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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Remove "call up" From Zoning Rewrite

Due diligence is required by the RESIDENTS OF PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY.

I have learned that the County in its rewriting process has sneaked in a practice that was deemed inappropriate following the Jack Johnson administration. It was called "CALL UP." Thank you Tracy Loh.

This practice allowed the County Council sitting as the District Council, could arbitrarily pull any Planning Board decision and hold it indefinitely for review or even strike it down. This practice was considered illegal. NOW, in this new zoning rewrite "call up" has been added back in a "County Council member.
PROTEST this. Demand that your County Council members remove that from the new document. It was bad back then and it is BAD NOW.

Want more information? Please click on this link and read it for yourself. Then contact the Prince George's County Council and tell them that their CONSTITUENTS do not want that practice reinstated. They are ALL CAMPAIGNING FOR RE-ELECTION. Now is the time to MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD. Don't get duped AGAIN. Comment on the Zoning Rewrite. It is your RIGHT TO DO SO.


https://ggwash.org/view/65689/a-dubious-public-process-is-sneaking-back-into-prince-georges-county

Friday, November 10, 2017

MARK YOUR CALENDARA

A few ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. No Recycling today because of Veterans Day tomorrow. City offices are closed. Police officers are on duty. Please call 301-985-6565 if you have a police emergency and need an officer to respond.
2. Veterans Day Champagne Brunch with WAFFLES Saturday, November 11, 2017, 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. City of Mount Rainier Police Department , 3249 Rhode Island Ave, Mt Rainier, MD 20712
3. There will be an Open House for the newly renovated Singer Building (Singer's Flats) on Thursday, November 16, 2017 for those interested in seeing what has been done at that location. (NOTE: Not fully ready for leasing waiting on gas, electric and water hookups, but ready for renters to sign up --
first come first serve) This project is being done by The Menkiti Group.
4. Collection for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets is in full swing. Drop off can goods and non-perishable at the City of Mount Rainier police Department , 3249 Rhode Island Ave, Mt A few Rainier, MD 20712.
5. 23rd Mount Rainier Craft Fair is December 2, 2017 hosted at Joe's Movement Emporium,3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt Rainier, MD 20712 starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Veterans Day Champagne Brunch, November 11, 2017

KNOW ANY VETERANS IN MOUNT RAINIER? Please send me their names and contact information OR pass on the word -- Veterans' Day Champagne Brunch is November 11, 2017, City of Mount Rainier Police Department, 3249 Rhode Island Ave, Mt Rainier, MD 20712, 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.


ALL MOUNT RAINIER'S VETERANS and ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL are invited.

If you are on FACEBOOK, please RSVP on the event calendar or send me an email -- mayormiles@gmail.com.

If you are a Mount Rainier Veteran, I look forward to seeing you at this event.

P.S. Spouses are welcome. ALSO, please RSVP so that I may order enough food. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Mayor's Halloween Bash in Photos

Thank you MRTV for capturing so many good photos of the Halloween BASH!  Please click on this link to enjoy the photos.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/153139635@N03/albums/72157687862225411

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Donation, financial and physical support NEEDED for upcoming holiday season. NO GIFT to small. Whatever you give will go to someone in need. Our window to help is short, and there is a lot of need in our community. Whatever YOU do to help WILL make a difference! Email me if you need more information or would like to donate. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I strongly believe that community events are good for a community.  It builds memories for the children, residents and visitors.  The following events are planned again for this year, and they are for the community – all ages, sizes, races, ethnic groups, religions, sexual preferences, family and friends.

The more often we come together in large small and large groups, the better we will understand each other or at least get to know each other.  I INVITE YOUR ATTENDANCE; ASK FOR YOUR HELP and SUPPORT; and LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR PARTICIPATION!

On October 31 -- The Halloween Bash -- Trick or Treaters invited -- the Bash starts at 6:00 pm and ends at 8:00 pm.

November 11 -- Veterans in Mount Rainier are appreciated -- brunch from 11:30 am until 1:30 p.m. Time to network, meet someone new and show our appreciation. ARE YOU A VET or DO YOU KNOW A VET LIVING IN MOUNT RAINIER? Call 301-985-6585 and give us their name.

November 21 - Thanksgiving Baskets donated to families I NEED CAN GOODS, TURKEYS, HAMS, CHICKENS, and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner for our families in need.

December19 --Christmas Baskets donated to families I NEED CAN GOODS, TURKEYS, HAMS, CHICKENS, and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner for our families in need.

Mount Rainier is a community that believes in helping each other to survive. Please help make the upcoming holiday season special for our neighbors and seniors.

You may drop off can goods, nonperishables to Mount Rainier Police Station.

LAST YEAR, you helped to provide 155 Thanksgiving Baskets and another 155 Christmas Baskets. WILL YOU HELP TO DO IT AGAIN? The schools are putting their list of families together NOW.

If you know a family that NEEDS Thanksgiving or Christmas joy, emails me at mayormiles@gmail.com.

THANK YOU in advance, and I look to seeing many of you over the next two months. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools Calendar for Holiday Closings
November 22-24
Wednesday - Friday
Holidays – Thanksgiving – Schools and Offices Closed
December 25-29
Monday - Friday
Winter Break & Christmas Holiday – Schools and Offices Closed
January 1
Monday
Winter Break – New Year’s Holiday – Schools and Offices Closed

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Free HALLOWEEN COSTUMES and MAKE UP KITS

IT"S Halloween time, and TIME FOR THE MAYOR'S Halloween Bash on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017 from 6:00 p.m until 8:00 p.m.!

This year the MAYOR is giving away Halloween COSTUMES sizes small (about 16) medium (about 20) and large (about four). FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. The Mayor will be giving the costumes away on FRIDAYS, October 27, 2017 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. until they are GONE! 4517 30th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712. NO PHONE CALLS -- PLEASE.

Other HALLOWEEN items (spiders, and makeup kits) will also be given away.
PICK UP YOUR COSTUME and WEAR IT TO THE MAYOR'S BASH for a SPECIAL TREAT.


Here are a few of the costumes (all are new and never worn) along with the makeup kits.







Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Mount Rainier's Mayor and Council Agenda 10/3/2017

I am posting tonight's agenda a bit late, but hope that it is in time for you to decide to come out and join us in POTTS HALL. Remember, the meeting will not be broadcast live from POTTS HALL, but will be streamed live on FACEBOOK. We are working to fix this problem, and look forward to using POTTS HALL more frequently.

Agenda of the Legislative Meeting of the
Mayor and City Council
City of Mount Rainier

TUESDAY October 3rd, 2017, 7:00 P.M.

Call to Order / Pledge of Allegiance
Additions to the Agenda

The Mayor and Council review the agenda for the meeting adding or deleting topics of interest or discussion.
Mayor and Councilmember Announcements

3200 Rhode Island Park Presentation

A presentation will be given on the pop-up park and public art activities planned for the 3200 Rhode Island Ave temporary space.

Public Comment

Please see page 2 of agenda, where the rules for Public Comment are listed. If you wish to speak, please sign up on the sign-in sheet with the City Manager.

OLD BUSINESS

Council Rules Review

The Mayor and Council will discuss a written set of rules which outlines a variety of topics including but not limited to: decorum at meetings, when agendas are published, agenda and meeting organization.

Council Committee Assignment Review

The Mayor and Council will review the list of committees and who is assigned as Council liaison to which committee.

Review of Rolling Agenda

The Mayor and City Council will review the rolling agenda. The rolling agenda is a list of topics of interest that the Council may consider in the future.

NEW BUSINESS

Ordinance 06-2017 Budget Amendment #1 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget (1st Reading)

The Mayor and City Council will read into the record an Ordinance reallocating and moving funds between line items in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget (current fiscal year). Ordinances must be read into the record during a legislative meeting before they can be voted on. The vote on this piece of legislation will take place at the next legislative meeting, unless the legislation is delayed or postponed by the Mayor and Council. A flat line ____ next to a listed piece of legislation indicates that the item is up for vote and the line allows for a space to record the vote made.

Ordinance 07-2017 FY17 Update to Amend Chapter 12, Fences (1st Reading)

The Mayor and City Council will read into the record an Ordinance amending Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Mount Rainier. The amendment will allow for clarification in the existing fence law The Code of Ordinances is a set of laws that governs the City. Ordinances must be read into the record during a legislative meeting before they can be voted on. The vote on this piece of legislation will take place at the next legislative meeting, unless the legislation is delayed or postponed by the Mayor and Council. A flat line ____ next to a listed piece of legislation indicates that the item is up for vote and the line allows for a space to record the vote made.

Resolution 10-2017 Nominations to the Recreation Committee
___________

Three residents have expressed interest in joining the committee and ask to be formally named to the committee via resolution. The resolution was discussed at the September 19th Worksession. Resolutions must be discussed at a worksession before they can be voted on. The line above indicates a space to record the vote.
Resolution 11-2017 In Support of TPS and DACA Federal Programs
___________

Councilmember Benitez will present a resolution for vote for the support of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) federal program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) federal program. The resolution was discussed at the September 19th Worksession. Resolutions must be discussed at a worksession before they can be voted on. The line above indicates a space to record the vote.

Report of the City Manager

Adjournment ___________

Rules for Public Comment
The Mayor and City Council invite and welcome comments at public meetings. The Mayor or presiding officer will recognize you. Please introduce yourself at the podium (spelling your last name, for recording purposes) and give the name of your street and block number (e.g., 4300 block of 34th St.). Public Comment has a time limit of 3 minutes per speaker, unless otherwise agreed upon by Mayor and Council.

While speaking, please maintain a courteous tone and avoid personal attacks.
If you wish to lodge a complaint about the performance or conduct of any City employee, please bring your concern to the attention of the City Manager, who will look into the matter and respond to you.
As a courtesy to other residents and businesses, the Council requests that speakers not use specific addresses or names of individuals when describing a situation or making a complaint. Noting the block is preferred over a specific address.

Code enforcement and public safety issues should first be brought to the attention of the appropriate department and/or one of your Council members.

