I want thank everyone for the well wishes for my family following the passing of my mum Pauline. Jules and I, along with our boys, can’t tell you how much it has meant to us to receive your kind words and notes and flowers. I know this City has a real heart and we have felt and received the love you have offered to us during this difficult time. Thank you.
I also wanted to thank Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell-Charles. She stepped up to juggle her full time job and the job of acting mayor. Alderwoman, it gave me tremendous piece of mind while I was away and worried about so many other things.
Rental Property Inspections
I want to correct the record about how the City of Annapolis handles requests for inspections of not only Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) properties, but any licensed rental unit in the City. In the paper earlier this week, there was a story about a family that contacted the City for a re-inspection of their unit that had been previously inspected last fall and passed after remediation.
The resident called on Feb. 6 at a little after 2 p.m. Our ombudsman immediately phoned inspectors in the Department of Planning and Zoning for an inspection. It was too late for an inspection on that day, a Thursday. But, inspectors said they’d get to it on Friday, Feb. 7.
The inspection took place on Friday and they discovered the unit needed a follow up mold inspection. They called Servepro who came out to do air quality sampling on Monday. That takes 24 hours and the results were returned on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the unit was taken offline and the family relocated.
I want to tell this story to showcase that from the first phone call to the inspection was less than 24 hours. We had a weekend in there, but the family was relocated in about 3 business days from the original call to my office. I take this seriously. HACA properties are not owned by the city of Annapolis. We rely on those residents and residents of any licensed rental unit in the city, to contact us when there is a problem. I am asking Housing Authority residents to call the HACA central office and if you don’t get a response – please call my office – even if your unit was recently inspected.
Sometimes a unit can develop a problem, or sometimes the remediation of a problem doesn’t permanently resolve it. Call us. Our ombudsman is available at 410-263-7997.
OEM Open House
Director Kevin Simmons, of our Office of Emergency Management, reports that their Open House on Feb. 8, attended by groups and members of the community brought about 50 visitors to tour the facility. The attendees also got to participate in a simulated exercise where they assumed the roles of mayor, city manager, public safety chiefs and other Annapolis officials to experience the decision- making process during an emergency, disaster or crisis.
Chief Joseph S. Johnson Police Station Dedication
On Thursday, we got to name the Annapolis Police Station after retired Police Chief Joseph S. Johnson. There was a ribbon cutting at the station on Taylor Avenue and then a program and reception at Banneker-Douglass Museum.
Chief Johnson was the City’s first African American police chief and the naming of the station was an opportunity for our community to come out and celebrate him and the APD’s accomplishments.
Chief Johnson was responsible for more diverse hiring including women and minorities. He professionalized the force and his hiring came at a time of low morale among officers and racial tensions in the City.
At the ribbon cutting, current Annapolis Police Chief Edward C. Jackson made remarks about the path blazed by Chief Johnson. The program was recorded and will be shown on the City’s YouTube
channel and on City of Annapolis TV.
City Employee of the Month
Each month a group of City employees gather to review submissions for a deserving City of Annapolis employee. This month they selected Jamar Parker
, who works for Annapolis Transit. Parker's name was submitted by Markus Moore.
Here's what Moore wrote about "JP.":JP has been an Operations Supervisor with Annapolis Transportation since May 2012. He consistently performs at a level that is often hard to keep up with. JP is a fully-engaged, self-directed leader that others naturally gravitate to for assistance. He willingly takes on assignments and stays with the project until its completion.
One example of this is, our on-board bus camera surveillance system. JP worked closely with our MIT group and the camera vendor to get us back online. This required several hours of hands-on work of a technical sense with each of our buses. Additionally, he figured out how to reconnect our monitoring system in the dispatch office.
Prior to my arrival in December of 2015, JP was acting Operations Manager while still fulfilling the responsibilities and his schedule as shift supervisor.
It is with pleasure that I nominate Jamar Park for employee of the month.
As we move into the month of March 2020, we want residents to keep an eye out for their invitation to fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire. You can answer online, by mail or by phone.
It is vitally important that you complete your Census because a total population count means representation for all residents at the City, state and federal level as well as federal dollars for important things like roads, schools and hospitals. For more information, visit Census2020