Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Agenda

1. Call to order

A. Call the meeting to order - Council President Keith R. Sydnor

B. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America - Mayor Craig A. Moe

C. Roll call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

2. General Public Hearing

A. Due the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City of Laurel will be holding virtual meetings. The public is asked to submit written testimony on agenda items to the Laurel City Clerk at [email protected] by 2:00 p.m. on meeting days. Each speaker is asked to give their name and address for the record. Each speaker is allowed three minutes to speak.

3. Public Hearing on the Constant Yield Tax Rate.

A. Public hearing on the intention to raise the tax rate above the Constant Yield Tax Rate (CYTR).

4. Agenda Items

A. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1954, an ordinance adopting the General Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland, for Fiscal Year July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 and to levy property taxes and to authorize collection of such taxes.

5. Adjournment

 

The Mayor and City Council Meeting can be viewed on Public Access Channel, Laurel TV, airing on Verizon FiOS Channel 12 and Comcast Channel 996 in (HD) and on Comcast 71 in (SD). Public comment can be submitted in writing to the Laurel Clerk at [email protected] or call in during the public hearing at 240-294.1308.  Questions: Contact Clerk Kim Rau at 301-725-5300 or email [email protected].

Minutes

Members present: Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Keith R. Sydnor, Council President; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Councilmember; Brencis Smith, Councilmember; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Michael Leszcz, Councilmember; William Goddard, City Administrator and Kimberley A. Rau, Clerk. There were no members of the public present.

Present: Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Keith R. Sydnor, Council President; Valerie M A Nicholas, Councilmember; Brencis Smith, Councilmember; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Michael R. Leszcz, Councilmember; William Goddard, City Administrator; Kimberley A. Rau, MMC, Clerk. (Social distancing six feet apart due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. No members of the public were present.)

 

Participating via teleconference: LouAnn Crook, MMC, Deputy City Administrator; Sara Green, Chief of Staff to the Mayor; Kevin Frost, Director of Information Technology; S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services; Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; Dave Cope, Fire Marshal; Rob Ferree, Director of Public Works; Steve Allen, Emergency Services Manager; Chief Russel Hamill, Police Department and Larry Taub, City Solicitor.

 

1. Call to order

 

A. Call to order – Council President Keith R. Sydnor

 

B. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America - Mayor Craig A. Moe

 

C. Roll call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

 

2. President Sydnor opened the public hearing on the intention to raise the tax rate above the Constant Yield Tax Rate (CYTR) at 6:00 p.m.

 

Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, explained that each year the State of Maryland sends all taxing authorities the estimated tax base. Even though the City is not increasing the tax rate, we are not decreasing, in order to generate the same amount of tax revenue. State law requires the City to notify the public of that intention. The notice was advertised in the April 28, 2020, edition of the Baltimore Sun. The projected increase has been absorbed by offsetting expenses.

 

President Sydnor closed the CYTR public hearing at 6:07 p.m.

 

3. Agenda Items

 

A. President Sydnor read the title of Ordinance No. 1954, an ordinance adopting the General Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland, for Fiscal Year July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, and to levy property taxes and to authorize collection of such taxes. The public hearing was opened at 6:09 p.m. He noted that a letter has been received to the Mayor and City Council from Cheryl Dwyer, Fourth Street and the Friends of the Patuxent River.

 

S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, noted the only change to Ordinance No. 1954 is due to the passage of Resolution No. 11-2020, with the City-wide Parking and Traffic Analysis. She noted the change is on Page 3, $50,000 is being used from the Speed Camera Funds, with the total FY2021 Operating Budget at $36,419,488.00, new funds for the CIP at $4,507,738.00, reauthorizing the CIP projects at $10,335,343.

 

Public comment on Ordinance No. 1954:

 

Mike McLaughlin 1013 Eighth Street, Laurel, supporting a Sustainability Coordinator in the FY2021 Operating Budget Mayor/Council took the seriously.

Jock Hay, Riverview Court, Laurel, formally requesting the Mayor and Council consider making the Friends of Patuxent and official City committee.

Brian Coyle, 336 Prince George Street, Laurel, Co-Chair of the Friends of Laurel Patuxent, emphasize what has already been said about the need for a Sustainability Coordinator and the request to make the group a formal committee of the City.

 

Public hearing closed at 6:24 p.m.

Mayor Moe thanked the City Council for working with the Administration on the budget. He thanked Lou Ann Crook, Deputy City Administrator, Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, and her staff for putting together the budget. Acknowledging the letter from Laurel Friends of the Patuxent, and the letter from Cheryl Dwyer, he said the City is moving in the right direction and highlighted all the sustainability efforts the City has already made such as LED lighting in all City facilities and said he looks forward to working with the group in the future. The commitment has been to the employees, with the Mayor and Council taking $2,000,000 from the Undesignated Reserves to increase the Pension Plans for retirees, set aside $250,000 for expected reduction in revenue due to COVID-19. As the State and County take care of their own budgets he wants to make sure City services are funded and the employees are taken care of.

 

4. Adjournment

 

There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting was adjourned at 6:27 p.m.

 

 

 

Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

Clerk to the Council

 

Approved:

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