Please Note:


Pursuant to the Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article Section 10-508(a), the Council by majority vote may retire to executive or closed session at any time during the meeting. Should the Council retire to executive or closed session; the chair will announce the reasons and a report will be issued at a future meeting disclosing the reasons for such session.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

October 1, 2017 THERE are some NEW Maryland Laws GOING INTO Effect

Ignorance of the law is NO EXCUSE! Lots of new laws going into effect on October 1, 2017. The following will point you in the right direction:

By Capital News Service staff and MarylandReporter.com
The following laws approved by the Maryland General Assembly this year go into effect on Sunday Oct. 1, 2017. The list contains bill numbers and links to the legislation and legislative history.

PUBLIC HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT:
Ban on fracking: After a two-year moratorium, the state will prohibit the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the production of oil or natural gas. (HB1325)
Antibiotics for livestock: In response to worries about antibiotic effectiveness, Maryland has become the second state to ban the routine administration of antibiotics to cattle, swine and poultry. (SB422/HB602)

AIDS/HIV: Repeals an education program on AIDS for those convicted of drug or sex-related crimes. (HB445/SB185) Requires state health department to establish requirements for prenatal HIV testing. (HB518)

Attention Deficit Disorder: The Department of Health will be required to identify up-to-date, evidence-based, written information that relates to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD) and post printable information on the department’s website that may be accessed by healthcare practitioners engaged in treating the disorder. (HB184)

Plastic labeling: Prohibits the sale of plastic products labeled as compostable, decomposable or biodegradable, unless the product meets certain standards. (HB1349)

Mercury: Prohibits, with penalties to be determined by the Department of the Environment, a marketer from knowingly selling electric switches, relays and gas valve switches that contain mercury. (SB0713/HB0504)

Drug price-gouging: Manufacturers and wholesale distributors are prohibited from “price gouging” in the sale of an “essential generic drug,” and the state attorney general may sue companies that do not comply. Drug companies sued the state over the summer and a decision is pending. (SB0415/HB0631)
Crab meat: Repeals outdated state requirements to match newer federal guidelines regarding the storage of crab meat. (SB128/HB524)

ADDICTION:
Parental consent: Authorizes parents or guardians to apply, on behalf of minors, for certified inpatient or intensive outpatient alcohol or drug abuse treatment programs. (SB0433/HB1093)

Support during recovery: Repeals previous law that subjected those convicted of felonies involving controlled dangerous substances, who apply for food stamps and temporary cash assistance, to testing, treatment and sanction requirements. (SB0853/HB0860)

ETHICS:
Public Integrity Act: The state’s first ethics bill passed in over a decade mandates that lawmakers disclose any conflicts of interest and limits their advocacy for private businesses. (HB879)

CRIME:
Marijuana expungement: A person has to file a petition for expungement if the person was convicted of marijuana possession. (SB949/HB1362)
Justice Reinvestment Act: Seeks to reduce Maryland’s prison population by requiring the Division of Parole and Probation to conduct risk assessments on inmates and aims to reduce recidivism with plans for inmates’ rehabilitation. Reduces incarceration for certain nonviolent crimes. Increases penalties for gang offenses. (SB1005/HB1312)

Homicides while impaired: Imprisonment increases from three to five years for people who kill others while operating a car or boat under the influence of a controlled substance. (SB229/HB635)

Police and human trafficking: Requires specific police training about victims of human trafficking, including services, support and appropriate treatment. (HB1279)

Amber’s Law: Permits victims of domestic abuse to request that the offender use electronic monitoring devices to track their location and provide alerts. Allows victims to request protections. (HB1163/SB0976)

Home invasion: Classifies home invasion as a crime of violence. (HB906)

Solicitation to commit murder or arson: Increases the statute of limitations to three years for solicitation — urging, advising or inciting another person — to commit murder or arson in the first or second degree. (HB653/SB387)

SEXUAL ASSAULT:
Rape kits: Requires a hospital or child advocacy center to give rape kits to police within 30 days of the victim’s exam. Prohibits police from destroying or disposing of sexual assault evidence within 20 years of collection. (SB349/HB255)

Physical resistance: Evidence of physical resistance by a victim is not required to prove a sexual crime happened. (SB217/HB429)

Reclassifying sex offenses: Sexual offenses in the first and second degree are reclassified as rape in the first and second degree. (SB944/HB647)

Sex offenders: A registered sex offender will have at least 21 days, instead of three, to notify local police before leaving to work in a foreign country. (HB521)
CHILD ABUSE:

Extending deadline for abuse lawsuits: Sponsored by Del. C. T. Wilson, an abuse survivor, the new law extends the deadline for victims of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against alleged attackers from age 25 to age 38. (HB642/SB505).

