A crowded Annapolis City Council meeting agenda Monday features public hearings on the fiscal 2022 budget, police reform legislation and the introduction of a bill establishing a financing authority to pay for climate change mitigation projects.
The resilience authority bill, O-14-21, sponsored by Mayor Gavin Buckley and Ward 1 Alderwoman Elly Tierney, would create a funding structure shared between the city and Anne Arundel County used to start projects like the City Dock redevelopment that includes extensive infrastructure improvements to combat flooding and sea-level rise.
The bill lays out the group’s powers, authority, composition, terms and appointment of its board. A similar bill was introduced to the Anne Arundel County Council on Monday.
Resilience infrastructure projects are estimated to cost $80 million to $100 million in the city alone. The developers behind the City Dock project say it could cost as much as $62 million. The project also includes the rebuilding of Hillman Garage.
Hearing on budget, police reform
Up for debate Monday is Buckley’s $152 million spending plan currently under deliberation by the city Finance Committee. The plan has no new tax increases but proposes increases in water, trash pick-up and stormwater fees. The Finance Committee is expected to deliver its report on the budget to the full council on May 10.
Ward 7 Alderman Rob Savidge’s police reform bill, O-12-21, will be debated at the first of two meetings. Savidge’s bill would ban chokeholds, limit “stop and frisk” searches, restrict “no-knock” warrants and codify numerous other standards of procedure in the Annapolis Police Department. It could change significantly, however, following the passage of the Maryland Police Accountability Act by the state General Assembly.
Members of the public will also get a chance to comment on an ordinance, O-11-21, proposing increases to City Council salaries in the next term. The roughly $4,600 in proposed pay bumps over the next four years were based on recommendations made by an independent commission made up of city residents. A city fiscal note shows the proposal would cost the city about $70,000.
The Morning Sun
Those wishing to submit testimony may do so at annapolis.gov.
Up for a final vote
Five bills could receive a final vote on Monday. Among them, an ordinance, O-5-21, sponsored by Tierney and Alderman Fred Paone, R-Ward 2, establishing new procedures for the Tucker Street boat launch.
Another ordinance, O-6-21, sponsored by Alderman Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, seeks to reform the creation of new city regulations. Ten amendments have been proposed to the bill.
Three resolutions — R-10, R-11 and R-15 — are all up for final approval. The first would extend the term of the Charter Review Commission. The second identifies all of the city-sponsored events for fiscal 2022. And the third would extend the moratorium on the issuance of new non-owner-occupied short-term rental licenses in certain conservation districts until after O-7-21, a bill amending the approval process of those licenses, was voted on by the council.
Along with the resilience authority ordinance, a handful of new bills will be introduced Monday, including a resolution, R-17-21, to partner with the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis to apply for federal funds to help pay for the redevelopment of the Harbour House and Eastport Terrace properties and the housing authority’s headquarters.
The city would contribute $32,000 toward the application fee for a Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant. The total cost of the project is about $575,000, which the city and housing authority would split evenly. Approximately $287,000 would need to be earmarked for the redevelopment in fiscal 2023.
Another resolution, R-16-21, would designate the pocket park near 1200 McGuckian St. as “Fowlkes Community Park” in recognition of Gilda and Lloyd Fowlkes and their family. Two or three benches and a marker will be installed to honor the Fowlkes, a teacher and musician, respectively, for their decades of taking care of the small park at their own expense.