xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Annapolis council opens 2021 with resolution condemning insurrection and Trump

The Annapolis City Council is expected to consider a resolution Monday night condemning the president of the United States and the insurrection he incited last week in Washington.

Alderman Brooks Schandelmeier plans to introduce the resolution to put the council on record condemning President Donald Trump lies about election fraud as well as other political figures who incited a mob to storm the Capitol on Wednesday.

Advertisement

Five people died in the attack, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. A second Capitol police officer committed suicide over the weekend, although it was not sure whether it was related to the violence.

“The goal of this resolution is to condemn the attempted fascist coup urged on by President Donald Trump to overturn a free and fair election,” said Schandelmeir, D-Ward 5. “We stand committed to the peaceful transfer of power and the Democratic ideals put forward by our founders and constitution.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Schandelmeier said Sunday he has shown the draft resolution to other members of the council, which needs five votes to pass.

The council also is slated to come back to a familiar issue in its first meeting of the year, discussing short-term rental license legislation.

If Schandelmeir’s measure passes, it would join a wave of condemnation aimed and the president and those who forced their way into the Capitol while the House of Representatives and the Senate were preparing to count electoral college votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday that President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the rioters, threatening members of Congress and ransacked the seat of the legislative branch.

Advertisement

His words come amid a groundswell of support among congressional Democrats for a second impeachment.

“There is no question in my mind that [Trump] was responsible for inciting this riotous mob,” Hogan said during an appearance Sunday morning on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper.

Hogan dodged a question from Tapper, though about whether Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in Maryland’s Congressional delegation, ought to resign. Harris continued to object to the presidential election results in Congress even after the rioters stormed the Capitol, leaving several people dead.

While Schandelmeir said some members of the council have offered support, others have been reticent because the issue is outside the control of the council.

“The storming of Congress is unprecedented. Other state capitals were also attacked, spurred by lies about the election. Annapolis needs to lead and let the people know we do not stand for the violence or the lies that caused it,” Schandlemeier said.

Short term rentals

On Monday, the body will take up a resolution putting a 12-month pause on issuing or transferring licenses for non-owner-occupied short-term rentals in two of the city’s conservation districts.

Resolution R-61-20, would temporarily limit a person from applying for or transferring a short-term rental license for a home they don’t live in the C1 and C1-A zoning districts. Both districts are in Alderwoman Elly Tierney’s ward and overlap with the city’s Historic District. Tierney, D-Ward 1, and Aldermen Rob Savidge, D-Ward 7, and Brooks Schandelmeier, D-Ward 5 are co-sponsors.

The bill is in response to what Tierney has described as an “unsustainable trajectory” in new and renewing license applications in the last year. An analysis from the Planning and Zoning Department found that 80% of the roughly 100 short-term rental licenses that have been applied for or renewed were located in the C1 and C1-A districts, according to a staff report drafted by Director Sally Nash. And the majority of those licenses were non-owner-occupied.

Annapolis Alderwoman Elly Tierney, D-Ward 1 stands on Fleet Street in the neighbor she represents, Saturday, January 9, 2021. Alderwoman Elly Tierney, D-Ward 1, is sponsoring a resolution to impose a temporary moratorium on short-term rental licenses in her ward to give the city more time to compile an inventory of the existing short-term rental licenses.
Annapolis Alderwoman Elly Tierney, D-Ward 1 stands on Fleet Street in the neighbor she represents, Saturday, January 9, 2021. Alderwoman Elly Tierney, D-Ward 1, is sponsoring a resolution to impose a temporary moratorium on short-term rental licenses in her ward to give the city more time to compile an inventory of the existing short-term rental licenses. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

She intends to bring the measure to a vote Monday night despite strong opposition from some members, including Alderman Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, and Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4, who were both sponsors of O-26-19. That bill placed regulations on short-term rentals throughout the city. It passed the council one year ago Wednesday after months of debate.

Arnett voiced his opposition to the moratorium at a Rules and City Government Committee meeting on Jan. 5, calling it “inopportune” given that short-term rentals are one of the few ways tourists may still safely visit the city. The bill is also a form of “subterfuge” to make changes to the original short-term rental ordinance without amending the City Code, Arnett said.

“I keep reading between the lines here that what we really want is a re-do of the ordinance we just passed,” Arnett said. “If you want to do new legislation to change the code, do new legislation.”

Tierney said the bill responds to constituent concerns and the disproportionate number of new and renewed licenses in her ward.

A moratorium would give the city more time to compile an inventory of the existing short-term rental licenses and allow public input on the Comprehensive Plan, Tierney said.

Arnett and others who oppose the moratorium have also questioned its legality. However, the Annapolis Law Office issued a memo stating the resolution is legal. The memo states the resolution’s intent to allow additional time to obtain information meets requirements for due process and equal protection and does not constitute a taking, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Capital.

Elsewhere on the agenda are a pair of bills to approve the sale of two pieces of city-owned land, 113 and 115 Cathedral Street. The properties are being purchased by private owners to be used for parking, according to a city fiscal impact note.

Another bill would expand how alderpersons can use their $1,500 annual allowance to include town halls and constituent outreach supplies.

Also up for a final vote is the Tierney-sponsored O-31-20 regulating the use of non-motorized, human-powered wheeled vehicles such as skateboards, bicycles and rollerblades, on public streets, alleys or sidewalks. The bill allows their use so long as they are done so carefully and in areas where their use isn’t already prohibited.

Another resolution would appoint a nine-member Charter Review Commission tasked with studying the Annapolis City government as is required by City Code in January following a census year.

Six council members have co-sponsored R-67-20 to establish Maryland Emancipation Day as a state, bank and public school holiday. A state senator has proposed creating the holiday on Nov.1 in honor of Maryland adopting a new state constitution that abolished slavery on the same day in 1864.

Advertisement

Baltimore Sun reporter Christine Condon contributed to this story.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement