11 August 2008 | Approved: 8 September 2008
Mayor Anderson called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark, Georgette Cole, John Compton, and Marida Hines. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, and Town resident Ann Briggs.
Approval of the Agenda
Georgette Cole moved, Charlie Challstrom seconded that the Agenda for August 11, 2008 be approved. Mary Challstrom requested the addition of the lease agreement with Bob Herbert. Charlie Challstrom requested the addition of the proposed lease agreement with the Hanagan’s Auto Repair business. Marida Hines requested the addition of an update on the security issues at Maple Lake. The agenda was approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
Approval of Minutes
Charlie Challstrom moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Town Council minutes of July 7, 2008 be approved as amended. Vote: 5-0.
Georgette Cole moved, Charlie Challstrom seconded that the Town Council minutes of July 21, 2008 be approved. Vote: 4-0. John Compton abstained because he did not attend the meeting.
Mary Challstrom explained a couple of budget items, including an adjustment from the Office of Revenue and a water meter deposit amount. As an aside, Jim Fletcher requested funds for a second, smaller water meter. The Council said yes. Charlie Challstrom asked to talk about legal expenses. He stated that the Town is one month into the new fiscal year and already over budget. He also stated that Town residents were due an update about the expenses. A discussion ensued which included, the pros and cons of an executive session with both attorneys, estimates of upcoming legal expenses, e-mails from the attorneys going to all Council members, residents’ expectations, the reason for the higher than expected bills (M-NCPPC elevated the suit to the highest court of appeals in Maryland), help from the Maryland Municipal League Review Board, the possibility of an MML amicus brief, and an early October date for a special Town meeting to ask for more budget authority and to give residents an update. Mayor Anderson stated that he would contact both attorneys and ask for best case and worst case estimates on costs associated with the preparation for the September 15th deadline.
Joe Clark moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Treasurer’s report for July 2008 be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Joe Clark moved, Georgette Cole seconded the motion to transfer funds. Vote: 5-0.
Georgette Cole asked Jim if he would rearrange the water gators to a position that would be more conducive to good air flow. John Compton asked about the condition of the athletic field. Jim said that it was suffering a bit, especially in front of the goal nearest the parking lot. Jim has been using the rain train to water for several weeks. A discussion about portable soccer goals ensued. There was also a discussion about the tree top that fell into Chestnut Road taking power lines, cable lines and phone lines with it. Charlie Challstrom volunteered to measure the area to determine the Town right of way.
Improving Relations with Neighboring Communities – Discussion
Mayor Anderson opened the discussion saying that he would like to see a Town-wide formal effort to improve relations with the neighbors on our borders. Not only would it help the Town but it would help our neighbors as well. Charlie Challstrom mentioned that the Woods Group had several discussions about this issue and that it was time to follow up. The objectives for this effort should be clear and driven by the interests that we all have in common. It should also be an equal, not paternalistic, effort. The Montgomery County Police could be very helpful. This new group of volunteers would be empowered to meet and come up with a plan. The Council will help with specific guidance.
Developing a Strategy to Increase Volunteering in Town
Mayor Anderson stated that the same people seem to be volunteering for everything and he wondered how the Council might help to increase the pool of volunteers. Is the Council making an effort to reach out to new residents? A discussion ensued. The most recent volunteer effort to kill the ivy in the woods was a success because it had a beginning and an end and a specific goal. All agreed that because the Town runs on volunteers, that personal contact was very important. A new-comers breakfast and the Mayor’s Biscuit Supper were discussed. Mayor Anderson will write something about volunteering for the September Bulletin
- Agreement with Bob Herbert/Action Hauling: The Town is increasing the annual rent for the property near Railroad Park to $1,500.00 per year. Notice of the $300.00 increase was sent but no reply has been received. The contract is about to expire. Mr. Herbert’s attorney made an offer to buy the land in a letter in April 2008. The Town has not yet responded. Mayor Anderson will write a letter to Mr. Herbert that acknowledges the receipt of his offer to buy the land and ask about renewal of the annual agreement.
- Casey 6 & 7: Mayor Anderson reported that there was nothing new concerning the Casey 7 property. He also reported that a site plan modification hearing on Casey 6 will be scheduled for September.
- Deer Park Bridge: Mayor Anderson reported that there would be a meeting with the acting City Manager of Gaithersburg on August 12th. It will be a sharing of ideas and an effort to be sure that Gaithersburg and Washington Grove are on the same page where the bridge is concerned.
- Legacy Open Space Field: Mayor Anderson reported that there was nothing new, the suit is still in appeals and that the attorneys are preparing for the next go-round.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:26 p.m.