301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, June 13, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the May meeting included:

  • adoption of Ord. 2016-04; Ordinance to Adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2016 Through June 30, 2017, and Levying and Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property Within The Town of Washington Grove, Maryland
  • voted to table indefinitely, Ord. 2016-07; Ordinance Modifying Business Hours Specified in the Town’s Commercial Regulations by 30 Minutes to Allow Businesses to Remain Open Until 9:30 PM
  • introduction and approval of Resolution 2016-08; Resolution Adopting Premium Only Internal Revenue Service Section 125 Cafeteria Plan
  • election of John McClelland as Mayor Pro-Tempore
  • held the vote in place from the April 11th meeting to accept the bid from Snider & Associates for surveying of the Western boundary of the West Woods.

Town Meeting Adopts FY 2017 Budget and Tax Rate

The property tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will decrease to $0.27/$100 assessed valuation. The dwelling unit charge, which is tied to the cost of trash and recycling collection, will remain at $108 per dwelling. Hard copies of the adopted budget detail are available at the Town Office. Please contact Treasurer Mary Challstrom at [email protected] (301-926-4498) or Mayor Joli McCathran at (301-869-5358) or [email protected] if you have questions.

Current Ordinance Work

From time to time, the Town Council reviews and amends Town Ordinances. This process, governed by the Ordinances themselves, may occur when a clarification or updating is needed; at times, modifications take place as the needs of the Town and its residents change (some ordinances are many years old and are in need of periodic review). Sometimes, changes are sweeping and affect many of us; others may be minor and affect only a handful of us, our properties, or activities. By these same ordinances, the Town and its Council is required to notify, in writing and by mail, all Town residents about resolutions that were discussed, voted on, and passed by the Council.

Summary of Ordinance 2016-04

This ordinance adopts the Town budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, and levies an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland. The ordinance will be effective June 22, 2016.

Town Elections Results

Mayor: Joli A. McCathran 65 votes

Write-ins for Mayor:
John Compton 16 votes
John McClelland 3 votes
Georgette Cole 2 votes
Tom Land 2 votes
Donald Trump 2 votes
Saquib Ali 1 vote
Darrell Anderson 1 vote
Charlie Challstrom 1 vote
Kathie Evans 1 vote
Ed Roberts 1 vote
Mrs. Non-Ordinance 1 vote
Patrice Klein 98 votes
Ed Roberts 11 votes
Shelley Winkler 96 votes

From the Mayor…

Peter Nagrod was approved by the Town Council to serve another five (5) year term as a member of the Planning Commission. Many thanks to Peter for agreeing to serve again.
Thanks and appreciation go to the Town’s Board of Supervisors of Elections: Meredith Horan, Chair, Betty Knight, and Kristin Perry. The Board ensures our elections are held according to our Charter. All appreciate their dedication to this important process.

Betty Knight, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Elections chose to resign after 30+ years of volunteering in this capacity. Her resignation was accepted with regret. I thank her for the dedication and dignity she brought to the board. Nick Suzich was appointed to fill her position. Thanks goes to Nick for his agreeing to serve.

As you may be aware, recently a car tried to cross the railroad tracks when the gates were down. This resulted in the vehicle being struck by the train. The vehicle was spun around and the front of the vehicle was stopped by the fence at Roberts Oxygen. The best news was there were no injuries. However, I want to point out the fence did its work by preventing the vehicle from coming onto the Roberts Oxygen property where the empty oxygen tanks are stored. The Town Council referred concerns to the Emergency Preparedness Committee to review.

Additionally, Roberts Oxygen will be removing the chain link fence along the northern side of their property and replacing it with an 8’ cedar wooden fence. This does not require a permit from Washington Grove. However, I appreciate their contacting me to let the Town know of this change.

Summer activities are coming together with dedicated volunteers. Summer In The Parks, swimming lessons, the Fourth of July, and don’t forget the Woman’s Club Silent Auction to raise money for the restoration of the solid walnut benches. These are some of the activities going on in Town. Enjoy our activities and have a safe summer.

Congratulations to all of the graduating seniors in Town. Best of luck to each of you!

On May 10, John Hutchinson and I attended the signing of House Bill 1101, now Chapter 131. Our Town Attorney Suellen Ferguson and Delegate Charles Barley joined us. Our Lake Bill was signed into law and becomes effective on June 1, 2016. At the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, I presented “Key to McCathran Hall” Awards to Senator King and Nate Simpson for their devoted assistance helping us get the legislation passed. Official picture below.

The District-39 State Delegation is invited to the next meeting of the Town Council on June 13, 2016. Invited are Senator Nancy King, Delegate Charles Barkley, Delegate Kirill Reznik, and Delegate Shane Robinson. This meeting is open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

2016 Mayor and Council
Areas of Responsibility and Contact Information:

Mayor, Joli A. McCathran: 301-869-5358
[email protected]

Georgette Cole: 301-330-6740
[email protected]
HPC, Playground Committee,
Shady Grove Crossing Liaison, WG Conservation Park,

Pat Klein: 301-977-8985
[email protected]
Emergency Preparedness, Maple Lake, Safety

Audrey Maskery: 301-977-0582
[email protected]
Forestry and Beautification, Maintenance, Memorials

John McClelland: 301-963-3328
[email protected]
McCathran Hall, Planning Commission,

Greg Silber: 301-926-1854
[email protected]
Contracts, Woods Group

Shelley Winkler: 301-330-6446
Recreation, Roads & Walkways, Website

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., June 1, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the revised procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. In addition, the house files in the Town Hall, another resource when planning home modifications, may have some helpful information on your property. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help you with your project.

Permits up for approval on June 1, 2016:

  • 202 Ridge Road Deck
  • 409 Center Street Fence

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, June 21, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.
If you are considering changes to your home, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you, most preferably early in your planning process, at one of our monthly meetings, which are scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.


by Wendy E. Harris, Volunteer Associate Archivist

News Dispatches from Other Centuries

Introducing a series describing Washington Grove’s earliest days

Town Archivist Pat Patula and I have recently begun to use an exciting new source of information for researching the early history of Washington Grove. The digital archives of The Washington Post, containing newspaper articles from the years 1877 through 1922, are now available online through ProQuest Historical Newspapers. These can be accessed by anyone who has a Montgomery County Public Library card.

As part of an upcoming series, Pat and I will be using our “From the Archives” reports to tell you what we are learning about our community from these articles, as well as from other digitized historic newspapers such as The Baltimore Sun. These, in combination with documents found in our own Washington Grove archivessome already scanned and entered into the searchable PastPerfect database and some notare proving especially helpful for filling in the various gaps that exist in our historical record.

An example of one such gap spans the years for which the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association Board of Trustees meeting minutes are either incomplete, nearly illegible, or missing altogether. Unfortunately this includes the first three decades of the Association’s existence, 1873 to 1904. During this period, however, Washington Post reporters filed numerous reports from the Grove, supplying richly detailed accounts of some of the very first camp meetings, descriptions of the earliest structures occupied by meeting attendees (tents and cottages), and names of the original summer residents, most having ties to several of Washington D.C.’s Methodist churches. Pat is now collecting and studying a group of these articles. She will be presenting her findings in the opening installment of our series.

Presently, I am also researching information supplied by the Washington Post’s digital archives. On June 8, 1913, the Post reported the election of the very first woman to the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association Board of Trustees. Her name was Amelia Elmore Huntley and although this particular Post story tells us nothing further about her, other stories mentioning Huntley appear in subsequent editions. Additional descriptions of her activities can be found with the aid of our PastPerfect database. I’ve also been able to retrieve information from documents that have yet to be scanned and entered into our database. Among the most useful are records relating to committees and groups in which Huntley was active. These include the Committee on Grounds and Supplies, the Forestry Committee, the Chautauqua Committee, and the Ladies Guild. If all goes well, my story about her will appear this summer in the Town Bulletin as another installment of our series.

It has been a very satisfying experience to reconstruct aspects of Washington Grove’s history that were not previously known or were never before so easily available to researchers. We are optimistic that by combining the various information sources and research tools described above, we will be able to provide Washington Grove residents with a fuller and more accurate picture of our community’s camp meeting era.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., July 13, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Soul, Solos, and Sangria!
How that’s for enticement?

Friday, June 17 at 7:30PM,

Music Weekend kicks off when soul and R&B faves, Jr. Cline and the Recliners, take over the Gazebo with horns held high! Bring blankets, folding chairs, and judicious beverages of choice (rhythm and brews?).

Saturday, June 18 at 10:00 AM,

the Grove’s younger entertainers take to the McCathran Hall stage–and by “entertainers” we mean instrumentalists, singers, dancers, jugglers, poets, even illusionists (but no saws, please). Family groups count as “young at heart,” so they are welcome as well. Please contact Tad Stahnke at [email protected] or Samantha Beres, [email protected], by Wednesday, June 15, to sign up, and have your program information ready.

Saturday night 8:00 PM,

is the “grown-ups” recital, Open Mic at MaC (also BYOB); contact Emily Cavey at [email protected] to enter and sign in, please.

Sunday morning 10:30 AM,

the festivities move back to the Gazebo for mariachi music and mucho fun. Please bring a tray or casserole large enough to share — we had so many attendees, we ran out of food last year! — and something to sit on. Or maracas and dancing shoes. Paper products, tableware, etc., will be provided.

