Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Fitch is the third financial ratings agency to issue a determination on the city's bonding ability.
In the third financial agency rating this month, the city of Annapolis received a “negative” outlook from Fitch, a global ratings agency. Fitch downgraded the city from stable to negative, citing a low Annual Required Contribution (ARC) to the city’s police and fire pension, according to a press release from the city. Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen said Fitch’s determination is a result of the agency not agreeing with the city’s style of accounting. “During the first two years of critical cost savings, we chose to funnel money into our reserves rather than into the ARC, only putting aside $200,000 a year for the Contribution. However, in FY 2012 and FY 2013 the City set aside $1.6 million for the Contribution and it is now that we get …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
City's bond rating remains at Aa3 and was upgraded to a "positive outlook" by Moody's.
Annapolis City Hall's finances have been brought under control and given a positive outlook by the first of three credit ratings agencies on Wall Street. Moody's Investors Service Inc., assigned the city with an Aa3 bond rating—the fourth-highest available. The financial news put Mayor Josh Cohen in good spirits after the ratings were downgraded by Fitch and Moody's two years ago, forcing the city to work to show it had its fiscal house in order. “Though we have made tremendous strides, we have more work yet to do. I urge the Finance Committee and City Council to remain resolute in their commitment to continue the progress we have made," Cohen said in a news release from the city. Moody's also upgraded the financial outlook on the city …
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Hear the mayor's plans for regionalizing the city's transit service.
Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen provides an update on a variety of governmental issues being debated at City Hall, including: Cohen regularly provides video updates to residents via YouTube by user CityofAnnapolis. Follow them on YouTube to get all of their updates.
Friday, April 12, 2013
The city's downtown alderman resigned Monday due to continuing health concerns.
Following the resignation of Annapolis Alderman Richard E. Israel this week, city officials are beginning the search for his replacement. Israel, 70, a Ward 1 Alderman with the City Council, chose to step down from his public seat eight months before his second term was up, due to health concerns. Israel is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He plans to move to a senior community in Edgewater, according to The Capital. Now, the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee must select candidates for Israel's successor, and they have a small window of opportunity to do so before the city's 2013-14 budget is due for a vote in May. Candidates have until April 22 to apply for the position, and must be registered Democrats who have lived in the city'…
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Some bus routes would be reduced to compensate for a reduced budget in a new proposal.
A budget proposal to trim more than $300,000 from the Annapolis transportation budget would reduce services across the board. The city's Transportation Director Richard Newell told The Capital that the budget shortfall it is facing is a result of problems with grants, overtime pay and accidents. As a result, the department is planning to cut back on some aspects of its service for residents in next year's budget. Some of these proposals include: The transportation department's website notes that "some housing complexes will be negatively affected," by the proposed changes, including increased walking distance to reach a bus stop. To view a complete list of all the proposed changes, view the full report on City Hall's website. Two public …
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Here's a quick look back at the biggest headlines of the week in Annapolis.
No. 1—Chipotle Applies For Liquor License Downtown Chipotle is asking the city for permission to serve beer and margaritas as part of its new location at 36 Market Space. This would be the first chain restaurant to obtain a liquor license in the city because Annapolis' rules require at least one licensee to be a resident. Chipotle could follow area hotels' example and use a store manager who lives locally as one of its liquor license holders. No. 2—Police Investigate Abandoned Car on Bay Bridge Officers are searching for a driver who may have jumped after abandoning a car on the Bay Bridge on Wednesday afternoon. County firefighters and Natural Resources Police searched the waters under the bridge but found no one. No. 3—Residents Balk at …
Friday, November 16, 2012
Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson says the redesign of City Hall marginalizes the aldermen so the mayor can have a larger conference room.
The fight over where to create office space for the Annapolis City Council's eight aldermen and women could result in legislation again. "I feel that you [Mayor Josh Cohen] do not have the best interest of the council at heart," Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson (D-4th Ward) said. "We do not have a closed place where we can go and meet our constituents. You don’t care about that." In November 2011, City Council passed a resolution that established dedicated office space in City Hall for the aldermen. The argument since then has been about how much space each alderman should get and where that space will be. Baltimore's City Council members have private offices, but council members in Bowie, Riverdale Park and University Park do not. City Hall is…
Thursday, November 15, 2012
People who want to attend Council or committee meetings need to use the back staircase for the next two to three weeks.
Large sections of City Hall's second floor—including the front staircase—are closed for renovations for the next two to three weeks. People who want to attend committee meetings or the City Council meeting on Nov. 26 will need to use the elevator or back staircase, said city spokeswoman Rhonda Wardlaw. Residents will also need to enter Council chambers using the blue double doors located near the rear of the second floor because the main entrance is closed. The construction is part of an on-going effort by city officials to group departments together in a way that minimizes the number of buildings a person must visit. A crew is working to convert the former offices of the Department of Neighborhoods and Environmental Programs (DNEP) into …
Thursday, August 23, 2012
What do you think of the color scheme the City Hall Restoration Committee chose for council chambers?
Annapolis' City Hall took its first steps towards a 1930s makeover as the City Hall Restoration Committee painted a section of chamber wall with new colors. The grey and cream color scheme came from Catherine Masek, a historic preservation consultant, who carved into City Hall's walls and took more than 19 plaster samples to determine what paint colors were used during the 1930s—the era chosen as a guideline for renovations. The color above the chair rail is called monarch gold and below the rail is millstone gray. The baseboards are painted black and the trim is an off-white. The committee, led by the Rev. Johnny Calhoun and Alderwoman Classie Hoyle (D-3rd Ward), decided to paint a section of wall for evaluation at its July meeting. They …
Monday, July 23, 2012
Annapolis' City Hall Restoration Committee picked out gold and gray paint colors as part of its plan to give Council Chambers a facelift.
Annapolis City Hall will soon turn back the clock to the 1930s, at least aesthetically. The City Hall Restoration Committee, led by the Rev. Johnny Calhoun and Alderwoman Classie Hoyle (D-3rd Ward), moved forward with its renovation plans for Council Chambers and the lobby at its second meeting. New Paint Catherine Masek, a historic preservation consultant, carved into City Hall's walls and took more than 19 plaster samples in recent weeks to determine what paint colors were used during the 1930s. She found that "the wall above the chair rail, including the window frames and sashes, was in a color called monarch gold, and the wall below chair rail and door frames was a millstone gray." The committee liked the color scheme and agreed to …