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Government Overview

The Town’s Form of Government

The Maryland Legislature incorporated Washington Grove as a municipality with a Mayor and Council/Town Meeting form of government on March 26, 1937, and Maryland Governor Harry Nice signed the Town Charter into law on May 18, 1937.

Mayor and Town Council

Washington Grove is governed by a Council of citizens consisting of six elected Councilors and a Mayor. Learn more on the Mayor and Town Council page.

Town Meetings

The will and decision of Town voters is expressed not only in the annual election of Town officials, but also in actions taken in regular and special Town Meetings.  On the second Saturday in May, the Town holds an annual Town Meeting, in which residents examine and approve (or ask for changes to) the coming fiscal year’s budget.  The election of Town officials takes place in conjunction with this meeting.

In addition to the annual meeting, Special Town Meetings:

  • may be called by the Mayor or by a majority of the Council when issues of significant importance are pending, and
  • must be called by the Mayor within 30 days following receipt of a petition signed by 25 qualified voters requesting a Special Town Meeting on a specified subject.

Read the provisions about Town Meetings in Section 5 and Section 15 of the Charter.

Boards and Commissions

Our Code of Ordinances provides for the creation of three boards and commissions: the Planning Commission (in Article V), the Board of Zoning Appeals (in Article VII), and the Historic Preservation Commission (in Article XV).  Members of these boards and commissions are appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council.  Like the Council, the boards and commissions are considered “public bodies” under the Maryland Open Meetings Act and are therefore subject to its requirements.

Volunteer Committees

Much of the work in keeping the Town running is performed by volunteer committees, including the Woods Committee, the Recreation Committee, the Lake Committee, and many others. Volunteerism is high, allowing an extraordinarily broad range of activities and events.  Residents are free to join any committee and are not mayorally-appointed.  Committees are therefore not considered to be public or governmental bodies, but do make recommendations and provide advice to the Mayor and Council.

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