For the second consecutive time, I have been able to access the internet, and can bring you the fun proceedings for the night. The reason that I know that tonight will be fun is because Arthur Kungle, a local historian, handed me a piece of paper as soon as I walked in, and that paper contained the phrase "quad erat demonstrat". No place to go from here, but up.
I am going to try to give descriptions of the bills that are voted on, because I didn't have time to do it during my preview post.
Alderman Shropshire is absent, but everyone else is here. The mayor unveils a surprise! It is a replica of the Thomas Point Lighthouse. The management of the lighthouse is loaning the replica to the city.
The "regular" meeting begins with committee reports. The Rules committee is reviewing charter amendments. I once was on a committee--it wasn't very productive.
The other committees report that they are indeed still having meetings.
My prediction about the closed meeting statement was accurate, and the mayor fulfilled her legal obligation by informing us that no action was taken as a result of a closed meeting about the Market House lawsuit.
******SISTER CITY UPDATE*********We have a sister city in Canada (Annapolis Royal), and today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada! We learned that the purpose of Thanksgiving Day in Canada is to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales from an illness.
The mayor is quoting herself from a Baltimore Sun article.
At 7:27, Brian Gill was able to access the internet, and is bringing you tonight's fun proceedings.
********SISTER CITY UPDATE #2***********The city just got done entertaining the Mayor from another one of our sister cities: Richmond (England, I think).
Karen Jennings, a former candidate for Alderman in the great 2nd Ward, is making the environmental argument that I will mention later in this post. You don't know that I will mention it later, but I do.
The aforementioned Arthur is saying many things. The most entertaining among them, and I'm paraphrasing, "And then you've got the Annapolis Town Center that's not even in the City Of Annapolis! We need to sue them for fraud, boycott their stores, or do something. The fact that they are using the name 'Annapolis' is appalling--this only helps rich white men and hurts poor black women, not to mention the pollution." He's so entertainment that even Tony Evans is laughing approvingly.
Tony Evans now can speak, and admits defeat, declaring "That's a hard act to follow". Arthur humbly offers that he will never be Tony Evans. Now he's hitting the good points. He says "be careful of how you tinker with the lease, because the boat show could move". Translation: don't be surprised at what happens if you take the rights for the boat show away from its creator and give them to the Sailing HOF cronies.
Mockingly, Tony looks forward to the "high-tech treasure hunt" that is the geocache trail (see below). Arthur applauds. "Bravo". All is well.
Legislative action is about to begin.
CA-01-08: To revise the duties of the city administrator. The original intent of this bill was to address the issue of a powerful mayor. While the CA gave the city administrator more power, it still left the position to be appointed by the Mayor, which misses the boat. This bill has been challenged by CA-03-08*, and R-39-08. It has been postponed multiple times before, and is apparently postponed again without a vote, which is apparently allowed under the 120 day rule.
(*On first reader, contrary to the information in the preview post.)
Apparently there is a technicality that charter amendments cannot be revised until 2nd reader, which is inconveniently when the bill is voted on. So, Alderman Arnett replaces CA-03 revised (which would have been on first reader tonight), with CA-04, to be introduced at the next legislative meeting. I believe another public hearing will occur on this issue, whatever the bill numbering is. Alderman Hoyle is confused about the process, but in fairness, so is everyone else. I believe that someone could get elected parliamentarian, even though would require that person first convince the public and the election board that such a position even exists, which it does not.
O-11-08: Prohibited parking on unpaved surfaces in residential zones. This bill ran into opposition from environmentalists, who pointed out the incentive to pave over land. Others objected to the bill’s alleged ‘back-door’ attempt to stick it to illegal immigrants, who are perhaps thought to overcrowd houses and park their cars everywhere. BILL WITHDRAWN (along with R-21). UNANIMOUS VOTE.
O-14-08: Establishing standards for funding grants to non-profits. Proposed by Alderman Stankivic, this bill begins to address that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can come before the council and ask for grant money. The bell sets some guidelines for who can receive money, but the standards are vague, and would probably only exclude Tom from the above trio.
There are amendments offered right now that assign points to the criteria named for determining worth recipients, presumably to attempt to quantify the selection process. Aldermen are slowly pointing out that standards are good, but this bill is not. BILL PASSES, 5-3 VOTE (Hoyle, Finlayson, Arnett), WITH AMENDMENTS.
O-23-08: Quarterly financial reporting by organizations that receive grant money, sponsored by Alderman Cordle. PASSES, 7-1 VOTE (Paone).
O-26-08: Same thing as above but substitute semi-annually and Shropshire. WITHDRAWN.
Voting on ordinances is done. All ordinances listed on the preview post were passed and referred to committee. Let's vote on resolutions!
R-32-08: Expansion of programs for the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Folks, I can’t make this up…the purpose of this bill is “that the City Council of the City of Annapolis hereby expresses its approval of the Project “Hand-Tossed Salad Café”. PASSES, UNANIMOUS VOTE.
R-39-08: Blue Ribbon Commission on forms of city government. This bad boy comes from Alderman Finlayson, perhaps at the behest of the other pro-powerful-mayor folk, and challenges CA-03 which is the product of Aldermen Israel and Arnett. Essentially, with CA-03, Israel and Arnett have already answered the question of which form of government is the best, and they assert that it is a city manager. POSTPONED.
A reader of this live blog has cleverly just asked me if Alderman Shropshire is absent because he is attending a seminar on ethics.
The real voting is now finished, and so is the blogging. I am going to risk my credibility and assume that all of the resolutions in the preview post will pass on first reader, despite the occasional objection from Alderman Stankivic. If not, I have some high-quality informants in attendance right now, and I trust that they will provide me with any information that I miss, on the off-chance that I am wrong.
Ok, I think I'm wrong. I think that they have been suspending the rules to have a final vote on some things that are on first reader. Alderman Cordle raises on objection that these spending measures are being pushed through. Nonetheless, I'll have to look at it tomorrow, because the blogging is done, as I mentioned.
Until next time, stay hungry Annapolis.