Broadening definition of abuse: Alters the definition of “abuse” as the intended physical or mental injury of a child by a person who exercises circumstantial authority over the child. (HB1263/SB996)

ANIMALS:
Reporting animal cruelty: Requires veterinarians who have reason to believe that an animal has been subjected to cruelty or violence report the activity to police. (HB1463)

Kennel licensing: Owners of six or more unspayed female dogs over the age of 6 months or who sell dogs from six or more litters in a year must obtain a kennel license. (HB334/SB573)

BUSINESS:
E-cigarette licensing: Creates a standard for licensing the manufacture, warehousing and sale of e-cigarettes and their accessories. (SB 119/HB 523)
Food desert loans: Authorizes the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide small loans ($50,000 or less) for food desert projects, which aim to increase access to affordable, fresh food in low-income neighborhoods. (HB 1492)

Accidental personal injury compensation: The maximum fine for an employer who fails to report an accidental personal injury within the required time increases from $50 to $500; the penalty will only apply in cases when the employer knowingly fails to report an injury. (SB 867/HB 1476)

VEHICLE LAWS:
‘Coal rolling’ emissions: Prohibits diesel-powered vehicles from releasing visible clouds of smoke, or exhaust emissions, onto another person or vehicle with a $500 maximum fine. “Coal rolling” is the practice of removing emission-controlling parts of the engine to emit extra smoke, oftentimes for entertainment or anti-environmental purposes. (HB11)


Lane use: Allows tow trucks to drive in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, regardless of the number of passengers, to respond to a service call. (HB889)

Friday, September 22, 2017

KEVIN KAMENTEZ, BALTIMORE COUNTY EXECUTIVE VISITING Mount Rainier for the SECOND TIME!

YOU are invited to a MEET AND GREET
FOR
KEVIN KAMENTEZ, BALTIMORE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
THE MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ
3237 Rhode Island Avenue
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
September 23, 2017
THIS EVENT STARTS AT 12:30 A.M.
Refreshments will be available
MINGLING AND NETWORKING ENCOURAGED!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DRAFT AGENDA MOUNT RAINIER'S MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION

DRAFT AGENDA
MOUNT RAINIER'S MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION
Tuesday September 19, 2017
Potts Hall
7:00pm

Review and approval of Agenda/Review of Rolling Agenda

The Mayor and Council review the agenda for the meeting and review the rolling agenda adding or deleting topics of interest or discussion.

Mayor and Council Announcements

Items for discussion

Council Committee Assignments

Traffic Flow for Perry Street
Police Chief Scott will present an update to the community on the traffic flow problem on Perry Street. Chief Scott recently talked with the City of Brentwood to help find a remedy to the problem.

Budget Amendment #1 Discussion
The City Manager will present a list of items for discussion for possible funding in the current budget. The items on the list are not currently budgeted for.
Trash and Recycling Proposal
The Director of Public Works will be present to discuss current trash collection in the City and options to improve containers and pickup.

Kaywood Presentation
Discussion will continue on the Kaywood Theater Project. Presenters plan to discuss the following three aspects of the project: 1. Governance, 2. Initial Multi-year Operating Plan, 3. Business Plan. Presenters: Matt White, Sutton Hoo Studios and company

Economic Development Incentives Discussion
The Director of Economic Development will be present to discuss proposed Economic Development Incentives in the City of Mount Rainier.

Temporary Dog Park on 3200 Rhode Island Ave Update
The Director of Economic Development will provide an update on the temporary Dog Park at the 3200 Rhode Island Ave location.

Resolution – Temporary Protected Status
Councilmember Benitez will present a proposed resolution for the support of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) federal program.

Resolution – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Councilmember Benitez will present a proposed resolution for the support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) federal program.

Nominations for the Recreation Committee
Three residents have expressed interest in joining the committee and ask to be formally named to the committee via resolution.

Council Rules Review

The Mayor and Council will discuss a written set of rules which outlines a variety of topics including but not limited to: decorum at meetings, when agendas are published, agenda and meeting organization.

Update of Fence Ordinance
Councilmember Knedler proposes an update to the existing fence ordinance to clarify when a permit is needed.

Homestead Tax Credit Letter
A list has been requested from Prince George’s County of residents who qualify for the Homestead Tax Credit. Discussion on how to reach out to these residents will be held.


Adjournment

Coming to Mount Rainier September 23, 2017 -- Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D)

Come MEET Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D) at Mediterrean Cafe, Rhode Island Avenue, September 23, 2017.  He should be arriving in the City a little after 11:00 a.m.  Light refreshments will be served.

Kevin Kamenetz may be on the Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot next June. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post) By Bill Turque June 12

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D), who is crisscrossing the state in his role as president of the Maryland Association of Counties, says it will likely be after Labor Day before he decides whether to run for governor in 2018.
“Right now, we’re all focused on keeping our kids busy,” Kamenetz, who has two teenagers at home, said Monday after meeting with members of the Montgomery County Council in Rockville.

But with the Democratic gubernatorial primary just over a year away (June 26, 2018), it’s clear that Kamenetz, 52, who is barred from seeking a third term as executive, is plenty focused on politics.

He organized to finish a surprising second to a prospective rival, Rep. John Delaney, in a late April gubernatorial straw poll of Democrats in western Maryland, where he is not well known.

And in the interview Monday, he called incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan “a caretaker” who has not articulated a long-term vision for the state and said he believes Democrats can retake the governor’s mansion next year.
“This is still a Democratic state,” Kamenetz said, citing the large majorities that have voted for former senator Barbara Mikulski, Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “Governor Hogan’s election in 2014 was more about the Democrats’ failure to turn out as opposed to the Republic brand somehow growing.”

In an email, Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said the governor’s office “doesn’t pay much attention to partisan rhetoric and politics. The governor is focused on getting things done for Maryland, like creating 100,000 jobs over the past two years and building roads and bridges across the state.”

