Roxana Rodriguez started work as the city’s new Hispanic Community Services Specialist in October. Ms. Rodriguez will be an incredible addition to our staff because of her passion to serve our community, coupled with her work ethic and professional achievements. I hired a Hispanic Liaison in March of 2014, but the position has been vacant for the past year when the person left for another job. Ms. Rodriguez is the owner of Caliente Grill in Annapolis and is fluent in written and spoken English and Spanish, along with having an extensive knowledgeable of the public school system education and the opportunities for students’ achievements. The position is part time (20 hours a week) and will answer directly to the city manager. Responsibilities include assisting a growing Hispanic/Latino community through outreach efforts to the existing organizations, churches, businesses, and individuals. Ms. Rodriguez will coordinate communications between the groups and local government to address and meet the needs of the community.
The city’s new Harbormaster, Police Lieutenant Beth Mauk, reported for duty on Thursday, October 20th. The Harbormaster selection process involved a national search with a total of thirty-six applications from four states. The Harbormaster selection process involved a national search with a total of thirty-six applications from four states. We are delighted to get a person with such an impressive professional background that couples law enforcement and education. She will be a real asset and I am glad that she accepted the position.
Ms. Mauk’s professional experience includes numerous positions with the Maryland Natural Resources Police Department from October 1998 through March of 2016 as she moved up the ranks from Officer to Lieutenant. While working with the Natural Resources Police Department, Ms. Mauk supervised and administered operational activities for the Marine Maintenance Section and taught classes in Boating Law, Regulation, Citation and Warning Issuance. During the merger of the Maryland Natural Resources Police and the Maryland Forest and Park Service, she supervised the most demanding district in Maryland which included Sandy Point State Park and the Severn River. Her background also includes enforcing conservation, criminal, boating, and traffic law.
It’s time to Look up and Look Out, as part of a Pedestrian Safety Campaign targeted at both the motorist and the pedestrian. This month, I stood with the police department the Fire Department, and officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation in an effort to make both the driver and pedestrian “Look Up, Look Out” for each other. It is important that both the motorist and the pedestrian take equal responsibility for safety on Annapolis streets. This campaign is about saving lives and increasing awareness, creating a safer city for all who visit, live and work here. This new campaign utilizes media, enforcement, and education to increase awareness about pedestrian safety throughout the region. Statewide, more than 100 pedestrians are killed as a result of a crash, and nearly 2,500 more are injured annually. During the years of 2013 through 2015, Annapolis reported 114 pedestrian related crashes, which includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and mopeds with 28 crashes occurring in a marked crosswalk. In 40 of the 114 crashes the pedestrian, cyclist, or moped was at fault, not the motorist.
The Look Up, Look Out campaign will play a key role in Governor Hogan’s goal of zero deaths on state roadways. For more information on Maryland’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, please visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com. (Picture is attributed to Matthew Cole, Capital Gazette Newspaper)
Annapolis Maritime Museum (AMM) signed a long term lease with the City of Annapolis to take over Park management of the Ellen O. Moyer Back Nature Park at Back Creek. The 20 year lease will allow AMM to revitalize the park and renovate the historic Waterworks building. The Annapolis Maritime Museum has demonstrated excellent stewardship of City Property in the past and I am confident that locals as well as visitors will benefit from this agreement, allowing professional ongoing environmental education. Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park at Back Creek, formerly Back Creek Nature Park (BCNP), was created in 1990 under Program Open Space. This 12-acre urban ecology park offers public access to the water, nature trails, and 19 interactive storm water education stations that feature informational storyboards depicting points of environmental interests. Natural resources throughout the Park make it an excellent classroom. However, BCNP has sat largely unused and the Park is significantly underutilized and is in a severely deteriorated state. The Annapolis Maritime Museum’s immediate goal is to bring the Park’s faded environmental exhibit areas back to life, incorporating them as an active part of the Museum’s education programs and as a living exhibit attracting the public in general. Since 2007 the Annapolis Maritime Museum has connected students to the Chesapeake Bay, teaching them to value the threatened national treasure and today more than 30,000 students have participated in an AMM’s outdoor environmental education programs. Above is a picture of me signing the lease with Annapolis Maritime Museum Executive Director Alice Estrada and Board Chair Eric Rubin.
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland honored the City of Annapolis as one of 14 Maryland municipalities for its attention to environmental sustainability. Annapolis was honored for being one of the first municipalities to become a Sustainable Maryland Certified City in 2013 and was showcased for being re-certified again this year. I have seen how this certification benefits the city by measuring us against a statewide standard. This award is an indicator that our city is a model for others to follow and I am proud of the work that we have done.
To achieve certification, municipalities are required to form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials; complete a variety sustainability-related Actions worth a total of at least 150 points (including two mandatory actions and two of six priority actions), and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied. Annapolis had 430 points. To read more, go to http://bit.ly/2dTts5V
This is me with Annapolis Conservancy Chair Karen Jennings and Bay Village Assisted Living Partners Co-Developer and Executive Director John Degen looking at the property that will be cleaned up and protected for furture generations. We announced the first conservation easement in Annapolis since 2003!
The conservation easement will be put on one half of the property where Bay Village Assistant Living will be developed. Once the project is completed, the easement will encompass three acres of forest and include a small wetland area on the site. I am grateful to the Annapolis Conservancy Board and to the applicant for creating a process that combined considerable outreach to the community and for gaining valuable input from the residents. The effort is about reclaiming a dump area so it can be improved and preserved as a natural resource. The Annapolis Conservancy Board, Bay Village Assisted Living representatives, local environmentalists, and project supporters were at the planned construction site where hundreds of tires have been illegally dumped along with other debris. Bay Village developers and the Annapolis Conservancy have been working with the city and community members to develop a substantive conservation easement to protect three acres from any future development, which will include removing the tires and debris, restoring the non-tidal wetland. City staff worked with the applicant to take additional measures to preserve more environmental features than originally submitted. “We met with community members, City leaders and City staff several times, and identified a clear, protective path forward, said John Degen, Bay Village Assisted Living Partners, Co-Developer and Executive Director.
“Our site plan met the Forest Conservation Act requirements for the entire 10-acre development, not just our 6.3-acre parcel. We met all these requirements on site and when this project is completed we will have preserved 2.54 acres of forest, added another 0.47 acres through reforestation, and planted another 0.92 acres of trees and canopy along the public right-of-ways.”
I was thrilled to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre by presenting them a citation at a recent City Council meeting. Here is the Citation as presented: "The City Council is pleased to confer upon you this CITY COUNCIL CITATION in recognition of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s contributions to the arts, entertainment and quality of life in the City of Annapolis. We acknowledge that since its inception in 1966, the Summer Garden Theatre was a true community project that helped revitalize Annapolis' historic waterfront and the conversion of 143 Compromise Street to a community theatre restored a historic landmark, fostered a cultural center at “Olde Town Harbour”, and inaugurated Annapolis’ first summertime theatre. For five decades, with the help of an ever-evolving corps of volunteers, the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has entertained the greater Annapolis community with live musical theatre, drawing several thousand locals and visitors to the City Dock every summer. We applaud the theatre for its ongoing contributions to boost the local economy, engage thousands of residents in volunteer service, and enrich the cultural fabric of Annapolis and we honor you tonight on your 50th Anniversary in 2016! Given Under Our Hands and the Great Seal of the City of Annapolis this 24th day of October, 2016."
The City Job Fair in October was a huge success with hundreds if job seekers showing up to talk to the 47 employees were available to receive resumes and talk to the hundres that showed up at the Pip Moyer Recreaton center on October 19th. I was impressed with the diverse group of employers that included NSA, Anne Arundel Medical Center, contracting companies, and hotels… all here there to support our community. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Anne Arundel County Workforce Development Corporation and to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations for sponsoring the event and working with the city to make Annapolis great Workforce Development Corporation. Pictured at event with me include Lt. Zapata, Tira Kimbo and Ward Three Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles.