Welcome to Cottage City News
Here to provide the Citizens of Cottage City, Maryland
important Town related information
Latest NEWS New Updated documentation to support information that was distributed on Nov 10th 2014, as well as additional Town related issues and concerns, more supporting info coming.
I have talked to the Commission Chairman who is also the Police Commissioner, Richard Coate several times regarding these issues and he has refused to take any action or respond to these concerns, so I am taking my concerns to the people.
In April of every year prior to the Town elections, I provide information that I have gathered throughout the year and give it to the public, because at the May elections is the only real chance that you make a difference, with your vote. If the Commission would video tape the meetings (The Town receives communication grant money every quarter) and show them on our cable channels and on the internet like many other Towns do, then I would have no need to video tape the meetings and you can watch the meetings from home and at your convenience every month . Many of the Commissioners have tried to stop me from video taping the meetings (but the Open Meeting Laws allow me or any citizen to do so), then they told me to set up the camera in the back of the room, where camera cant see anything , without any rational reason. All of this is because they don't want the public to see the decisions they are making . The camera can only record the truth and with the truth you can make an educated and informed decision when casting your ballot at election time. We as citizens trust our elected officials to represent us and do the right thing and when they don't then we should hold them accountable for the management decisions they make on our behalf. During election time you as citizens get flyers, making promises and and lot of he say, she say , now here is your chance to see for yourself and you decide.
Above Video: Commissioner Phyllis Robinson (Ward 3) and other Commissioners refused to rescind their voted extension of their term, even with all the public dissatisfaction they still refused. Concerned citizens joined together and collected over 200 signatures of Cottage City residents and forced an election, for the citizens to decide.
Cottage City Citizens voted down the extension of terms 102 said No and only 5 said yes. Thus Proving The Power is Truely in the people. When our elected representatives like Commissioner Robinson wont listen to the people then we must not listen to them when they want our vote to put them back in office.
Which is why I am proudly endorsing Melonie Jones to replace Phyllis Robinson for Ward 3 Commissioner.
Discussion where Commissioner Robinson wants to purchase former Commissioner Halls House and make it into a Police Station.
By buying this house the Town would loose the property tax revenue received form the residence and any income tax revenue of those residing in the home. Furthermore the Police department hasn't grown (7) in the number of people who work their. Not all work at the same time and furthermore the Police should be spending 90% or more of their time on patrol in the Town. There isn't any rational justifiable reason for a larger Police Office. The citizens raised these points and the matter was defeated for now. Just one of many arguments involving Elected Officials of the Town of Cottage City. Arguing because the Community Gardeners took the initiative to apply for grant money for the Garden from Kaiser because the Commission failed to.
Commissioners In fighting
Video at a Town Hall meeting citizens became highly upset with commissioners comments
Town Hall Meeting: Discussion and update on the proposed wellness center in Cottage City. You will hear the word sheret mentioned (I am not sure if I am spelling it correctly), but it simply means a meeting of a group of people with one or more persons keeping everyone on the meetings topic. Background info: The Commissioner Robinson directed the Town Grant writer to apply for a grant to help buy a vacant building located on 42nd street before Bladensburg road and make it a wellness center however they have been unable to tell the citizens what that would consist of, or how much the whole venture would cost the building asking price is over $325,000, reconstruction cost?, yearly maintenance, staffing, programs etc. The Commission never held any citizen public forum or town survey prior too applying to see if the citizens wanted this or even how their tax dollars would be effected by it. It sounds nice but lacks any details. The town was eventually turned down for the grant, the hope now is that they will come back and get the publics opinion no matter if it is a survey or public forum before reapplying again. Grants typically offers financial assistance and require the applicant to pay for the remainder of the project.
Above is a Concerned Citizen at the June 2013 Town Meeting voicing their concern for the lack of information being provided to the citizens and the need for accountability.
Election Board Chairperson voicing her concerns over Commissioner Gross disrespect to her and turning her away from the vote count of the citizens petition signatures.