In addition to Delaney, other likely or declared Democratic candidates include Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former attorney general Doug Gansler, former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (Montgomery), tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and lawyer James L. Shea.


Since mid-April, Kamenetz has met with elected officials in Baltimore City and Calvert, Frederick and St. Mary’s counties as part of his work for the Maryland Association of Counties, a nonpartisan group that advocates in Annapolis for legislation sought by local governments.

Value of Maryland Municipal League's conferences and conventions

Some would have you believe that the Maryland Municipal League's conferences and conventions are a waste of time.

I ask where else can municipal elected officials go to learn how to do their jobs and do them well?

I go to these conferences and conventions and wish that like other municipality, I could attend others outside of the State like the National League of Cities, but know that our small City cannot afford the membership cost or the other associated expenses.

For the record, the Fall Conference of MML will be held in Rockville, MD and I will be attending. Here is what is being offered to attendees:
The Maryland Municipal League Fall Conference will be held in Rockville, MD October 11-14. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend nine workshops, including three Academy for Excellence in Local Governance core classes and several Academy electives.

Fall Conference 2017 Core Classes
Public Information Act
Structure of Government
Consensus & Team Building

Other topics that will be addressed are medical cannabis/opioid, emerging trends in municipal government and affordable housing best practices. Classes that qualify for Academy elective credit will be posted on the MML website, as soon as they are confirmed. A full schedule is listed on the League's Fall Conference webpage.

In addition, the League will adopt its legislative agenda and on Thursday, Oct. 12, the following bodies will hold meetings: MML Board of Directors, Maryland Mayors Association, Chapter Presidents and DVPs, and the MML Legislative Committee.

Remember, even a one-day registration to Fall Conference keeps your town in contention for the 2018 Banner City/Town designation. Being a Banner City/Town signals that members of your town are taking advantage of the League's primary benefits. In other words, ensuring that your membership pays!
Many companies across America afford their employees to take classes, attend workshops, and otherwise improve their skills for their jobs. Some actually require CEUs to retain their jobs.


Shaking my head that residents would be upset that its Mayor and Council attend events to enhance and retain their skills!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

MULTI-CULTURAL FREE FAMILY EVENT

MULTI-CULTURAL FREE FAMILY EVENT
Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center

SATURDAY, SEPT. 9

FROM 1PM-6PM TODAY!

It is a beautiful day outside and if you are looking for an outside, activity, this may be just the activity for you. 

The Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center would like to invite city leaders and residents of the community to 6th annual Multicultural Festival/Health Fair on Saturday, September 9th, 2017, 1-6pm.

Bernadine Sandy
Facility Director
Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center

INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND CRAFTS FOR SALE
LIVE INTERNATIONALPERFORMANCES

SCHOOL SUPPLY GIVE-AWAY

The Mayor’s City Chat, Volume 2

Introduction
This is the second volume of The Mayor’s City Chat.  The Mayor's City Chat can be found on the Web at “From the desk of the Mayor”, “The Mayor's Facebook Page”, and some items discussed here can be found in “The Message.”  The goal of The Mayor’s City Chat is to start a conversation with residents about City business, to generate a two-way dialogue between the residents and the Mayor, and to inform residents of issues and projects in the City.

No solution is perfect, but the goal is to continue to try.  THIS ISSUE is loaded, and still, a lot was omitted, e.g., opportunities to serve on City committees, commissions and boards.  Some items will remain on the report while others will fall off once they are completed.  My email is still the best, fastest, and quickest way to reach me for a response.

Just in case you cannot open the document, I will always post it in my email.  Please share, and submit or ask residents to submit their emails, if they wish to be included on the distribution list.

To receive a copy of The Mayor’s City Chat, please send your email address to mayormiles@gmail.com.  You may also direct questions, suggestions, and concerns to this email address as well as volunteer for projects, committees, etc.  A response will be provided.  

Mount Rainier’s Municipal Form of Government
Mount Rainier has a Mayor and Council-Manager form of government.  In this form of municipal government, the mayor in the council-manager form of government is the symbolic head of the city. In reality, the mayor is a first among equals on the City Council. The mayor must use influence more than the official power to drive the city’s policy agenda.

The City Council under the mayor’s leadership is the legislative body of the city while the city manager is the executive. The City Council hires the manager to implement the laws and policies it adopts. The manager directs the staff in carrying out the city’s day-to-day operations. The manager also serves as the council’s top policy advisor.

When the city manager needs to communicate critical information to the City Council, the mayor (should be) is the first person the manager contacts. From there, the manager may contact the other council members, or the mayor may disseminate the information. It depends on the relationships between the mayor, manager and council members. Examples of critical information may include an officer-involved shooting, a department head’s resignation, rumors of an imminent lawsuit against the City or a workplace safety accident.

Mount Rainier’s Mayor and Council meets on the first (1st) and third (3rd) Tuesdays of each month.  Special meetings may be called by the Mayor or by three (3) Council members.

All meetings of the Mayor and Council must be posted.  Twenty-four (24) hours’ notice must be given for each meeting unless there is a financial emergency and that meeting must be reported out at the very next meeting of the Council.

No three (3) members of the Council may meet without prior notice.  However, all members of the Council may meet at public functions where no City business is being discussed.

