Mayor and Council Meeting, 7/5/2011
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2011
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Mayor Katz presiding. Council Members present: Ashman, Sesma and Spiegel. Council Members Absent: Drzyzgula and Marraffa. Staff present: City Manager Jones, Deputy City Manager Tomasello, Assistant City Manager Ossont, Public Works Director Arnoult, Parks and Recreation Division Chief McGuire, Housing & Community Development Director Kauffmann, Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Sanchez, City Attorney Board, and Municipal Clerk Stokes.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge was led by the Mayor and City Council, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
In lieu of an invocation, Mayor Katz called for a moment of silence.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Council Member Spiegel, seconded by, Council Member Sesma, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council regular meeting held June 6, 2011, be approved.
IV. CONSENT ITEMS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract to Purchase City Apparel for Various Departments and Programs
This resolution authorized the City Manager enter into a contract for the above purchase with Cum Shaw Inc., 14672 Rothgeb Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850, in the amount of Sixty Thousand Nine Hundred Ten Dollars ($60,910); said funds to be expended from the Operating Budget.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Approving Services Provided by Montgomery County Public Schools for the Community Use of Public Facilities and Bus Transportation
This resolution approved the utilization of services provided by Montgomery County Public Schools for FY 12, in the amount of Twenty-Eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($28,500) for bus transportation, and in the amount of One Hundred Fourteen Thousand One Hundred Forty-Five Dollars ($114,145) for use of school facilities; said funds to be expended from the Operating Budget.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Granting Approval of TEMP-11-001, Louise's Heritage, LLC, for the Temporary Allowance of Truck Parking on Metropolitan Grove Road
Applicant Michael Stevenson requested temporary use approval for the parking of commercial vehicles on a vacant lot located on Metropolitan Grove Road in the Mixed Use Development (MXD) Zone. Section 24-178(g) of the City Code states that the Mayor and City Council may establish and grant temporary use permits. The proposed use is consistent in nature with uses that currently operate, such as the Montgomery County Police Vehicle Recovery Facility.
On January 19, 2010, the applicant received a temporary use permit (TEMP-09-001), valid for one year, which was established and approved by the Mayor and Council in Resolution R-4-10. One of the conditions of the Resolution stated the applicant must execute an agreement with the City for indemnification and insurance coverage as it relates to the use of the unimproved city right of way. This agreement was signed and ratified on February 3, 2010, and remains in effect.
The applicant is applying for a new temporary use permit for the same request. He is proposing to continue the use of the site as an overnight truck storage lot that anticipates the hours of operation to be between 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. The applicant submitted a letter stating that although during last year's review, it was estimated that between 25-40 vehicles would utilize the site, the actual amount has never exceeded fifteen. On February 2, 2011, the Planning Commission recommended approval of TEMP-11-001. The temporary use would be approved for a period of one year from the adoption of this resolution.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that the Consent Agenda (Resolution Nos. R-49-11 through R- 51-11), be approved.
- Resolution of the City Council Confirming Reappointments by the Mayor
This resolution confirmed the following reappointments: Economic Development Committee, Duane Jelinek, 201 West Deer Park Road, 20877 and Sheri L. Turnbow, 14825 Spring Meadow Drive, 20874, terms to expire July 2013; Educational Enrichment Committee, Mike Bucci, 114 Woodland Road, 20877, Ellie Eldredge, 3 Thorburn Place, 20878, Mark Ezrin, 706 Turtle Pond Lane 20878, terms to expire July 2013; and the Policy Advisory Committee, James Stevens, 344 Alfandre Street, 20878, term to expire July 2013.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma , seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING REAPPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYOR TO THE ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, EDUCATION ENRICHMENT COMMITTEE AND POLICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-52-11), be approved.
- Resolution of the City Council Confirming an Appointment by the Mayor to the Historic District Commission (HDC)
This resolution confirmed the Historic District Commission appointment of Ruthzaly Weich, 320 Firehouse Lane, Gaithersburg, Maryland, term to expire September 2012.
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Spiegel, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT BY THE MAYOR OF TO THE HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION (Resolution No. R-53-11), be approved.
VI. OATH OF OFFICE
Mayor Katz issued the Oath of Office to Ruthzaly Weich to fill the office of Historic District Commission.
VII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Spiegel
- Publicly thanked staff and volunteers for the 4th of July celebration at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center Fairgrounds.
- Recognized the Kentlands community parade and apologized to the neighborhood of Quince Orchard Park for not attending their scheduled parade due to a prior engagement.
- Encouraged residents to visit the City's website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov. for more information on upcoming activities happening throughout the Gaithersburg.
- He and other elected officials attended the Council in the Communities meeting with Pheasant Run community to address various issues.
- Participated with his colleagues to welcome the delegation from the Ecosystem Conservation Society of Japan. The group took a tour and learned about Gaithersburg's active aging and environmental programs.
- Stated summer is a time to get together with neighbors and friends, but encouraged residents to take precautions to keep communities safe.
