Last week’s Annapolis City Council meeting ran until 3:30 am. There were quite a few hot topics on the docket and a whole heck of a lot of people came out to speak. A great civics lesson for sure. It’s really encouraging to live in a town where so many people are active, concerned and involved in local government.
As you can imagine- there was a TON discussed. In short, the Council voted yes to the MOU for the garage. I’ve read pieces of Stelzig (he heads up the Save the Playground campaign) threatening legal action to stop the garage if necessary. My google research shows that Stelzig is a PR dude. Wonder if he offered his services for free to Cohen’s reelection campaign next go round in exchange for Cohen changing his vote to no? (Note: these are just questions I ask myself- I have no idea if it’s true.) If you’re part of the Twittersphere, (you should follow us) you may have seen Stelzig referenced as a word ninja. No description could be more accurate. The guy is good… but he still hasn’t convinced the Chatter that the garage should not be built. We’ve kept our ears open and eyes peeled and found out some VERY interesting things about the WORA, the HPC, the HAF, and so on. Another post to follow.
Like many, the Chatter is totally fascinated by this debate and will continue to watch as the drama unfolds. In fact, we received a message from another extremely successful PR genius from inside the Beltway, whom we really admire, that said, “The parking garage is going to make Annapolis more crowded and a more crowded Annapolis makes a more nasty Annapolis and is bad for returning tourism. Also, the parents are the big taxpayers.” I often don’t disagree with this guru since he’s usually spot on and pretty freakin’ smart, but I look forward to explaining all the moving parts of why the garage is actually good, and necessary, long term for the City of Annapolis. That’s how much we support the project.
Council also voted to allow TriRock to happen. And a few days later, a nice little piece arrived on the door telling us to be aware and plan ahead. It’s far more noticeable and informative than any other road closure notice I’ve ever received. The only problem- there are a lot of rental turnovers happening this month so the suckers moving in May 1 don’t know – Welcome to Annapolis!
The last topic of discussion at City Council was testimony about rezoning the the old Fawcett’s building right there at the water. Looks like something was done back in July 2011 so I’m a bit unclear why it’s happening again. Nonetheless, this was very interesting on many, many levels. (Again, another post to follow.) I wonder what tax breaks the building owners received while it has been zoned for maritime use only. This “article,” although not dated, implies that a chain restaurant (Ignite Restaurant Group?) wants to rent the building. We know that a prominent business man in town was approached by Hooters to help facilitate a move to downtown. Only a big chain would be able to afford the rent and make the necessary changes to convert it to a restaurant. Is this what we want? Agree wholeheartedly that something needs to go there, but ask the building owners what they’d charge for rent and then tell us who could afford it.
We also received a message about some discussion over at the mall. Folks inside the trenches were talking about Hooters actually coming to the Westfield Shopping Center. And a Four Season’s Grille (part of Monte Development Restaurant Group) going in where Austin Grille once was. Again, the Chatter is purely subjective news (and gossip in its true form) and we haven’t been able to validate any of these claims. (Because let’s be honest, who really talks to a blogger?) BUT we also heard little whispers from a seriously legitimate source of a restaurant going where Hell Point used to be…
And lastly, we wanted to share something with you. Yesterday, Eye on Annapolis posted a piece about all the things happening this weekend. EoA is an incredible source for information but they did forget one very special and meaningful event. About a month ago we strayed from the gossip in this post. In a beautiful mass yesterday, we said our final goodbyes to a very brave child who fought the most incredible fight. His courage made the front of the Capital and the Patch wrote this piece. He was an amazing child. I hope you’ll join the Aleph Bet Jewish Day School on Sunday, May 6th for their 5k Fun Run/Walk – RUN FOR JOEY – that will benefit the Sudo family. If you can’t participate, please consider a Trail Marker encouraging runners that will later be given to the family. It’s the cost of a decent dinner out in town.
A Jewish school helping out a Catholic family – sounds like the start of a bad joke. But the two are connected via one community organization- the Junior League of Annapolis. In my recent post about the organization, I stated that I feel like I got more out of my involvement than they did out of me. This is one of the lessons- both Joey’s mother and a race organizer are not just members, but also my friends. You can register here for the race.
So unlike all of us and the children of our community, Joey won’t get a chance to play on the downtown playground, whether it remains in its current location, gets rebuilt or gets moved. But Sunday we can come together as a community with our differences aside, and run (or walk) for a child who I know is running with us up above. Who knows, you may just hear some great chatter along the trail…