Above video shows, Commission Votes to stop Police Department from having to clock in for work
Last Wednesdays April 10th 2013 meeting was a full house of concerned citizens who were outraged at the Commissioners who voted themselves an extension of there term for an additional 2 years. Most citizens expressed their dissatisfaction under the video: Citizens Comments & Commissioners Response the following day Ward 1 Anna Angolia Resigns from the Commission
IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING April 2013
Below Video: Citizens Comments & Commissioners Response
Below Video: Citizens Comments & Commissioners Response Part 2
Below Video: Commission Chair Styles refusing to allow Citizens to ask question of department heads after their upsets the citizens
Elected Cottage City Officials are suppressing Cottage City Residents right to VOTE and be heard.
On Saturday, March 16th at 10:00am. The Cottage City Commission held a Secret Meeting where they extended their own terms of Office, so that they would not have to run for re-election next year and thus wouldn't be another election after the one currently running until 2016. The secret meeting was called by Commissioner Gary Styles and supported by Commissioners Anna Angolia and Brigitte Young. Commissioner Givens was not properly notified and did not attend. There is a petition going around now to require the Commission to allow the voters to decide what they want. The issue at hand here is how the unethical behavior of some Commissioners went about the process as they sought to keep the public from having a voice in the matter. We as Citizens trust in our municipal officials with the operation of our Town but was not intended for them to keep us uninformed in major changes in government such as this, we have a right to be informed and decide. If successful this would be just the beginning of this type of behavior by elected officials.
PETITION ON RESOLUTION 2013-01
On March 16, the Cottage City Commission adopted Resolution 2013-01, to amend the Cottage City charter. That resolution is printed below. One part of this resolution raises serious concern. That part extends the terms of commissioners who were elected in May 2012 to serve for two years – by an additional two years to which they were not elected.
Maryland law, Article 23A, permits municipal corporations (such as Cottage City) to initiate amendments to charters by resolution, and also permits citizens to petition for a referendum on an amendment. Under 23A, section 13(a), a resolution on a proposed amendment must be passed “as in the usual course of considering resolutions in the government of the municipal corporation.”Because of the unusual way it was done, it can be argued that Resolution 2013‑01 was not passed in the usual course of business in Cottage City.
Resolution 2013-01 was not adopted at a regular meeting. A regular monthly commission meeting was held March 13. Members of the public were present because they knew about it.
However, no announcement was made on March 13 about the resolution or the March 16 meeting held only 3 days later, and no members of the public knew about or attended the March 16 meeting. The only notice of the March 16 meeting was a sheet of paper put on the bulletin board inside the Town Hall only one day before the unusual March 16 meeting. One commissioner, Demetrius Givens, did not vote on the resolution because even he did not know about it, only learned of the March 16 meeting at the last minute, and was unable to be present.
For our commission to extend any of their own terms by doubling them – from two to four years – with no vote by the citizens, no regular meeting, and little if any effective notice to the citizens, is a drastic action that was not necessary and wasnot done in the way the commission usually conducts business, in regularly-scheduled meetings the public knows about.
If the commission wanted to change the terms of office from two to four years, this could have been done in a way in which all commissioners who would serve4-year terms would have to RUN FOR AND BE ELECTED TO those 4-year terms. This is the only fair way to do this.
We urge you to sign the petition for a referendum on Resolution 2013-01 so that the citizens of Cottage City may exercise their right to vote for their Town Commissioners.
The Above was written by a concerned citizen who has joined up with the group of citizens gathering petition signatures ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Resolution 2013-01 states:
“A RESOLUTION OF THE COTTAGE CITY COMMISSION TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF COTTAGE CITY TO EXTEND UNTIL 2016 THE TERMS OF OFFICE OF MEMBERS OF THE COTTAGE CITY COMMISSION ELECTED IN MAY, 2012; TO ESTABLISH A THREE YEAR TERM OF OFFICE FOR THOSE MEMBERS OF THE COTTAGE CITY COMMISSION TO BE ELECTED IN MAY, 2013; TO ESTABLISH A FOUR YEAR TERM OF OFFICE FOR THOSE MEMBERS OF THE COTTAGE CITY COMMISSION TO BE ELECTED IN MAY, 2016, AND THEREAFTER; TO PROVIDE THAT, COMMENCING WITH THE ELECTION OF COMMISSIONERS TO BE HELD IN MAY, 2016, COMMISSIONERS FOR EACH WARD IN THE TOWN SHALL BE ELECTED BY THE REGISTERED VOTERS IN THAT WARD; AND GENERALLY RELATING TO THE ELECTION AND TERMS OF OFFICE OF MEMBERS OF THE COTTAGE CITY COMMISSION.
