This forum was scheduled and held by Councilman Smith at the urging of concerned residents in Ferndale. This WAS NOT an LSIA Meeting, however we did send a representative to follow the proceedings and take notes. These notes are not intended to be any sort of official minutes or record of the meeting but were taken for some level of reference. Please forgive any inaccuracies as the room was very loud and there was much being said.
NOTES FROM MEETING HELD BY COUNCILMAN SMITH November 30, 2017
7:09PM – 9:41PM EDT
Councilman Smith opened the meeting at 7:09PM. The subject of the meeting was community updates to Linthicum and Ferndale from the September 2017 meeting in Ferndale.
Councilman Smith reported that there are 12 or 13 topics that will be discussed. Discussion will be had on each topic for about ten (10) minutes. There is a different slide for each topic.
Councilman Smith reported that Delegate Mark Chang, Delegate Pam Beidle, Pat Daly (for County Executive Steve Schuh) and Delegate Ted Sophocleus were all in attendance. The CSL Plasma center leadership was invited but did not attend the meeting.
1. Follow-Up Assignment Updates
During the last meeting in Ferndale, an issue was raised with regard to the lack of authority to arrest trespassers without certain requirements. There needs to be posted signage and the trespasser needs to be duly notified in advance. Once the trespasser is on notice (i.e. the person needs to receive a
warning), the police can then arrest the person for trespassing.
Police have a system of recording past warning about trespassing, including other calls and events. Councilman Smith wants to increase the number of police officers in the County from 600/700 to 1200/1300 in Anne Arundel County.
Delegate Beidle will investigate the no trespassing sign issue and who is responsible (County or State) and try to create a solution.
Councilman Smith and police officers then reviewed the Linthicum crime statistic data from January 1,
2016 to November 25, 2017. The data and statistics are available on the County’s website.
2. Linthicum/Ferndale Community Updates
A police officer reported that the biggest problem that we have in Linthicum is theft from cars. This is because we have a quiet neighborhood and our residents have a lot of good things to take. We have a target rich environment.
The North District police cover Glen Burnie, Linthicum and other areas.
The number of officers allocated to each district is by geography and not by population.
Pat Daly reported that County Executive Schuh is concerned that there are not enough police on the street. County Executive Schuh sent a letter to MDOT Secretary Rahn, stating that the light rail station needs to be shut down. The County Executive believes that the light rail is brining crime to the community.
3. Cromwell Station
Leadership from Broad Street Development was invited but did not show up at the meeting. The company is trying to get another grocery store in the shopping center.
The rumor that a methadone clinic will be placed at Cromwell Field is false.
Councilman Smith explained that Governor Hogan is the only person who has the ability to close the light rail.
An officer from MTA reported that MTA officers check tickets and conduct sweeps at the stations. This was disputed by a number of residents.
A representative from MTA stated that the light rail system is in line with every other light rail system of its kind.
It is MTA’s policy that if light rail riders are caught evading fare, they have the opportunity to purchase a ticket before receiving a citation.
4. CSL Plasma Center
Ms. German reported that attended a meeting held by CSL Plasma and the only people who attended the meeting with her was someone from LSIA and someone from Ferndale.
Ms. German reported that Heim Enterprises (owners of the Plasma Center) thought that the location of the business was the “perfect match…because of the proximity to the light rail and Baltimore City.”
Ms. German was able to get copies of the CSL Plasma Bylaws. The bylaws state that plasma donors are asked for ID the first time they give plasma and then the donors provide a fingerprint. Donors are required to go to a plasma center in their own jurisdiction. Ms. German believes that donors should be turned away if they are not in their own jurisdiction. CSL Plasma used to pay people in cash but recently switched to a Visa gift card. Ms. German believes that homelessness and loss of businesses in Ferndale are both the result of the light rail and CSL Plasma.
Councilman Smith explained that in order for public nuisance laws to be used to deal with unsavory businesses, there needs to first be a crime committed.
