June Worksession Update

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Welcome Summer!

The temperature is rising, even inside the Community Center! Please be aware that the air conditioning has not been fixed yet but will hopefully be fixed soon.  In the meantime it's a great opportunity to meet outside!  

This weekend is the Community Market and they will be hosting a free yoga session!!!!! Also from 10-10:30 there will be storytime on the steps of the Community Center.  See you there!
Have you checked out greenleaf fitness?  They offer amazing classes for toddlers, kids and adults.  Check out their website at www.greenleaffitness.net
Town Grants
Town community groups are eligible to receive small grants of $2,000 per year (July-June).  At this most recent session we were approved grant requests from CPRC & The Cheverly Market.   
Building Use Requirements
The council is continuing the conversation around building use.  Our discussion at this session revolved around insurance.  Discussions with the Town insurance agent have demonstrated the need for groups to have their own insurance.  We are discussing different ways to make this possible for these groups that is not a barrier to entry.  

One suggestion that has been floated is to ask the adult athletic groups to become a community group (by definitions community groups need to have over 20 members with at least half from the town) Then the community group can ask for a town grant (up to $2,000/year) to pay for insurance for the group (some groups have insurance that runs $300-400/year).

This is an ongiong discussion and so input is more than welcome-please let me or any of the other council members know what you think!
MML Review
Public Works Director Torres & Town Administrator Warrington provided some thoughts they had from the sessions at MML and here are the highlights.  

1. Waste Reduction: They will be looking into grants for recycling containers and will be looking into options for styrofoam recycling.

2. Municipal Election:  I brought up some ideas I heard about in the last newsletter.  David also noticed that we don't have a provision for a tie vote or for poll watchers (candidate observers).  They also noticed that we need to make some clarifications around absentee voting in regards to when and how the completed ballots are returned and how they are requested. [I would like to find a way to follow what the county does and other municipalities and allow for applications for absentee ballots to be submitted online.]

3.Street Lighting: The staff is reaching out to Pepco to see if we qualify to transition our street lighting to LED.  [Outside of the conference the Green Infrastructure Committee also recommended a way for Public Works to modify the globe lights outside of Town Hall to become dark sky lights]

4. Electric Vehicles: Staff met with MD-EV representatives regarding placing a charging station (or two!) in town, maybe near public works first and in front of the police station second.  The Town is also working on a grant for some electric vehicles (for code enforcement, little control and maybe a third if possible)
Police Hiring Incentives
Many of you may have noticed the sign on Landover Rd. advertising for police officers. The Dept. is authorized for 16 officers and currently only have 10.  Our Department has had some turnover of late and are looking to bring on some experienced police officers because they will be able to start work right away(as opposed to going through the police academy first.
  
To meet this goal, Chief Robshaw along with the Police Chief's Advisory Board suggested a few additions to the hiring package including:

1. priority given to residents of Cheverly and Prince George's County.
2. Allowing for a longer distance (within Maryland) for police officers to take home their vehicles.
3.  A signing bonus and/or additional salary step grades for officers with significant experience.
4.An incentive  for any current Cheverly police officer or Town resident who recruits a candidate that successfully certifies as a Cheverly police officer.

As it stands, in order to allow our officers to take some vacation this summer we will have to reach out to the Prince George's Police Department to help fill in on occasion.
 
After reviewing the suggestions the council asked the Chief to look at the pros and cons of expanding the search (and allowance of a take home vehicle) to potential officers in D.C. as well 
Healthy Working Families Act
In January the General Assembly overturned Governor Hogan's veto of the paid sick leave act.  Now that it is enacted the town is updating our policies to ensure that we are in compliance.  The review of the proposed ordinance sparked a conversation about the absence of a parental leave policy for town employees.  [I believe strongly that the town providing a parental leave policy for all parents of new kids would help with the incentivizing of new police officers as well as other open positions the Town is trying to fill.] 

The council will be having this conversation shortly.  Stay tuned but in the meantime let me know what you think about this!
Employee Survey
The Town is looking into finding a professional conducting a survey of some of our employees to learn about their experiences working here.  We are still looking for a firm to conduct the survey so if you know of one please let me know!
Curbside Composting
Oh, Curbside Composting....We have had such a fantastic response to the pilot program, unfortunately the cost for the town to deposit the compost has gone up.   We are revisiting the best way to implement this program and will send out an update shortly.
Community Updates
I've been asked for more information on the item "SE for Hotel/Motel" This isn't actually anything yet, a business owner over by the Pepsi Plant was thinking about maybe putting a hotel around there.  But thinking is as far as he's gone and we just asked for more details.

In August the Town Council will be discussing our election laws in anticipation of the 2019 Town Elections and I would really like to hear any feedback you all have on the current process and any changes you may like to see us examine.
Please note that the views posted in this email belong to Elizabeth MacKenzie and this is not an official town communication.
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