The ECA is a non-profit, member-based community association. We engage in activities that improve the quality of life in the Eastport Community and build relationships with our local officials.
Membership is open to homeowners and renters who reside in Eastport.
Copyright © Eastport Civic Association. All rights reserved.
Eastport Civic Association
P.O. Box 3539
Annapolis, MD 21403
Architecture & Zoning:
Eric Pilka, Chair
Susy Smith, Chair
Diane Butler, Chair
Deborah Dillon, Chair
Home & Garden Tour:
Holly Foster, Chair
Vic Pascoe, Chair
Daniel Orr, Chair
The ECA awarded 8 grants - a total of $7100 - to local community organizations in the Spring awards cycle. All of the requests submitted were from organizations doing very good work. The Committee used the ECA mission statement and took into consideration the history of support that ECA had given in the past and recognized the importance of community partnerships and the need to give organizations, particularly small organizations, time to search for alternative funding in their deliberations. Requests submitted in the Spring, but not funded, can resubmit for the Fall grant cycle. New requests will also be welcome for the fall.
See which programs were awarded Spring 2016 ECA grants.
Spa Creek Conservancy needs volunteers August 3 to help remove invasive and non-native plant species from the Spa Creek area around the Chesapeake Children's Museum. Student teams from the Green Summer Works (GSW) program along with the Annapolis READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) program will be working along with volunteers to lend their support, tools and talent.
Sign up for the volunteer day.
Prepare Me Annapolis Mobile App: Notifications of what's affecting the Annapolis area, including severe weather alerts, traffic reports, school & government closings, and more.
The 2016 ECA Home & Garden Tour was a huge success! Everywhere we went people who attended the tour were talking about how good the selection of homes was for this year's tour. Many thanks to all who worked to make this year's Eastport Home & Garden Tour a success.
Parking in Annapolis can be hard to find, but placing objects on a public street to reserve a parking spot is illegal without a permit. Parking enforcement officers will remove cones found in the street. The phone number to contact SP+ for parking enforcement and removal of cones is 615-982-4132. Police officers will also be removing cones found in the roadway.
People who have reserved on street handicapped parking spots can place cones in that space when it is unoccupied. Reserved on street handicap parking is noted by a posted sign that includes the handicap permit number allowed to use that space.
Residents in the Eastport community are understandably frightened, angry and frustrated with the recent increase in crime in our neighborhood and around the City. I share those feelings.
One of my long-standing frustrations has been that addressing the drug-related activities in the city requires a multi-phased approach with different actors and agencies needing to step up to the plate. At the end of the day, unless the drug trade is driven out of the city, the root cause will remain.
For the past year, I have been working with the Mayor and Police Chief on a two-phased approach to the problem – policing and work with the Housing Authority. Encouraging HACA to be a helpful partner in affecting the drug activities has been a long slog that may finally being paying off. More about that below.
On the police front, we recently were promised intensified police presence while the Police try to identify the shooters from the big gun battle. The Chief reports that they have no witnesses or help from the Housing residents and he is now, “looking at the usual suspects.” Meanwhile the police presence has returned to the level of Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) and undercover officers that were in place before the April 17rd shooting.
The Chief has identified a source for cameras and specified the number and placement for them. He is awaiting a transfer of funds from the Administration to complete the purchase. He is also working with HACA to get a commitment from them for the annual costs of storage and services.
For the second phase, the Housing Authority has hired a Security Officer whose first and highest priority is to review and strengthen the HACA Security Plan. A more important step is to go from a plan to actual enforcement of that plan. We await a progress report from newly appointed HACA Executive Director Melvin Colbert.
This spring, the Mayor nominated and the Council approved two new members to the HACA Board of Directors. We all hope the new members and a new Executive Director will help the Board bring more focus to issues surrounding public safety in and around HACA communities. There will be another vacancy on the Board in June and the City staff are working on finding another good person to join the Board of Commissioners. Leadership from the HACA Board is a crucial piece of the puzzle.
A hybrid (and hardest to accomplish piece) of the two-pronged approach of effective policing and strong HACA involvement is developing and administering an effective Banning List. The Chief often when discussing the issue recounts the number of people arrested that would have qualified to be on a more effective Banning List.
For years HACA had an effective Banning Policy, but they were sued by the ACLU, who won a court case that found that the policy was unconstitutional because it had no provision for banned persons to meet with family members living in HACA communities and because there were no provisions for getting off the banning list after a period of good behavior. The City Attorney, Mike Leahy, and Housing Authority Attorney, Alan Hyatt, are meeting soon, possibly with the local ACLU to begin discussions on revising the banning policy to make it stronger.
Like you, I’m frustrated that this effort has taken so long to get going, but that often seems to be the case when working across several organizations. In the end, with a good and enforced banning policy, the Chief feels that crime will go down by as much as 60 percent. Let’s hope so.
Many have asked how soon all of this will happen, and I can only give rough estimates of the timeline. Camera purchase will happen within a month I’m told. The Chief is awaiting a budget transfer from the Administration that may be granted at the next City Council meeting later this month. It will take a few more months after receiving funds until the cameras are all in place.
It is impossible to know when or even if arrests will be made of the shooters. The bad news is that most of the shootings, gunfire and murders are drug-related and part of a battle of warring drug dealers. As we bring pressure on doing drug business in Annapolis, the hope is that the dealers will move elsewhere.
I am trying to set up a meeting with HACA EX Dir. Colbert to walk the Eastport Terrace/Harbor House housing buildings, hopefully this month. I’ve heard disturbing stories about the situation in some buildings and want to see firsthand what is going on.
On the budget side of things, I have offered, and the Finance Community supported, an amendment to the Mayor’s budget to add $350,000 to the police overtime budget. I also offered an amendment to double ($195,000 to $400,000) the Community Grants budget to provide more funding for services that support youth and family services for less privileged persons needing help. These services include counseling of all types, job and life skills training, and job creation programs.
These are all incremental changes and the impact will be slow in coming, but a City/HACA partnership is a change in the way of doing business and hopefully will make a difference in the community.
It is important that you as residents keep up the pressure on me, the Council’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Alderwoman Finlayson, Mayor and the Law Department, and the Police Chief as we collectively try to address the drug trade in our community. We may once again need to go to the state for help as we did eight years ago. The Mayor is in a good position to make that happen and would have my support and I am sure yours.
Ross Arnett, Alderman, Ward 8
Every summer, the ECA invites all members to get together for a bar-b-que picnic at Mear's Marina. And like past years, this year promises a warm evening, good company and great food from Adam's Ribs.
Tickets/Reservations: $20 in advance on the ECA web site, $25 at the door.
The Board held a special meeting Monday, April 25th to discuss the gunfire which occurred on April 17th and damaged homes and cars on President St. and Park Ave. The board agreed that they would put together a letter to City officials, with copies to State elected officials, to remind them of promises made at the emergency community meeting held on April 18th. The letter will also ask for a specific timeline of exactly what the City will be doing and when. The Board will ask local church leaders, the HACA Resident Association and the new Executive Director of HACA to sign the letter. The goal is to form a strong coalition with local organizations/leaders in order to put pressure on the City to ensure our neighborhood is safe. Read the letter HERE.
The Board has agreed to keep members updated in regards to this ongoing issue.
This year, the ECA donated $1,600 to Eastport Elementary School to send four children to summer camp. Connie Lamb, School Counselor, says, "The students are thrilled and looking forward to a fun-filled experience."
Report it: Report street lights out, sidewalks in need of repair, garbage & recycling issues, and more.