/* The Divi child theme test */ Town Council Meeting Minutes May 2014 | Town of Washington Grove
301-926-2256 washgrove@comcast.net


19 May 2014 | Approved: 9 June 2014

Mayor McCathran called the Organizational Meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery, John McClelland, Carolyn Rapkievian, Bill Robertson and Greg Silber. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts, residents Jenn Hix, Bruce Rothrock, Jane Seegal and former resident Jeanie Myers.

Oath of Office for New Councilors

Mayor McCathran administered the oaths of office to Town Councilors Georgette Cole, Audrey Maskery and John McClelland.

Approval of the Agenda

Georgette Cole moved, Audrey Maskery seconded, that the agenda be approved. Vote: 6-0.

Nomination and Elections of Mayor Pro Tempore

Georgette Cole moved, Bill Robertson seconded, the nomination of John McClelland to serve a Mayor Pro Tem for the coming year.
Vote: 5-0. John McClelland abstained.

2014-15 Council Areas of Responsibility

Mayor McCathran announced the following assignments for Council Areas of Responsibility.

  • Georgette Cole: Historic Preservation Commission, WG Meadow Park, Liaison to Shady Grove Crossing
  • Audrey Maskery: Forestry & Beautification, Memorials
  • John McClelland: Planning Commission Liaison, McCathran Hall
  • Carolyn Rapkievian: Website, Maple Lake, Safety
  • Bill Robertson: Maintenance, Roads & Walkways
  • Greg Silber: Contracts, Recreation, Playground

Mayor McCathran will send copies of this list to Council members, the Clerk and the Treasurer.
The Organizational Meeting ended at 7:40 p.m.

Public Hearing – Ordinance No. 2014-01

To adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and levy an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town.
Mayor McCathran called the Public Hearing to order at 7:41 p.m. She reviewed the action of adding $5,000 to the Capital Improvements Plan as a placeholder for playground equipment that took place at the Annual Town Meeting on May 10, 2014. She asked for comments from the Town Council. There was a brief discussion about the tax rate and the dwelling tax not changing from last year’s figures. There being no further comments, the hearing ended at 7:50 p.m.

Public Hearing – Ordinance No. 2014-02

To amend Article XIII, “Application of County Legislation”, Section 1, “Exemption from County Legislation” to exempt the Town from the application of certain provisions of County Code Chapter 8, “Buildings”, and Chapter 19, “Erosion, Sediment Control, and Storm Water Management”; add Chapter 31C, “New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing” as a County law applicable in the Town; and revise certain references to the County Code.

Mayor McCathran asked Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom to give a review of this ordinance. He gave a history explaining the connection to the Montgomery County Roadside Tree and Canopy ordinances. He went on to say the Town addresses this issue with a Public Ways and Property Permit and our Forest Conservation Policy. The Mayor and Council discussed input from the Town attorney. Charlie Challstrom suggested the Planning Commission do a review of changes to County Code on an annual basis. Someone asked if adopting County Chapter 31C, “New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing” would add more time to the Town or County processes. No one could answer but it was suggested the protection afforded by adopting this would likely be worth any additions to the process. There being no further comments, the hearing ended at approximately 8:10PM.

Mayor McCathran called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 8:11PM

Public Appearances

The Town Clerk asked if the flags could be flown at half mast in memory of Bill Tenney. The sense of the Mayor and Council was positive.

Approval of Minutes

Greg Silber moved, Audrey Maskery seconded, that the meeting minutes for April 14, 2014 be approved. Greg Silver presented two (2) changes. Vote: 5-0, as amended. John McClelland abstained.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Greg Silber moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for April 2014 be accepted. Treasurer Mary Challstrom fielded a few questions from the Council. Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts explained that recent heavy rains had caused considerable erosion and washed away large rocks from the ditch in front of the gate at Maple Lake. He asked if there were funds available to buy some rip-rap and concrete to fix the damage. There was a discussion about the configuration of the ditch. Steve will make the purchase and try to fix the problem. He urged the Council to start thinking about a long-term solution.Vote: 6-0.
  • Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Georgette Cole seconded the motion to transfer $60,000 from checking to savings in order to pay bills. It was noted this higher than usual amount is needed in order to pay the contractor for the repair and repaving work on lower Ridge Road. Vote: 6-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2014-05 pdf

Action on Ordinance 2014-01

Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Greg Silber seconded, that Ordinance 2014-01; Ordinance to adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and levy an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town be enacted.
Vote: 6-0.

Action on Ordinance 2014-02

To amend Article XIII, “Application of County Legislation”, Section 1, “Exemption from County Legislation” to exempt the Town from the application of certain provisions of County Code Chapter 8, “Buildings”, and Chapter 19, “Erosion, Sediment Control, and Storm Water Management”; add Chapter 31C, “New Home Warranty and Builder Licensing” as a County law applicable in the Town; and revise certain references to the County Code. Approval of Ordinance 2014-02 was moved and seconded. Vote: 6-0.

Introduction of Ordinance No. 2014-03;

Authorize Permanent Easements for Main Buildings Initially Constructed in Part on Land Owned by the Town: Mayor McCathran asked Chairman Challstrom to review. Charlie explained that after joint meetings, input from the Town attorney, further research, new boundary surveys and the identification of eight (8) homes where part of the main building is on Town land, the Planning Commission recommends introduction of this ordinance. A discussion ensued. With it becoming clear this could be a lengthy discussion, people were reminded that the public hearing would be the place for further discussion and adjustments. John McClelland asked if the owners of the homes in question had been formally contacted. If not, he volunteered to do so.

Bill Robertson moved, John McClelland seconded, to introduce Ordinance 2014-03. Vote: 6-0.

Set Date for Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 2014-03

The hearing was scheduled for 9 June 2014. The hearing will take place at the beginning of the regular meeting of the Town Council.

Council Reports from Continuing Council Members

  • Carolyn Rapkievian moved, Audrey Maskery seconded, that the April Council Reports be approved for posting on the Town website. Carolyn Rapkievian made brief mention of the website survey with the promise of a full report in June. Vote: 5-0, John McClelland abstained.
  • Town Council Reports – May 2014 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Deer Park Bridge Update – Mayor McCathran reported a meeting with CSX, Town representatives and representatives from Montgomery County will take place in the Council Room on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 9:30 AM. The purpose of the meeting is to go over some details before the project gets started in June. Bill Robertson wondered if this might be the time to bring up the need for regular maintenance of the CSX drain across Railroad Street. Charlie Challstrom stated that the two (2) projects are not connected but would make a note to ask.
  • Playground Update – Mayor McCathran reported that Jenn Hicks sent an e-mail about our deteriorating playground equipment. Jenn has a background in early childhood education and her husband David has a background in grant writing. They have volunteered to work on a comprehensive plan for our playground. Mayor McCathran will ask, by way of the Town Bulletin, for additional volunteers to help. She thanked Jenn for her interest.
  • Don Henninger’s E-mail – Don’s concerns were he never received any acknowledgement that his e-mail had been received. He would like to see that change. Don also wrote about providing plastic bags for dog walkers to pick up their dog’s “business” in the Conservation Meadow Park and he voiced his concern about cats roaming freely about Town. There was a brief discussion about the effectiveness of reminders in our Town Bulletin. Mayor McCathran stated a reminder about dog waste, free roaming cats and County animal control laws would be in the June Bulletin. Georgette Cole volunteered to respond to Don with information on how to contact the Conservation Meadow Park Supervisor regarding the dog waste stations and to assure him the roaming cats reminder would be in the next Bulletin. Steve Werts brought up the issue of finding used condoms in secluded parts of the playground equipment, stating that small children and dogs have gotten in to them and it is a mess for all involved. He asked for a bulletin announcement about that subject as well.

New Business

Greg Silber, as follow-up to Don Henninger’s concerns, stated people say they approach Council members with issues but never hear back. He suggested there be a process to follow when contacted by a resident. He also said it could be as simple as an Auto-Reply, in order for people to feel like they are being heard. All agreed that acknowledgement would be good and should happen.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Scroll Up