5. Suboxone Clinic
Councilman Smith reported that County Inspections and Permits has put the clinic into surveillance. Surveillance has shown that the clinic has been closed during the day. There was a report that someone went there in the evening. All of the politicians in attendance at the meeting are unified on this issue.
There have been reports that 4 or 5 people have gone to the suboxone clinic after hours. The investigation will be wrapped up shortly. Outpatient medical clinics are not permitted in this location.
Delegate Chang reported that he was able to remove a facility that was involved in human trafficking. Delegate Chang reported that he has already put in a bill that bans human trafficking for the upcoming session.
6. Maryland House Detox
A resident requested legislation that would ban inpatient clinics like Maryland House Detox. Councilman Smith stated that he would look into it.
There is a state emergency for opioid addiction. The former location was a hospice facility so the activity at that facility was patient-centered care. People have always been transported at this location. People will not be released from the facility without transportation because of the liability. If someone forcibly walks out of the facility, they can leave in theory. A resident pointed out that Lindale Middle School is right across the street.
Cindy Curtis explained that she is a co-founder of Maryland House Detox. She is a nurse and a mother. If a patient wants to leave, the patient cannot go through the door without them being aware. The doors will open for egress in the event of an emergency. There are security systems. The nature of recovery is that when patients come in for detox, the patients want to get help. In her experience, only 1 of 5,000 people who seek detox treatment leave the facility early.
Councilman Smith explained that the area where the detox center is located can be rezoned but retroactive effect would not apply retroactively to Maryland House Detox.
Maryland House Detox came to Councilman Smith and later to the community association because the leadership wanted to be transparent.
The primary source of patients for Maryland House Detox is from private insurance. Two beds of sixteen are reserved for indigent patients.
Ms. Curtis reported that people do walk out of long term treatment but they do not walk out of detox. Suzzie Schuyler explained that people from Maryland House Detox came to the LSIA meetings and spoke to the general membership and explained what their plans were a number of times in the past year.
Carol Boyer is the community relations director for Maryland House Detox. The facility is the first standalone inpatient detox center in the state of Maryland. This facility is the first that has been approved in 15 years. There is a statewide and countrywide opioid crisis. Northern Anne Arundel County has the highest overdose rate in the County.
When you leave Maryland House Detox, you go to the next level of care. Maryland House Detox will follow their patients for up to a year after they leave.
Maryland House Detox also detoxes for alcohol, not just opioids.
Mike Wooden pulled campaign finance reports and reported that the CEO of Maryland House Detox made 4 donations that he is aware of. One donation was to someone in Baltimore City for $120. One donation was to Governor Hogan for $1200. One donations was to Mark Chang for $1,000 and one donation was to Pete Smith for $1,000.
Councilman Smith stated that $1,000 donation will not move the needle on his decision making ability. Delegate Chang pointed out that he is opposed to Maryland House Detox in the present location so that the suggestion that he took a donation to support Maryland House Detox does not make sense.
8. School Issues – Students
Councilman Smith reported that there is a concern that students from other areas are coming into our districts. Councilman Smith referred questions to the Superintendent and School Board members.
The speaker for the schools stated that our school district is not a feeder school. The only students that go to our schools from other areas are for the following reasons: (1) homelessness; (2) tuition payments; or (3) the district is not aware that the student lives outside of the district.
All of the representatives in attendance at the meeting oppose the MAGLEV.
Delegate Pam Beidle reported that she is still working on bringing a MAGLEV meeting with the governmental entities to Linthicum. She added that residents should let Governor Hogan know that they oppose MAGLEV.
All of the representatives in attendance at the meeting are aligned in their opposition to hyperloop should the plans negatively impact the community.
Councilman Smith will set up another meeting like this one in a few months. Councilman Grasso has legislation dealing with school overcrowding.
The meeting was adjourned by Councilman Smith at around 9:41PM