- Announced that a closed executive session was held on Monday, June 20, 2011 at approximately 8:30 p.m., pursuant to a motion adopted unanimously. The meeting was closed pursuant to the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Sections 10-508(a)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; and 10-508(a)(6) to consider the marketing of public securities; and 10-508(a)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice. The topic to be discussed is the Watkins Mill road improvements. Present at the meeting were Mayor Katz, Council Members Ashman, Drzyzgula, Marraffa, Sesma, and Spiegel. Staff present was City Manager Jones, City Attorney Board, Deputy City Manager Tomasello and Assistant City Manager Ossont. Upon conclusion of the discussions, the closed meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:12 p.m.
- Congratulated and thanked the appointees and reappointees to the HDC and other committees.
Council Vice President Ashman
- Reported that several City officials attended the Maryland Municipal League Convention in Ocean City, Maryland held June 26-29th. Participated in various seminars on ethics, running effective meetings, solid waste disposals, reducing road maintenance cost, and emergency preparedness. Stated it was a productive experience.
- Attended the Quince Orchard Park 4th of July celebration and parade and the celebration at the fairgrounds. He thanked staff and volunteers, and encouraged Gaithersburg residents and others to come into the fairgrounds to experience and enjoy the activities and festivities.
Council Member Sesma
- Added to the comments of his colleagues and thanked the 77 sponsors of the 4th of July celebration who contributed to the community event.
- Reported that he attended a workshop during the MML Convention on sustainability of existing and proposed local streets systems. Had the opportunity to attend a session with cabinet secretaries from the State of Maryland to talk. Stated the big issue was the management of stormwater by municipalities to help keep the Chesapeake Bay clean. Reported that municipalities are facing unfunded mandates from the State and Federal governments.
- Echoed thanks to the Quince Orchard Park Parade coordinators.
- Encouraged residents to take advantage of the opportunities to attend activities and events throughout the City of Gaithersburg.
- Reported that Senator Ben Cardin gave several speeches during the MML Convention.
- Announced the following meeting schedule:
- work session scheduled for Monday, July 11, 2011, 7:30 p.m., to provide feedback to contractor interview regarding the redesign of the City's website and discuss the MP-1-11, Land Use Element, an Amendment to 2009 Master Plan.
- next regular meeting scheduled for Monday, July 18, 2011, 7:30 p.m., at City Hall.
VIII. FROM THE CITY MANAGER
- Reported that bids for the City Hall second floor renovations came in higher than expected. The increase is attributable primarily to the complexity of the existing HVAC and plumbing systems. Staff to work with the responsive low bidder to identify ways to reduce the costs.
- Announced that the City agreed to a partnership with Asbury, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Montgomery County on the Beloved Community Initiative. Kick-off meeting was held last week and attended by both staff and elected officials. Staff will do an outreach to local non-profits.
- Stated the American Red Cross conducted a study and based on select criteria, the Activity Center at Bohrer Park had been approved as an emergency shelter. A Memorandum of Understanding was executive between the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County. In turn, the County has an agreement with the American Red Cross to provide services and determine when to open the facility during an emergency.
- Reported that an amendment was approved to the City's existing Franchise Agreement with Comcast. The company requested that the City waive the requirement for them to have a billing and customer service facility within the City limits as they have constructed a new and larger site, offering more services just outside the City at the corner of Maryland Route 355 and Gude Drive. Comcast believes the new facility is better designed to meet current customer needs.
The amendment also allows the City to work with the company on initiatives that will help promote and achieve communications goals through the production of new video content; increased Public Service Announcements that will be broadcast in neighboring counties; and potential expansion of the leased access channel 190. In addition, the partnership gives the City priority preference in being selected as a training site for the company's new Internet Essentials program. That program is intended to bridge the "digital divide" by providing affordable high-speed internet service to low income families.
IX. FROM THE DEPUTY CITY MANAGER
Economic Development Update
- Reported that the City applied to the Federal Department of Treasury to be a partner in their Go Direct Campaign which encourages people that receive Federal benefits to enroll in direct deposit and move away from paper checks. The Bank of Gaithersburg program is now listed on their website as a local partner.
- The Maryland Biotechnology Center awarded $1.8M in grants to State biotech companies that are in the process of commercializing products. Nine companies received funding and reported that two are in Gaithersburg (BioGenetics and Noble Life Sciences)
- Reported that the agreement between the City and Shared Partners relating to the accelerator facility is nearing the two-year term. Staff will come back with any proposed amendments
- Stated that staff is in the final stages for the hire of an Economic Development Director.
X. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND REGULATIONS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Adopting the Section 3 Plan to Comply with 24CFR, Part 135 of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Housing & Community Development Director Kauffmann requested the endorsement and approval of the above plan which is designed to encourage greater participation by contractors working on City projects using CDBG funds. Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 requires that to the greatest extend feasible, economic opportunities are given to residents and businesses in the area where HUD assistance is received, particularly those of low income. Staff is working with non-profit and job referral organizations to educate contractors on the program.