It takes three (3) votes to pass any legislation of the Mayor and Council.  The Mayor gets one (1) vote and does not have veto power.

The Mayor and Council has one (1) employee.  All other City employees report to the City Manager.

Mayor and Council follow Robert’s Rules of Order and has its own set of Council Rules and procedures for conducting City business.

Mayor and Council Returns from Recess
At its first meeting since July 2017 recess, Mayor and Council returned to a full agenda.  Although there were only four items on the agenda by staff request, the meeting went until 10:10 p.m. and was well attended by presenters and residents interested in the four topics listed below.

Stephen Shaff presented a proposal to the Mayor and Council to use the historic Potts building as an economic development tool.

Sutton Hoo Productions presented a project to renovate and put back into use the Kaywood Theater that has several lives since opening years ago.

Mount Rainier's City staff proffered a proposal to offer up to $1.4 million in cash, loan, and other incentives to help businesses come to Mount Rainier, help businesses that are already here, and to encourage employment of Mount Rainier residents.

Landex Development: A Leader in Community and Residential Real Estate Development was unable to attend the meeting, but sent a proposal for Mayor and Council to consider for the 3100 Block of Rhode Island Avenue.

Full copies of the presentations may be requested from City Hall, 301-9856585.

These issues will be discussed at the next Mayor and Council work session on the third Tuesday in September (September 19, 2017) at 7:00 p.m.

All Mount Residents are invited to the work session and may be asked to comment on each issue coming before the Mayor and Council.

Please check the City’s website and other social media outlets for items on the agenda.

Activities since last Mayor’s City Chat
Our police department continued to work with Prince George’s County to investigate carjacking, homicide, attempted ATM robbery at the 711 and stabbing on Bunker Hill Road.  These incidents have caused concern for crime rising in our community.  Although these are critical and scary incidents and may have reminded some of us of days passed.  Mount Rainier has not become a “crime infested” City.  Our police department is stronger than before, and residents are safer and more proactive.  If you see something, say something and call 301-985-6565. 

Perry Street traffic continues to be on the top front of residents in Ward One.  During the election, candidates, voters, and current elected officials noted the volume of traffic on Perry as well as the speed of some of the cars.  Chief Michael Scott has been working on this issue and seeking solutions and partnership with the Town of Brentwood.  

Community Block Watch has come up again as a major concern of some residents and efforts are being made to reimplement this program in those areas that are interested in having them.  Our police department representatives are available to help residents get a block watch program started in their area.  Please contact Chief Michael Scott to get this program started in your neighborhood.  Chief Scott may be reached at 301-985-6590. 

Noise complaints continue to be an issue in some areas of the City.  If you are going to have a party or noise that is more than 50 feet from its origination, YOU need a noise permit.  The noise permit allows noise from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.  Should your noise disturb the peace even with a permit, our police officer may determine that your activity or event should be stopped.  You are responsible for your guests and should make sure that they do not disturb your neighbors, trespass on their property or become a public nuisance.

The Associated Churches for Community Service (ACCS) has not met or raised the necessary funds to support residents during the coming winter months.  However, Buffalo Baptist joined with me to make a financial contribution to Thomas Stone Elementary and Mount Rainier Elementary to help students that may need school supplies, uniforms, or other essentials.  Buffalo Baptist has also agreed to work with me to provide another financial contribution later in the year to purchase essentials (underclothes for Kindergarteners and First Graders).

Residents on Otis Street approached the Mayor and Council to address several issues in the business area.  One of the residents and I met with one of the business owners to discuss remedies and to build relationships that will allow both to coexist.  A review of the area showed that the City should set aside funds to address other issues, e.g., resurfacing of the City’s alley behind the businesses; code enforcement need to visit the area and work with the owners to clean up the alley, and businesses should put their business names and street number on the back of their businesses so that they can be identified.

Worked closely with Maryland Department of Agriculture to gather information to inform residents of the unscheduled spraying of mosquitoes in the Mount Area on September 7, 2017, without proper notice to Mayor and Council, and to residents.  Efforts resulted in notification to residents, an established relationship with Maryland Department of Agriculture and a communications method put in place for State departments to better notify municipalities of their activities and events, i.e., the State departments will work with Maryland Municipal League (MML) and Maryland Association of Counties (MACos) to get the word out to municipalities.

Continued working on the renovation of the Bike Coop.  Gutters cleaned and tree limbs cut by Mr. Kevin Kamali’s staff in Public Works.  Tonie George with the Carpenter’s Union continued to bring resources to the table to help with the renovation, and the volunteers at the Bike Coop continue to make minor repairs, work on bikes, and teacher interested residents on how to fix their bikes.

As a member of the Maryland Municipal League’s (MML) Board of Directors (BOD) and Secretary of the League’s executive committee, I attended a three-day retreat in Frederick, MD.  The purpose of the retreat was to set the League’s agenda for 2018 and to acquaint the BOD with services and programs offered by the League as well as identify municipal issues for the coming year that the League should pursue.

As the appointed liaison to the Outreach and Engagement Committee of the League, I attended their first meeting in Annapolis.  The goal is to work toward getting greater participation of the elected municipal leaders engaged in the League, encourage participation in municipal month (November), and to get students and teachers to learn more about municipal government by writing essays during the “If I Were Mayor Contest.

Traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina following the MML’s Board of Directors meeting and was honored as one of the Historic Black Colleges and Universities Living Legend along with thirty-one (31) other HBCU graduates.  Other honorees from Saint Augustine’s University included George Williams from Saint Augustine's University, and Dr. Brian Hemphill president of Radford University.  For more information copy and paste this link into your browser http://www.hbculivinglegends.com/2017-Living-Legends-Honorees.html.

Responded to hundreds of emails on various topics, posted notices and information on various social media, issued proclamation regarding Mount Rainier’s support for Charlottesville, VA, and engaged in impromptu meetings with neighbors and residents on various issues and topics such as speed humps, speeding, stop signs, using Potts Hall for events, etc.

Rainier Manor II is taking applications for its 57 new units.  If you are interested or looking for a place to live in Mount Rainier, this just may be the place for you.  Thanks, Charmaine Jefferson for providing me a tour of the new housing units in Mount Rainier.

Met briefly with the new Parent Liaison at Thomas Stone Elementary.  Her Name is Julissa Flores.  Her contact information is 301-985-1890, and her email address is Julissa.Honore@pgcps.org.  Please stop by and welcome her to our school.

Kudos to the Emergency Preparedness Committee (CERT) for planning the installation of additional fire alarms (Sound the Alarm) in various homes in the Mount Rainier area.  Because of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and the others, that project has been canceled until the spring.  This message was received from the Red Cross who sponsors this event:  With the impact of Harvey’s historic flooding, plus Hurricane Irma now approaching the Southeast as a Category 5 storm, responding to both disasters is our top priority. We must ensure that sufficient resources are available for deployment—without delay. These two major responses will likely require additional resources from all regions and support units, including unaffected regions. Therefore, we have decided to delay national Sound the Alarm Signature City Events (scheduled for September 23 – October 15) until a later date, probably in spring 2018.  Please stay tuned for when this event is rescheduled.  Volunteers will be needed to make this a successful event in Mount Rainier.

Are you looking for playground equipment and have the necessary skills to move the playground equipment from its current location?  The owners of the Artist Loft are interested in donating the playground equipment.  If you are interested, please contact me ASAP at mayormiles@gmail.com

Upcoming/ongoing projects

The Mayor’s Book Club – this has not gotten off the ground but is still in the works

The campaign sign painting party is still be organized so don’t throw away those signs.

Plans for 31st Street Project – ready for implementation

Reconstruction of MD 500 going through Mount Rainier and to Eastern Avenue – funded

Reconstruction of the Levee Arundel Road area – working on a report
Rainier Manor 2 construction completion and rental date – update coming

Call-a-bus replacement – still up in the air, but working with County for an exception to their rules

3300 Rode Island Avenue report from staff – presentation made on September 5, 2017, at the City Council meeting

BUNKER Hill Fire station-- is Mount Rainier safe? – scheduling a meeting with new Fire Chief, Mr. Barksdale

Upcoming Event/Calendar

The school year began on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018.

UPCOMING EVENT by MNCPPC:

COMING TO THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER: A Night At The Movies

WHEN: Friday, October 6, 2017

TIME: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Come and participate in fall games, activities and delicious treats. Bring a friend to watch a movie on a super large movie screen on a football field. Movie TBA. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for comfort.

COST: Free with M-NCPPC Youth ID

AGES: Ages 13-17

WHERE: Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center
4701 31st Place
Mount Rainier MD. 20712

For more information call: 301-927-2163; TTY: 301-699-2544

City Events/Schedule

The following are some of the events in the City for 2017-2018 Fiscal Year (NOTE:   City Council Meetings are routinely held the first (1st) and third (3rd) Tuesdays of each month unless otherwise noted.

The City newsletter, “The Message” is issued monthly with combined newsletter for July August and December/January

Community Policing Meeting, Mount Rainier’s Police Department, September 20, 2017, 6:30 p.m.  ALL residents are invited.

Public Safety Night – September 29, 2017, Mount Rainier Nature Center, 6:30 p.m.

Code Enforcement meeting -- October 12at Potts Hall 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving Basket Drive – October through the third week of November

Annual Halloween Blast – October 31, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

Month of November – Municipal Month – visit schools and fly municipal flag at City Hall

Veterans Day Recognition Program – Saturday. November 11, 2017 –Waffle and Champagne Brunch, 11:30 a.m.