A group of Cottage City residents are fighting a resolution that extends the terms of three sitting town commissioners.
Town commissioners passed a resolution on March 16 at an emergency meeting that would extend commissioners’ terms from two to four years.
Currently, Cottage City commissioners face re-election every two years on a staggered basis, with those in Wards 2, 3 and 4 facing election in even-numbered years and commissioners in Ward 1 and the at-large seat being elected in odd-numbered years.
Under the resolution, commissioners elected in May 2012 — Brigitte Young (Ward 2), Phyllis Robinson (Ward 3) and Commission Chairman Gary Styles (Ward 4) — would have their terms extended to May 2016. The three commissioners would not have to face re-election in May 2014, as originally planned, under the resolution.
“If they change their terms, they need to sit through an election,” said Aileen McChesney, former Ward 1 commissioner from 2007 to 2012. “That is just fairness.”
McChesney said she joined 10 other residents to block the initiative through a petition that would force the resolution to a referendum. She said while supporting longer term lengths, she preferred to see them extended to three years instead of four as three-year terms would be less daunting to qualified candidates and would allow residents to vote out bad commissioners sooner. She said that all current commissioners should face another election before extending terms.
McChesney resigned from the commission shortly after the May 2012 elections because she felt she would not work well with the current slate of commissioners due to a high level on infighting.
The group must get 20 percent of the town’s registered voters — roughly 139 residents — to sign off on the petition to force a referendum, said Jim Peck, director of research and information management for the Maryland Municipal League. The residents have until April 25, which is 40 days after the resolution passed, to get the petition filed, he said. The charter amendment becomes effective on the 50th day if the petition does not come through, he said.
The resolution would not cancel the May 6 election, which will be held for the Ward 1 and at-large seats held by Anna Marie Angolia and Demetrius Givens, respectively. The winners of those seats will serve a three-year term up until the 2016 election where all seats would be up for election and a four-year term, under the resolution.
The resolution also changes the town charter so that residents only vote for candidates running for seats in their ward, replacing the current system allowing residents to vote for candidates in all wards.
“It sounds like a reasonable way of handling it,” Peck said, of how Cottage City is implementing the term lengths extension.
Styles, a supporter of the proposal, said holding an election each year is costly as each election costs about $1,000 to pay a small stipend to board of elections officials and ballot printouts. He said it is also difficult for an administration to get things accomplished under the current system, given that the commission could annually change.
Resident Donna Hayes, 65, said she felt the commissioners should have to face another election before their terms are extended.
“When people voted for them, they had no idea they would be in there for four years,” said Hayes, who added she plans to collect signatures for the petition. “To me that is a violation of my voting privileges to just turn around and say, ‘I get to stay two more years.’”
Who really are Gary Styles and Anna Angolia? Maryland State court records show both have sued the Town of Cottage City and YOU the tax payers paid thousands of dollars to defend these cases, go to: http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us
Angolia Case Number: CAL9409782
Styles sued Cottage City 3 times Case Numbers: CAL0613460, CAL0714764, CAL0606028
In the past several months Anna Angolia was given 2nd chance to prove herself and be productive and be apart of the Commission again to get things done, but unfortunately she has proven to that she has not changed at all with her obstructive behavior. Please support a
POSITIVE change VOTE: Richard Coate for
WARD 1 against Ana Angolia
CLICK ON THEM TO SEE FOR YOURSELF
The auditor report is 35 pages long. The final analysis which is page 1 shown below of the auditors report indicating the Town was in fact in compliance
as stated in the last 2 sentences from the bottom of the page auditors_report.pdf
February Financial Statement below shows that The Town has $1,861,762 in the Bank,
well over the states recommendation that we have 20% in reserves of the annual budget which would be around $400,000 financial statements from february.pdf
Minutes from February meeting showing Commissioner Styles behavior was unprofessional in conducting the Towns business by abstaining (refusing to vote) on all of the issues that were brought forward. He acted this way after his attempt to remove Commissioner Givens as the Chairperson Failed. Styles refused to vote to pay the Towns bills for the month, the hiring of the Town Accountant, approving the New Chief of Police Contract and the remainder of issues. The minutes also show were Angolia voted NO on the Chief of Police Contract (although his salary is less than other Police Chiefs in the area of similar Town size). Angolia also voted NO to allow or Public works department training for an asphalt repair course to properly learn how repair the Towns streets when damaged, which cost less than $100 for both to attend
I am AT-LARGE Commissioner Demetrius Givens and I am outraged that my fellow Cottage City Commissioners Gary Styles, Anna Angolia and Brigitte Young organized and held a secret meeting on Saturday, March 16th at 10am and voted to give themselves an additional 2 years in office without Cottage City residents voting them back in and without their input or knowledge. I have always been an advocate of the people and believe that the citizens have a right to be informed and a part of the processes that have a major impact on the Town. I was not properly informed of the meeting and did not attend as I was out of town.The public was not notified about this meeting ask yourself why. I would have never engaged in this un ethical and immoral behavior which has now betrayed the public’s trust in it’s elected officials. I have decided not to run for re-election due to Angolia’s & Styles obstructive behavior with their constant arguing and yelling at Town Employees & even Town Residents and in meetings and now they have proven un-trustworthy.
