Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
October 4, 2004

Agenda Items

Ordinance 04-15 "Organization of Commissioners" 

Haller this is the ordinance text amendment that would allow for two regular monthly town meetings, one on the 1st Monday and Third Monday of the month. Commissioner O'Neil: I reviewed amendment. Commissioner Walbrecker: On the statement about absences, special resolution how does it work? Question not related to the change just an inquiry. Mayor Hoover: Tell the staff and then counted as excused. Mr. Haller: only happened with one person 6 years ago. 
Motion: to approve Ordinance 04-15 as written. Motion made by Commissioner Walbrecker, seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Election Rules - September 27, 2004 Discussion and Consideration

Commissioner O'Neil provided language on election proceeding on how other municipalities run elections (attached). What elements do you prefer - - where can you display signs, specific distance, observers, ask for identification MD Drivers license?

Discussion: Mayor Hoover: Agrees that we should have the 100 feet radius and ID. Also, recall option I support. Commissioner O'Neil: 25% to recall, might want to raise that to remove from office. Commissioner Rosensteel agrees with Mayor Hoover. Commissioner Walbrecker: Distance is good. I like the idea of a recall. 25% is a little low. Half? 50% would be more reasonable. Not sure about the poll watchers. Vote count also, Under B the judges shall meet the following day. Should be same day in Emmitsburg. Not sure we need watchers. We have election judges meant to be trusted but now we are going to watch them? Elections in small town are people you know. Commissioner Rosensteel: I wouldn't like someone watching me. Commissioner O'Neil: I don't think it's about trust, it's about people making mistakes, 1400 more people in town. Prevents animosity among candidates. Cross checking numbers. Commissioner Elder: recall should be 50%. Did good job on reports gathered. Commissioner O'Neil: 100 feet or 50 feet radius? All agreed on 100 feet. Commissioner O'Neil to Commissioner Elder, How do you feel about poll watchers? Commissioner Elder: Poll watcher fine. Board was split on the necessity for poll watchers. Mayor Hoover: I don't agree with poll watchers if there is an option for appeal, especially as small as we are. We don't need to micro-manage. 

Motion: Make recommendation to town staff to make a resolution without poll watchers and later change if we want, by an Amendment. More important to get these in place before next election. Draft an ordinance that would have requirements on distance, littering, appeal rights, etc. In First meeting of next month have this ready. Motion made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Walbrecker. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Replacement of Garage Doors

Mr. Haller said this is related to maintenance of Town maintenance shop located on East Main Street. The four major garage doors need replaced. Solicited a number of bids, but only got 2 bidders to respond. Requesting Board's approval of low bidder Advantage Garage Doors at a price of $6645. Would like to move forward as soon as possible. Commissioner Rosensteel stated she is aware that they do need replaced. Mr. Haller: Want windows, and insulated so that our equipment will start. Mayor Hoover: Spent a lot of money on heating the garage. Commissioner O'Neil: Where will money come from? Mr. Haller: Money comes from Public Works Department. 

to approve the new garage doors and take the bid from Advantage Garage Doors at a price of $6,645. Motion made by Joyce Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Elder. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Ordinance 04-16 - Signage in Village Zone

Mr. Lucas stated this is an ordinance to amend the sign ordinance. Sometime ago this Board took up consideration of a possible amendment to the sign ordinance specifically with regard to free standing signs in the village zone. That was then referred to the Planning Commission for a recommendation, the planning commission issued a recommendation to this Board that the text of that ordinance be amended. The recommendation was unanimous. (See Ordinance to Amend Title 15 of the Code of Emmitsburg Entitled Public Services). Mr. Lucas proceeded to read the changes as per ordinance.

PUBLIC COMMENTS - Lisa Elder 107 S. Seton Ave. Thanks to Commissioner Walbrecker and the P&Z commission for revisiting this issue Recommend approval with one change, would like 36" x 24" instead. Rather than 30 by 24. Would be greatly appreciated. Betsey Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd. - pass. Chris Price - Recommend that it should be 36 x 24 would blend in nicely with surroundings.

Commissioner O'Neil commented that he feels 36 x 24 seems like a standard size. Commissioner Walbrecker stated she would like to move forward with this amendment today. Mayor Hoover to staff, if Board considers the change, then it would have to go back to the Planning Commission. Mr Lucas said act on amendment tonight and if you want to make another amendment then submit another to the P & Z. Nothing says you can not make these changes tonight. Mr. Haller: You do not have to go back. You have P&Z recommendations you can make. Commissioner O'Neil commented that the larger sign will be easier to see when traveling by car. Mr. Lucas added that this is still use on review by the planning commission before a freestanding sign is allowed.
Motion: to amend Ordinance 04-16 to allow 36" x 24" sign accepting all components within the ordinance as prepared by planning and zoning. Motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commission Elder.

Discussion: Commissioner Walbrecker: six inches doesn't seem like much. Commissioner Rosensteel, was it ever approached to Planning and Zoning to make the sign bigger? Commissioner Walbrecker thought she recalled there was some discussion and asked Mr. Lucas why they didn't go with a larger size. Mr. Lucas did not recall any discussion about the larger size. Lisa Elder 107 S Seton Ave: I was at meeting and it was brought up. There was a discussion, I had requested it. Commissioner O'Neil-seems the ratio is a 2 to 3 ratio is standard. Vote: 4-0 in favor Mr. Lucas clarified that this does not have to come back to the Board, it has been amended, staff should prepare for signature.

Pembrook Woods - Release of Letter of Credit

Mr Lucas reported this is related to a request by Buckeye Development to release $36,000 of a LOC contained in a public works agreement for section II in Pembrook Woods. Specifically relates to public improvements; water, sewer, street lights, paving. The $36,000 represents 15% contingency which we hold for a certain period of time. Talked to Buckeye and their lawyers. They brought to our attention that Pembrook Woods received a reduction for these public improvement on January 28, 2004 and are not eligible for this reduction until January 2005. Therefore it requires no action from this Board tonight.

PUBLIC COMMENTS - Mark Gelwicks 3205 Stonehurst Ct. -biggest concern is when will community be dedicated? Mr. Haller: If everyone doesn't agree with public improvements it can't be dedicated, difficult question to answer. Mike Hoffman 2225 Pembrook Ct.- he also questioned when the streets would be dedicated.

Mr. O'Neil questioned if the Town can ticket and access fines and prevent people from parking on these streets, why then can't the Town plow the roads? Mr. Haller responded because the roads have never been found to be standard and then we expose ourselves to litigation or the position by the developer that damages were caused by town, therefore town would be responsible for repairs and bringing them to standard. Mr O'Neil would like to get legal opinion from Town attorney in regards to the authority of the town with regard to parking. If the town does not own roads then how can town give out tickets? If they are private roads then the developer is responsible to maintain them. Mayor Hoover: we will check with attorney. The Mayor also stated the Town does not own Main street or Seton Ave but we do have jurisdiction. Commissioner O'Neil continued to express his concerns on this issue.

Public Comments - None

Mayor Hoover reminded the Board with the passing of the ordinance the next meeting will be Monday October 18, the October 20 meeting has been cancelled.