City Budget Calendar approved in December/January

Christmas Basket Drive – November through the fourth week of December
Budget Preparation begins in January

If I Were Mayor Contest… begins in January 2018 and ends in March

NO ELECTION THIS YEAR

Third-grade visit to City Hall – May 16, 2017

Mount Rainier Day – May 19, 2018

Budget must be approved by June 30, 2018

Mayor and Council Recess, July and August – TBA

National Night Out (NNO) – August 7, 2018

Public Safety Night – September 28, 2018

Some Priorities for this fiscal year
Developing a good working and functioning Mayor and Council

Assuring that the City Manager works well with Mayor and Council, employees, and residents

Producing a clean financial audit; a clean financial report that provides a solid picture of the City’s financial status with trends on spending that allows for future projections of expenses and income

Getting the City Charter Reviewed and updated

Taking Community policing to another level with a community review/appeal component

Continuing to work on getting Citywide WiFi – primarily for students, but also for adults

Improving relations with the Bunker Hill Fire Station to ensure adequate staffing at all times and that Mount Rainier residents are safe in their homes and businesses

Getting 3200 Rhode Island Avenue under contract and development

Appoint an independent financial advisory committee that reviews City spending

Secure funding for renovating the old Kaywood Theater and transform it into a cultural center for the City

Solicit funds to renovate Potts Hall, Library, alley, old police station into the Mount Rainier Civic Center

Bring Memorial Park and Spring Park to life – getting funding for these two projects

Get 31st Street Park up and operational, e.g., determine how it will be used etc.

Citywide calendar of events

Complete list of projects – City, e.g., Levee Project on Arundel Road; MD 500 (Queens Chapel Road); Singer Building; Civic Center; Public Works, etc. – updated and maintained

Accurate and current list of all businesses in the City with owner, renter, address, service provided, number of years in the City, etc. – in good standing with the City/health department

Annual report on CDMA fees paid by businesses in the City

Rodent abatement project – citywide problem that needs intervention

Annual recognition program for functioning committees etc.

Street and traffic sign replacement throughout the City that meets federal, state and county standards

Start citywide beautification program – Jack Engel

Start monthly or quarterly meetings with service providers, 47th District leaders, Senators/Congressmen, and County Councilmembers

Create and appoint a Police Advisory Committee that is independent of the police department and handles residents’ complaints, makes recommendations for improvement of the department, and works to improve community police relations

Websites that may be of interest:
Historic Mount Rainier Maryland --- http://www.mountrainiermd.org
Mount Rainier Police Department - http://www.mountrainiermd.org/police/ 
Chief Scott's Blog -- http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com  
Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company --- http://www.bhvfrc.com/ 
Mount Rainier Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/mountrainier/
Thomas Stone Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/thomasstone/
Northwestern High School --- http://www.pgcps.org/northwestern/
Prince George’s County Municipal Association -- https://pgcma.com/
Maryland Municipal League   --- http://www.mdmunicipal.org
Friends of the Mount Rainier Library (FOL) --- http://www.mtrainierfol.org/
Gateway Community Development Corporation http://www.gatewaycdc.org/#modern-organic-thai
Washington Metro Area Transit Service -- http://www.wmata.com/
Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA) -- http://www.mountrainierbusiness.com/mount-rainier/
Joe's Movement Emporium --- http://www.joesmovement.org/
You can find my brief bio at http://www.mountrainiermd.org/government/office-mayor/

Got an issue, suggestion or compliment, please contact me at mayormiles@gmail.com

Please follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/MayorMiles  and Instagram

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Equifax: Breach exposes data from 143M Americans

Well, we have been worrying about things such as breaches of information with some of our large companies. NOW, here is one that WE ALL SHOULD WORRY ABOUT:
Equifax: Breach exposes data from 143M Americans
Credit monitoring company Equifax says breach exposed social security numbers and other data from 143 million Americans.
ATLANTA (AP) — Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans.
The Atlanta-based company said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year.
It said consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers were exposed. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also accessed.
Pay attention to your bank accounts, credit cards, and anything else that may require your personal data to access.

Maryland Department of Agriculture spraying 9/7/2017 to control adult mosquitoes

Just read my morning emails and EVERYTHING I learned yesterday changed overnight.

Although Mount Rainier is NOT a participant in the State of Maryland Mosquito Spraying Program, the State has decided to include Mount Rainier in the spraying TONIGHT. They are advising that ALL PETS be kept inside tonight.

Mount Rainier is being sprayed tonight even though we are not participants in Maryland's Mosquito Spray Control Program. The reason being offered for the spraying and the short notice is that the West Nile Virus has been found in our area.


The Maryland Department of Agriculture will conduct unscheduled mosquito control spraying in response to a West Nile virus-positive mosquito pool in Prince George’s County.  Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) truck-based spraying to control adult mosquitoes is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, September 7, in the communities of Colmar Manor, Mount Rainier, Cottage City, Brentwood, North Brentwood, Riverdale Park, Riverdale Heights, Oaklyn, Landover Knolls, and Landover Mews. Due to weather conditions, spraying originally scheduled for this evening in Hyattsville and Bladensburg has been re-scheduled for Thursday evening as well.

Spraying will occur after 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Any existing spray exemptions in the area will be temporarily suspended. People should avoid outdoor activities on spray nights.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

A Night At The Movies with GAMES and ACTIVITES October 6, 2017

COMING TO THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER:
A Night At The Movies

WHEN: Friday, October 6, 2017

TIME: 7:00 p. m. to 10:00 p. m.

Come and participate in fall games, activities and delicious treats. Bring a friend to watch a movie on a super large movie screen on a football field. Movie TBA. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for comfort.

COST: Free with M-NCPPC Youth ID

AGES: Ages 13-17

WHERE: Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center
4701 31st Place
Mount Rainier MD. 20712

For more information call: 301-927-2163; TTY: 301-699-2544

SMARTlink#: 1686944

Please share on your social media sites.  Thank you.