July Work Session

We had an incredibly long and productive meeting this evening.  I will be at the farmers market on Saturday at the Community Market table from 8-10 if you would like to talk to me about any of these issues, specifically the feral cat conversation, climate proclamation and trust town designation.  My notes are short because I want to be able to use these to start a conversation so please come find me at the market and/or email me at bethpmackenzie@gmail.com if you'd like to talk about anything you read here.

1. Gladys Noon Spellman Grant
Lowri DeJager came to ask for  a $2,000 grant to help cover the cost for ipad charging stations.  The school is incorporating technology in the classrooms.  The total cost for the two stations they need is $5,200.  They have gotten funds from the PTA budget and other donations. GNS is facing a budget shortfall because this year's budget does not include the refugee and other families that enrolled mid year last year.

2. Dog Park Discussion
The Mayor has asked members of the Dog Park Committee to attend and discuss the proposed Dog Park.  The Town has contracted with Precision Surveying to prepare a site plan to be submitted to SHA as a condition for the use of their property behind the Public Works facility for the Dog Park.  The Dog Park Committee gave a great presentation about their plans for the dog park.  The council voted unanimously for the budget adjustment to account for the $50,000 previously authorized for construction.  

5. Feral Cats
The attendees at the meeting had a very spirited discussion about the issues that the town is facing with feral cats.  We are looking into ways to help increase the use of TNR and promote best practices with the individuals taking care of the feral cats.  We are still information gathering and will be bringing Animal Control and others to the work session next month to give us more information.  In the meantime we would like to continue the conversation to see if a community based approach, similar to the dog park committee could come together to support working on this.

1. Police Department Presentation
Chief Robshaw will discuss issues and topics (see attached) regarding the Cheverly Police Department. He reiterated that the police department are working on a community policing strategy that includes street meets around town to meet residents where they are.  [SHAMELESS PLUG:  We are combining the August Street Meet with an Ice Cream Social in Cheverly Station on August 19th.]

Council Member Ivey suggested that maybe the officers can also go to where the people are at community markets or boys & girls club activities.  

Mayor Callahan offered to make sure the Department gets up to date schedules for town activities.

-Theft from auto remains the #1 crime in town.  It would be greatly reduced if all of us lived by the LEWD principle (lock every window and door).
-shoplifting (from the stores on Rt. 202) is increasing but that may also be because there is now more security info out there.
-the number of assaults are coming up but are 95% done by known assailants
-the number of robberies are going down.

The police department took deescalation training recently and will pair it with a 3 day training.  They also are getting certified as train the trainer for bias training.

3. Discussion Climate Proclamation
Councilmember Riazi and I worked on language for a proclamation that acknowledges the work we have done as a town and in the community to promote green earth activities as well as saying that we'd like to do so going forward as well.  Please email me if you'd like to see the draft language.

4. Discussion – Trust Town Designation
CM Ivey has proposed legislation whereas the Town Council will establish Cheverly as a Sanctuary Town and establish that the Town of Cheverly does not intervene in federal immigration matters.  We will be bringing the town attorney to the next work session.  Please let me know if you'd like to see the draft language.  

6. Proposed Conditions - Ernest Maier Concrete Batching Plant
Decision Required: Whether to adopt.

This item was on last month’s Special Meeting and involves the proposed plant off Kenilworth Avenue in Bladensburg.  The Cheverly Planning Board will provide recommendations.  We agreed to write a letter with conditions regarding tracking and limiting the routes trucks can go, bringing the whole property up to current storm water regulations, making the plant completely enclosed, and conducting regular independent air quality surveys.  There is a zoning board meeting on August 2nd.

7. Discussion O-3-17 Amending Section 18 – Lot Maintenance
Decision Required: Whether to introduce.

The Staff has found a section of the Town Code that is in need of modification from allowing inoperative vehicles from 30 days to 15 days.

8. Position Description
This conversation about what the job will be is moved to next month.

9. Council Retreat
Council Member Stewart suggested that the council have a retreat.  More discussion on location (somewhere inside Prince George's County) and time will be forthcoming.

10. Land Acquisition & Department Head Evaluations                      *
This portion of the meeting was closed under State Law

*please note that these notes are my personal reflections on an open council meeting and do not reflect official records*

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