Buckley Responds to City Dems Regarding Water Access, Touts Administration’s Efforts

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Mayor Gavin Buckley Photo: Peter Cane Photography

Date: 9 July 2020

I read with great interest the post on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee Facebook page, “Water Access in Annapolis.” Let’s talk about these items. 

There are a few misrepresentations that I would like to correct, and then I wish to respond to your accusation that my administration has been loath to protect or enhance water access or indeed make a priority out of environmental initiatives. 

First to some corrections for the record: 

·         “If you do not secure a small public access easement soon, you will lose the opportunity to keep continued public access to the water in this part of Eastport.” 

  It is beyond my authority to undo permitting decisions made by my predecessor. I acknowledge that mistakes were made in the past and that the Yacht Club was a missed opportunity. These decisions were a mistake of the Pantiledes administration. 

         “The misrepresentations and failure to follow our maritime zoning code give you [the]both the authority and right to demand SAYC put a small area of its waterfront into a dedicated easement for the neighorbood residents to access the water.”

   Again, the permit process for that project predates my administration. 

Next, I’d like to remind you of some of the things my administration has done to advance environmental and water access goals:

        We are in the process of creating a world-class park at City Dock. This park will be the largest municipal project ever undertaken in the City and will allow for unprecedented (in our 300-plus year history), public access, and programming.

         As a budget priority of my administration, we direct City grants, subsidize the land and fund programming at both the Maritime Museum and Ellen Moyer Park. Both of these locations provide water access and green space. 

        We have opened 600 acres of City land to the public at Waterworks Park and partnered with a local non-profit to create miles and miles of hiker-biker trails abutting the largest water reservoir in the county.

        We have found funding for trail connections, including from the Historic District to Waterworks Park, traversing areas that include million-dollar homes and subsidized housing communities

        We have moved the Public Works buildings and the salt barn off Spa Road (at the headwaters of Spa Creek), not only opening up a reimagining of recreational opportunities, but also removing an industrial use and a highly sensitive area.

        We have a brand-new pool at Truxtun, opening in the coming weeks, that includes shade, kids play area, slides, and more.

        We are creating a trail connection between Truxtun Boat and Hawkins Cove, including an area accessible to residents of Harbour House.

        We have funded the CRAB boating facility, which will not only make water accessibility a possibility for people with disabilities, but which will also open up water access to the general public

        Outside of water access, we have also helped this City bounce back from the pandemic with environmentally friendly initiatives like closing roads and encouraging pedestrian access to Main Street, West Street, Maryland Avenue and areas in Eastport. 

       We have created parklets to replace parking spaces.

We are being proactive. My administration will continue to be proactive. We will continue to do things to enhance the livability of this City for all residents and I hope to continue to earn your support. 

As a reminder, it is beyond my ability to turn around mistakes made in the past. The Yacht Club was indeed a missed opportunity. 

As a point of personal privilege, it is concerning that, in an election year when our priority should be motivating voters to focus on electing Joe Biden and flipping the US Senate, the top priority for the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee is a 500-word essay misrepresenting the facts of my administration. We are all in this together. 

Thank you.

Gavin Buckley

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