurel will be holding virtual meetings. The public is asked to submit written testimony on agenda items to the Laurel City Clerk at [email protected] by 2:00 p.m. on meeting days and to register for the Zoom meeting information.

 

President Nicholas opened the General Public Hearing at 6:25 p.m. and closed it with no one present to speak.

 

5. Recommendations

 

A. Consideration of Bid Recommendation - Department of Information Technology - Fiber Construction Project Van Dusen Road

 

Kevin Frost, Director of Information Technology, presented the recommendation to award a contract for fiber construction as outlined in a memorandum dated February 19, 2021. The project includes the jumper fiber connections and fiber splicing to place the Cherry Lane and Arbory traffic lights on the City network. It also includes the fiber jumper connections and fiber splicing to put the Dr. Bruce Morley Dog Playground camera and gate controller on the City network. The City will also be making a fiber connection to a new camera pole at the Leo E. Wilson Community Park. Once that is completed, 144-count fiber will run from the Municipal Center electrical room to the IT server room. Total cost of these projects is $45,168.24. Funding is provided for in the current CIP Information Technology Project. The procurement contract is under the State of Maryland Consulting and Technical Services Contract. The vendor is Eastcomm Ltd., of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Eastcomm is a Master Contractor on the Cable and Wiring Outside Plant Master Contract BPO (060B6400046).

 

On motion by Councilmember Sydnor, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, the contract was awarded to Eastcomm Ltd., of Upper Marlboro, Maryland for $45,168.24 as recommended, on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

6. Legislation

 

A. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1969, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to Amend Chapter 14, “Streets And Sidewalks,” Article VII, “Illegal Signs,” Sections 14-150, 14-151 and 14-152, to Expand the Types of Streets that are subject to Illegal Sign Restrictions, the City’s Authority to Remove Such Signs, and the City’s Authority to Impose Fines and Seek Injunctive Relief for Such Signs, and Providing an Effective Date.

 

President Nicholas read the title of Ordinance No. 1969, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to amend Chapter 14, “Streets and Sidewalks,” Article VII, “Illegal Signs,” Sections 14-150, 14-151 and 14-152, to expand the types of streets that are subject to illegal sign restrictions, the City’s authority to remove such signs, and the City’s authority to impose fines and seek injunctive relief for such signs, and providing an effective date, into the record for the first reading.

 

Steve Allen, Fire Marshal, presented Ordinance No. 1969, explaining that illegal signs are appearing more frequently on public rights-of-way, where they are not currently prohibited. With the increasing proliferation of illegal signs upon the public rights-of-way have a negative visual impact on the various streets and the City generally. The legislation prohibits these illegal signs and gives the City authority to remove the sign and asses a fine for violation of the ordinance.

 

President Nicholas opened the public hearing at 6:31 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak. A second public hearing with possible action is scheduled for the Mayor and City Council Meeting on Monday, March 22, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

 

B. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1970, an ordinance to Amend the General Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland, for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

 

President Nicholas read the title of Ordinance No. 1970, an ordinance to Amend the General Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland, for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, into the record for the first reading.

 

S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, presented the ordinance, saying this is the third amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget. The City has received CARES Act funding through Prince George’s County to assist with offsetting Covid-19 expenditures for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); sanitization supplies; information technology equipment and cybersecurity improvements; business assistance and community assistance. The City has executed an agreement with the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services to manage funding to assist City residents with financial matters brought on by the pandemic. The City has also received a grant from the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT)for vehicle safety monitors. The City continues fiber construction through the City limits, additional funding is proposed for 204 Fort Meade Road. Matching funds are allocated in the CIP for generator grants that were declined. Those funds are to be allocated to the emergency erosion issue at Riverfront Park within the Hazard Mitigation Project. The Mayor and City Council are required to amend the FY2021 General Operating Budget and CIP to reflect these changes

 

President Nicholas opened the public hearing on Ordinance No. 1970 at 6:35 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak.

 

The Council Rules were Suspended on motion by Councilmember Leszcz, duly seconded.

 

On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember DeWalt, ORDINANCE NO. 1970, AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE GENERAL OPERATING BUDGET AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF LAUREL, MARYLAND, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2020 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2021, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote. Mayor Moe concurred with this action.

 

C. Introduction and first public hearing on Resolution No. 2-21, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to set the date, time and polling location for Early Voting in the City of Laurel for the General Election of November 2021, and to begin consideration of Early Voting for the General Election to be held in November 2023.

 

President Nicholas read the title of Resolution No. 2-21, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to set the date, time and polling location for Early Voting in the City of Laurel for the General Election of November 2021, and to begin consideration of Early Voting for the General Election to be held in November 2023, into the record for the first reading.

 

Mayor Craig Moe presented the Resolution, saying the legislation directs the City’s Board of Election Supervisors to begin planning for the November 2023 General Election to allow for early voting in each Ward, and create a plan to educate the public regarding said election changes with the goal of increasing voter participation.

 

President Nicholas opened the public hearing at 6:37 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak. A second public hearing with possible action is scheduled for the Mayor and City Council Meeting on Monday, March 22, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

 

7. Adjournment

 

There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:38 p.m.

 

 

 

Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

Clerk to the Council

 

Approved: April 12, 2021

 

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