Our next City Council meeting is tomorrow, February 26th. You can see the full agenda here.
Before I highlight some of the more important topics on tomorrow's agenda, I would like to provide a brief recap of recent highlights:
- Market House: The council voted to approve the New Market House lease during our last meeting on February 12th. This is a great step forward and I was proud to vote in favor of the lease. Over the last few months we held two public hearings, a public work session, and over 30 hours of closed session deliberations among members of the council, city staff, outside counsel, and the New Market House team. In the end, we believe this is a good deal for the City and we look forward to a successful Market House. The new concept will operate a modern, public market house that will offer made-to-order food, fresh prepared items, beer, wine, and grocery items that will be available for on-site consumption, and take out. From a financial point of view, with this new lease that extends over the next 10 years, the City will receive close to $1 million in basic rent, 2% of revenue over $1.5 million, as well as additional savings by passing on the maintenance costs to the new tenant. To put these numbers into perspective, over the past 10 years the Market House did not receive any rent and absorbed all maintenance-related costs, struggling to generate approximately $100,000 in that entire period. We look forward to having the Market House once again be the gateway to the City of Annapolis that will emphasize the bounty of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and Maryland.
Resolutions in support of Prescription Drug Affordability (for the purpose of supporting the goals of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and calling on the State of Maryland to implement its three commonsense ideas to improve our citizens’ access to essential prescription drugs) and Maryland Clean Energy Jobs (for the purpose of supporting the goals of the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative and calling on the State of Maryland to address climate change and implement its proposals to improve our citizens’ access to clean energy jobs): I was proud to introduce and sponsor two resolutions supporting initiatives being considered in our State's General Assembly this session. The resolutions passed with unanimous support from the council. As the Capital City, it is important to have our voices heard by our state legislators and lead by example for the benefit of all Annapolitans and Marylanders.
On tomorrow's agenda:
- The Housing Authority of City of Annapolis (HACA) will be presenting their Quarterly Report - I encourage you to review it and please let me know your comments.
- O-10-18. Police Advisory Board: As the Annapolis Police Department continues to move towards a community policing strategy, Chief Baker wants to create a Citizen Police Advisory Board. I support community policing strategies that involve the Annapolis Police Department becoming more transparent, by increasing public participation in a number of events and discussions, and by being more responsive to the community it serves. This is being introduced on First Reader, and I highly encourage you to provide feedback on this important initiative.
- R-5-18. Resolution Opposing Oil and Gas Development Off Maryland’s Shores - For the purpose of expressing the City of Annapolis’s opposition to offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration activities, including seismic air gun blasting. This resolution is being introduced by Alderman Savidge, and I intend to support it.
Special Note on O-08-18. Adequate Public Facilities - Adequate School Facilities (The Public Hearing for this ordinance has been postponed until March 12th): I am proud to have introduced this along with my colleagues Aldermen Arnett and Savidge. This ordinance is for the purpose of strengthening our current ordinance addressing school overcrowding as it relates to development. This ordinance would amend the test for additional school capacity by requiring schools with enrollment greater than 100 percent of the State-Rated Capacity to be listed as closed on the annual school utilization chart. Please take a minute to read the excellent letter that was published by The Capital written by Ward 5 residents Caitlin and Charlie Dammeyer on why this is important. You can read it here under the heading 'Crystal Spring.'