A new Annapolis taxpayers group will conduct a citywide meeting at Annapolis High School tonight.
The Ad Hoc Committee of the Citizensof Annapolis to Repeal the New Utility Taxes dropped newsletters at homes all over Annapolis Tuesday, urging people to attend the meeting.
"We're going to be discussing and organizing to get the whole city mobilized," said the group's chairman, Sylvanus Jones. "We want to make sure we don't have another July 1, 1990."
On that day, the City Council increased property tax rates and water, sewer and trash collection fees, in part to make up for $2 million in commercial tipping fees the city expects to lose when its landfill closes next year. The county has rejected the city's plans to expand the Defense Highwaysite. The city hopes to work out a compromise soon.
Jones began organizing the group last fall. City officials said they sympathized but said the increases were necessary.
Jones has attended most council meetings since he first protested the increases last September and said he thinks the council has lost touch with the people. He plansto form watchdog groups in each of the city's eight wards and to recruit candidates for public office.
"They're going to try to recapture the wards, so there are no more automatic elections or elections without opponents," he said. "The city government is not responsive to the needs of the people. They don't givebreaks for people who are on fixed incomes or retired."
Jones is retired from the federal government on disability.
The keynote speaker tonight will be Robert Schaeffer, president of the Anne Arundel Taxpayers Association. The Annapolis committee has allied itself with the countywide movement.
Other speakers include Robert H. Campbell, a former city and county official who headed Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins' transition team, and retired Navy Capt. John H. Griffin, chairman of the Annapolis Fair Tax Committee.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium on Riva Road.
Beginning March 31, the group also plans a "tea party" the fourth Sunday of every month, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Jones' Bausum Drive home.