Town Council News
Next meeting: Monday » 02.08.10 @ 7:30 p.m. & Monday » 02.22.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
Actions at the January Council meeting included:
- introduction and adoption Resolution No. 2010-01; Budget Transfers FY 2010(1).
- introduction of Resolution No. 2010-02; amending Sections 30 & 32 of the Town Charter regarding nominations & elections. Copies are available in the Town Office and on the Town website.
- introduction of Ordinance No. 2010-03; amending Article X, Sections 3.1 & 4.1 of the Town Code of Ordinances regarding nominations and write-in voting.
Town Chooses Option for Deer Park Bridge
In an overwhelming vote at the Special Town Meeting held on January 25, 2010, to determine a Town position for the East Deer Park Bridge, Town residents chose lowering the tracks as the only viable option to protect the historic nature of the Town. More than 60 residents attended the meeting and spoke on various options, but the one that fit most with the desire to reduce noise, reduce traffic, and protect sight lines between the Town and the CSX tracks was to lower the tracks.
The meeting began with a review of the current status of the CSX proposals from Mayor Anderson, and a presentation from former-Mayor Ann Briggs and Charlie Negin on a proposal developed by them to propose to CSX on moving the bridge to cross the tracks at Girard Street. After discussions by Town residents, including a plea from Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher on the likely impact on the historic preservation of the Town from any option other than lowering the tracks (i.e., replacing the bridge with a larger and higher bridge; removing the bridge; or raising the bridge), the Town decisively voted in favor of lowering the tracks. It now will be the charge of the Mayor and Town Council to work with CSX, our elected officials, Gaithersburg, and Montgomery County to pursue this option.
CSX, in discussions with the Mayor before and after the meeting, is proposing to hold a second public information session sometime in February or March to discuss other options. A request has been made to them to seriously bring a proposal for lowering the tracks to that session. If the session is scheduled before the next bulletin, all available means of notification will be used to let everyone know the time and place of this second session.
Town Votes to Transfer Funds for the LOS Litigation
On January 28, 2010, a Special Town Meeting was held to discuss transferring funds for the current Fiscal Year (FY) to cover potential shortfalls in funds approved at the May 2009 Town Meeting. The meeting was called by Mayor Anderson to keep a commitment to residents made at the May meeting that additional funds that exceed $40,500 would not be spent without approval at a Special Town Meeting.
After a short presentation by Mayor Anderson giving an update on the litigation since the May meeting, Town residents Ann Briggs, Chris Kirtz, David Stopak, Kathie Evans, and Shelley Winkler gave 5-minute presentations either for or against continuing the litigation. More than an hour discussion followed to hear from residents and to answer questions raised during the presentations. After final discussions, the Town voted to transfer general funds (a surrogate for continuing the litigation) in the amount of $15,000 to cover the expected shortfall until the beginning of the 2011 FY on July 1, 2010. The Town Council, with resident input, will be developing the inclusion of legal expenses for FY 2011 to be presented at the regular Town Meeting in May.
Upcoming Election (and how you can get involved)
In May, the Town will elect a Mayor and 2 Town Council members. To run for Town Council, a person must have lived in Town for one year and be a qualified, registered voter in Montgomery County; to run for Mayor, a person must have lived in Town for two years and be a qualified, registered voter in Montgomery County. The nomination process is very easy. The Town’s Charter has this to say:
"Persons may be nominated for elective office in the Town by filing a certificate of nomination with the Board of Supervisors of Elections on or before the second Monday in March next preceding the Town election. The certificate of nomination must be in writing and must be signed by at least two qualified voters of the Town."
Please attend the February 22nd public hearing on this Charter change if you have comments.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 22, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to take public comments on proposed Ordinance No. 2010 03 to change Sections 3.1 and 4.1 of Article X of the Code of Ordinances regarding nominations and write-in voting. The proposed change to Section 3.1 would extend the nominations deadline until the second Monday in April. A list of those nominated for Mayor or Council prior to March 1 would be included in the March Town Bulletin, and a final list of those nominated by the April deadline will be included in a notice mailed in April to Town residents. The proposed change to Section 4.1 would add a provision for write-in votes on the ballots to reinforce tradition and clarify the intent to provide for such voting in Washington Grove. Copies of the proposed ordinance are available from the Town Office and on the Town website.
Tax Reminder – Washington Grove -1612
Please fill in Washington Grove 1612 in the appropriate box on your State income tax form. If someone else prepares your tax forms, include this notice with your tax information and if you file electronically be sure to select Washington Grove under City, Town, or Taxing Area. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure that the Town receives its proper share of local income tax revenue. Thanks for your help!
Nominations for Mayor and Town Council must be sent to Mary Kay DuBois by April 12, 2010. So put on your thinking caps and call Mary Kay at 301-926-8941.
Planning Commission News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 02.03.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. The Town zoning ordinance governs setbacks, lot coverage and height. Applications are available at the Town Office at 301-926-2256. The permit fee for a major building permit (addition/renovation) is $40.00. The fee for a minor building permit (fence/shed) is $10.00. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Washington Grove. Interior renovations, which involve electrical, plumbing, or load-bearing changes, generally require a County permit. A shed requires a County permit as well. The Town must first sign off all applications for County-required building permits. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.
At its January meeting, the Commission organized itself for the coming year. Bob Evans will be chair; Steve Werts will be the Commission’s liaison with the Town’s code enforcement officer; Eric Gleason will review building permits; Samantha Beres and Missy Yachup (alternate member) will review fence installations; and Georgette Cole will continue as Town Council liaison. At its February meeting, the Commission will act on proposals to increase the filing fee for non-fence building permits to reasonably compensate for the cost of building inspections, and to require a boundary survey to accompany most building permit applications.
Historic Preservation News
Next meeting: Tuesday » 02.16.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. The HPC encourages residents to come for an early consultation when planning a renovation.
Recreation Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 04.21.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!
Washington Grove Drawing Classes — Sign up NOW for Session 4
Anyone can learn to draw, and it’s not too late to join the Washington Grove Drawing Group for another enriching and rewarding session of instruction and practice Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Starting February 17, we will be meeting weekly for 6 weeks. All sessions are tailored to work for people new to drawing or to the class, as well as those who attended previous class sessions. Once again, the class will be taught by 25-year veteran drawing instructor Carolyn Reece-Tomlin, with assistance from Marida Hines.
Please get your checks for $150 (made out to Town of Washington Grove) to Kathy Lehman or Marida Hines by February 10 so we will know whether or not we have enough people to hold the class. And pass the word to your friends; non-Grovers are welcome. We have 15 easels ready and waiting! If you have any questions, please contact Marida Hines at email@example.com or 301-519-8730.
Film Society News
Join us on February 21, 7 p.m., for Local Hero, a captivating film of off-beat humor and great moments that will stay with you long after. A materialistic oil executive from Texas is sent to a small seaside village in the north of Scotland to buy it as a site for an oil refinery. Out of touch with nature and his own soul, he journeys toward self-discovery, aided by the eccentric locals and the unique charms of the place itself — town, beach, sea, and sky. Directed by Bill Forsyth, 1983, UK, 111 minutes, English subtitles.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s in the Grove!
Blackthorn St. Patrick’s Day Céilí
Friday, March 12, McCathran Hall
Dance Workshop – 6 to 7 p.m.
Céilí – 7 to 11 p.m.
Music by the Martin Family Band
Free to Town residents, but donations gladly accepted to help pay the band. Bring a dish or dessert to share. For more info call: 301-990-0184. Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.
There’s a Mouse in the house
Concert No. 3 – Gut, Wind & Wire
March 14, 2010 McCathran Hall
Tickets still available: call Alice Negin, 301-926-2858 or Ann Briggs; 301-926-6347.
Save the Date!
Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m., Washington Grove will host storyteller/comedian Bil Lepp, five time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest. A very funny guy, Bil tells tales for kids and adults. So mark your calendars and be prepared to laugh! For more information go to www.buck-dog.com. Sponsored by the Recreation Committee.
Lake Committee News
Next meeting: Thursday » 02.18.07 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Yes, that’s right, we said Lake Committee :o)
Please come and help get the lake ready for this year. Important items are: Geese control, Security, Life Guards, Swim Instructors. NEW MEMBERS ALWAYS WELCOME!!
Woman’s Club News
Come melt away the winter blues at the Woman’s Club Annual Chili Supper on Saturday, Feb. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. in McCathran Hall. Our Chili Supper Chair, Pat DiBella is seeking friends to sign up to provide chili, coleslaw, cornbread etc. ALL Town residents are invited, with an especially warm welcome to those new to the Grove. This is a wonderful way to get to know your new neighbors. There is no charge for this event, however, donations to the Woman’s Club are gratefully accepted. Please contact Pat at 301-869-1907 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer to prepare food or set-up or clean-up. Non-alcoholic beverages will be served, but BYOB is fine.
Forestry Committee News
Next meeting: Wednesday » 02.17.10 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. We will be discussing plans for spring of 2010. Our year will start with a volunteer day in late March to plant 50 new saplings in Town. Stay tuned for more details in the March Bulletin. New members are always welcome!
- Feb. 12th – "Justice, Compassion, and Where to Keep Our Money" All are welcome to a practical discussion of what we can do to encourage justice and compassion–by our own decisions about where to bank. The discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Sylvie Favret’s house, 12 Center St. Two documents that can be emailed to those interested include the Jan. 3rd Post article "A religious response to the financial crisis", by Jim Wallis, and the web document, “A Charter for Compassion”, found at http://charterforcompassion.org Questions or requests for these documents? Email Judy at email@example.com
- Feb. 17th – The Shrove Pancake Dinner and Ash Wednesday service take place at the church. Dinner is served from 6 to 7 p.m., in celebration of the traditional “Shrove Tuesday,” preceding our Lenten 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday service. Donations given at the supper will support rebuilding efforts
- Feb. 21st – Lenten Sermon Series on Prayer. Services are held at 11 am at the church. On five Sundays Judy will address prayer as that conversation with God, “the wholly other,” that heals us. Some topics include: Contemplation, the Prayer of Rest; Tears, the Prayer of the Forsaken; Adoration, the Prayer of the Heart; and Intercession, the Prayer for Others.
- Soup kitchen – On the third Thursday of every month we help at the St. Martin’s soup kitchen, at the intersection of Summit Ave. and Rte. 355, from about 12:30 until 4pm (or some segment of that time). We will serve on Feb. 18th. This ministry is deeply appreciated, and sorely needed! For further info. call Jean Clark at 301-948-8758.
- Play Group – continues on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. We’ll meet on Wednesdays February 3rd and 17th, from 9:30 to 11:00 am downstairs in the church. All families welcome–so children can play, and parents and grandparents can talk! Questions? Call Emily Cavey at 240 632 9587 or Judy Young at 240 912 9895.
- Movement Class – Kim Thompson’s Gentle Movement for chronic pain sufferers class will be on Feb. 10th (the 2nd Wednsday of the month), from 2 to 3 p.m. upstairs in the church. The class is free, sponsored by the County, and open to all.
Coming Up: Mark your 2010 calendar for the Annual Silent Auction Rebuilding Fundraiser–scheduled for Saturday, March 6th at 7pm at the Town Hall! Artwork or handmade items to donate? Call Emily Cavey at 240 632 9587.
Neighborhood Watch News
Report Crimes & Suspicious Activity!
Mont. Co. Police non-emergency: 301-279-8000
Town Office: 301-926-2256
Joe Clark: 301-869-7944
Keith Gillis/Leigh Partington: 301-208-1437
Reminder: This time of year we often experience a rise in incidents, especially break-ins and theft. Please remember to lock your home doors and accessible windows when you are away even for a short time. Lock your car doors. Do not leave any valuables in your car. Small electronic devices are prime targets.