Motion was made by Council Member Spiegel , seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL ADOPTING THE SECTION 3 PLAN TO COMPLY WITH 24CFR, PART 135 OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (Resolution No. R-54-11), be approved.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Approving and Consenting to the Ninth Amended and Restated Trust Agreement of the Local Government Insurance Trust
City Manager Jones presented the above resolution. The Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) was founded in 1987 by the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) and the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in answer to difficulties towns, cities and counties then faced in securing affordable insurance and the City is a member of LGIT. The LGIT Board of Trustees is recommending execution of the amendment to the Eighth Amended and Restated Trust Agreement dated July 1, 2004 by all of its member jurisdictions to reduce the number of Trustees on the Board from thirteen to twelve by eliminating MML's position and enable an equal amount of trustees on the board from both the county and other municipalities.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL APPROVING AND CONSENTING TO THE NINTH AMENDED AND RESTATED TRUST AGREEMENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST (Resolution No. R-55-11), be approved.
XI. FROM OTHER STAFF
Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Sanchez
Reported on the 2012 MML Legislative Action Requests. Each year, the League evaluates submitted requests from its membership. This year's LAR deadline is July 8, 2011. Once requests are received, staff conducts an extensive research and evaluation process and presents the requests to the MML Legislative Committee for consideration. The Committee selects the legislative priorities and the membership approves them during the fall conference. She stated that MML's primary mission is to actively support and sponsor legislation that directly impacts the goals and responsibilities of Maryland towns and cities and their residents. Each year, the City partner with the League's lobbying effort to strengthen the City's presence in Annapolis. Ms. Sanchez reviewed the City's LARs which included:
Restoration of Highway User Revenues, municipalities in the State will receive approximately 25% more than in FY11. The increase translated to approximately $8 million in restored revenue for municipalities and Gaithersburg is expected to receive $475,032 in FY12. If the current HUR allocations for FY13 remain unchanged, it is anticipated the City would receive $311,890. Staff recommended making this the number one priority.
Legal Notice Publication Option, the proposal would provide discretionary authority to local governments to post state-mandated legal notices on websites rather than in newspapers, resulting in a more progressive and cost efficient method of public notification. State-mandated newspaper public notice requirements are associated with annexations, charter amendments, and constant-yield tax rate hearings. The City Council recently approved two resolutions that amended the City Charter to allow the City to post certain notifications on the City's website.
Amendment to Article 66B, Section 8.03(2) Alternate Members of Local Historic District Commission, legislative remedy would request that the General Assembly add language to the current statute to make it consistent to allow the participation of HDC alternate members only in the absence of a full non-alternate member. Currently, the statute includes language to address this issue for local planning commissions and board of appeals but is silent when it comes to local historic district commissions.
Legislation to Allow Trained Technician to Sign Off on Speed Camera Violations, during the 2011 legislative session, the City of Laurel introduced a bill that would allow a certified authorized individual trained in speed monitoring enforcement to verify and sign-off on a speed camera violation similar to the sign-off process for red light camera notices.
In addition, she reported that Council Member Drzyzgula suggested legislative priority to handle stormwater management fees and the collection. Staff will look at submitting a legislative action request and place on the fall agenda as the City's legislative priority. Council Member Spiegel suggested that transportation be included in the City priorities due to the number of pending transit projects in the City. Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Sanchez was commended for her work and efforts in Annapolis.
Assistant City Manager Ossont
Energov, referred to a memorandum dated June 24, 2011 to the Mayor and City Council regarding Code amendments related to Energov, the new software package will perform a number of core City services. Staff recommended amendments to Chapters 3, 4, 7, 8, 16, 18AA, 19, 20 and 24 of the City Code. He stated that the changes would clarify language and include minor housekeeping items. Some of the changes are intended to modernize language in the Code and enable the use of technology when applicable. Other changes involve enhancements to administrative procedures explicitly outlined in the code to increase staff efficiency and provide improved customer service. The current Code requires many of our licenses (electrical, vendor, and rental housing) to have specific term and expire dates. Energov will allow staff to offer customers rolling expiration dates without creating an administrative burden. The new system will allow staff to transact a significant amount of business online. Many sections of the Code currently reference traditional paper applications and plans and the manual processing of these documents.
Sustainable Maryland, registration is now open and would require a resolution by the Mayor and City Council. Staff is seeking to bring a resolution before the City Council during the July 18th meeting.
Taco Bell Application, referred to the Policy Discussion schedule for the Taco Bell concept plan application. He reported that the applicant had withdrawn the application. Staff was directed to send notices to interested parties.
City Attorney Board
2011 City Elections, reported that three City Council members are up for election on November 8, 2011. Candidate packets will be available Monday, July 11th, hardcopies will be available at City Hall and on the City's website. Deadline to file Candidate packets are September 19th and mandatory training session for candidates for office will be held on July 27th and September 14th. Candidates are required to attend one of the two training sessions.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at approximately 8:13 p.m.