Last week Commissioner Styles (who would benefit directly by extending his term 2 more years) in an attempt to distract the truth about what he had done, wrote a flyer personally attacking me and Aileen Mc Chesney writing negatively, without any facts, questioning my honorable service as a Metropolitan Police Sergeant (with a vested retirement) and Mc Chesney’s private personal decision to be a stay at home Mom. Clearly you can see that these personal attacks are unprofessional of Styles and speaks directly his jealousy as he attempts to demean the town accomplishments of others who have done so much good for the Town. I have many accomplishments from physically assisting in building the Community Garden to the $81,000 sidewalk grant i worked with Mr. Mosley to obtain and many more that directly benefited the Town saving Tax Payers dollars. Commissioner Styles has not spear headed or accomplished any projects for the Town during his 5 years in office.I have never quit on the Town and no one has a resignation letter. I was only voted off as Chairman in March after I advised Commissioners Young & Angolia that I would NOT support Angolia in the May election and explained why. Styles also failed to provide the truth about the Towns financial situation and disclose the fact that we are in great financial shape and have over 1.8 million dollars in the bank and we have zero debt. He did not provide the page where it was indicated that we had a CLEAN audit which means we were in compliance with Maryland State requirements. The audit report did note weaknesses and made recommendations which in Nov 2012 We as a Commission implemented, by bringing in outside Public accountant to handle Town finances.
Styles failed to tell you that he was on the Commission the past 5 years and was in charge of Admin Dept/Town Treasurer from 2011 up until Nov 2012 when there were financial practices in need of corrections. Nov 2012 I removed him from that responsibility because of his lack of proper over site of that department. As a Chairperson our responsibility is to run the meetings, I have only one vote like everyone else.We have not squandered any Town Monies,we have been frugal in spending for the past 5 years and have had a surplus every year I have been in office and even Lowered Your Taxes. Styles spoke about a receipt (acceptable by our accountant) I submitted for some bubble guns I purchased from the Flea Market as giveaways for children at Cottage City Day 8 months ago, the Flea Market did not issue a receipt, In order to be reimbursed I located the items on line and indicated the price I paid, which was actually cheaper than the online price, I photographed and copied all the items as a group and they were distributed to the Cottage City Children at the event. Although these things are petty and I am not running for re-election I still feel obligated to defend my good reputation and get the truth out. Below are the photographed bubble guns. Styles only attended cottage City day for 30 minutes so to infer that i didn't actually purchase these items or give them out to the children is ridiculous. Any citizen that came out to Cottage City day would be able to confirm that.
I gave Angolia a 2nd chance to be productive and be apart of a positive team to get things done, but she has proven that she could not do so. I am supporting Richard Coate for WARD 1 Seat against Ana Angolia and I hope you will too. .
Anna Angolia treats our some of our residents in the Hamlet Park Town Houses and Senior Towers like 2nd class citizens although they are all a part of our community as should be respected as so. The Town Houses pay the same property tax rate as we all do with single family homes and our Cottage City seniors have a place here in Cottage City and should not be ignored. Anna Angolia wrote in an email to a Cottage City Hamlet Park Condo/Town house resident: I was a Commissioner from 1991-2007 and just returned, but my first obligation is to the residents of Cottage City, then to Hamlet Park Condos and the residents of Cottage City Towers.