Red, White, and Blue — and You!

July Fourth is one of the biggest dates on the Washington Grove calendar, and this year we start on Saturday, July 2 with a replay of the popular potluck supper at Maple Lake starting at 4 p.m. Monday is the main attraction, with costume judging at 11:00 AM in Woodward Park, flag-raising and parade at Noon, with a solemn salvo by Washington Grove’s Highly Intelligent Eclectic Militia. The parade stops at McCathran Hall where there will be prizes, popsicles, and bell-ringing with a serenade by the Muskrat Band. All that followed at 2PM by the popular all-ages pickup softball game. There will be water (and more popsicles) provided; for more information contact Joey Fones at [email protected].

Muskrat Band Members Dust Off Your Horns!!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of our one-and-only Muskrat Band. All are welcome to join in the fun! Please contact Eric Selby; [email protected], 703-203-8100 or Kathy Lehman; [email protected], 301-926-1253 for more information.

Summer sign-up reminders: Applications for swim lessons are due June 25; go to httpL://goo.gl/forms/3cBUw01M2G to register. Lessons are held weekday afternoons July 5-29. For more information contact Emily Brown at [email protected].

The registration forms for tennis camp for juniors are due June 25 as well; go to https://goo.gl/forms/Ee2ASo3vvG or contract ever-patient pro Linda Baim at [email protected].

Maple Lake News…

Next Meeting: Thurs., June 16, 2016; 7:30 p.m.; Council Room.

Maple Lake Party Permits

Make sure your party is official! Complete the online registration form and inquire at the Town Office for an alcohol permit at 301-926-2256.

Bee Visitors at Maple Lake!

Now and for the next two weeks or so, you can see “cellophane bees” (genus Colletes) at the sand beach at Maple Lake. There are many burrows that look like anthills. During this short period, bees are emerging from the burrows, mating, and digging new burrows. Long before July, they will be gone.

These bees are almost the size of a honeybee, but mostly black, and, unlike the social honeybees, Colletes are solitary. Each female digs her own burrow to lay her eggs and then leaves.
Cellophane bees are valuable native pollinators, including species that pollinate tulip trees (the dominant tree in the West Woods), hollies, apple, maple, redbud, willow, viburnum, blueberries and more. Some elementary schools design projects to attract, and observe these beneficial insects.

They look intimidating, but those bees zooming around near the ground are males, and they don’t have stingers. They are hoping to be the first to catch a new female as she emerges from a burrow. One that digs, or enters a burrow and stays there a while, is a female. We’ve tested and we know that they can at least manage a very mild sting.

So, yes, if you grab a female, or step on one in just the right way, she might sting. But Colletes are never aggressive and have no interest in defending the burrows. Children are more likely to be stung stepping on the honeybees that collect water from the wet part of the sand.

For the next couple of weeks or so, if your kids come to the lake, suggest that they watch the bee activity and then try to give the bees a little space. Water shoes or sandals are recommended for those who worry about stings.

Many thanks to Betsy Klinger for this helpful information!!

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed., June 22, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.
Have you been admiring our beautiful trees? Perhaps noticing someplace a new tree would look good? If so please send your suggestion to the Forestry and Beautification Committee via the F&B Chair’s email: [email protected].

Woods Group

Next Meeting: Monday, June 6, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Woman’s Club News…

This year’s May Flower Show was a great success, in spite of the rain. Congratulations to our winners — Best Specimen: Georgette Cole; Best Arrangement: Carolyn Rapkievian; Best Youth: Christina Hammett; and Best in Show: Georgette Cole

Saturday, June 25th will be this year’s Annual Progressive Porch Party.

The evening will begin at 5:00 PM with appetizers on the porch of Liz Robertston (315 Brown Street). About 6:00 PM we will move to the main course on the porch of Arelen & Jeff McCrehan (410 Brown Street). At 7:00 PM we will finish up the evening on the porch of Sylvia & Tom Appleby (112 Chestnut Avenue). This a favorite Town event, and everyone’s invited.

Saturday, July 23, 2016, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM,

the Woman’s Club will celebrate its 90th Anniversary with a Wine & Cheese Party and Silent Auction, to raise funds to repair and restore five of the original, solid walnut benches that were handed down to the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association in the 1870’s, and which are still used in our Clubhouse today. They are believed to be between 150 and 200 years old, and they’ve been painted, glued together and fixed as needed, but now they have reached the point that they require professional restoration. This will be an expensive undertaking, but necessary to preserve these vital pieces of our history. Please plan on joining us that night!

As you travel around this summer, please collect those little bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, etc. to contribute to our fall Outreach program, where we wil be filling bags with needed toiletry items for the residents of the Gude Men’s Shelter. These donations can be dropped off any time in the cans on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Avenue.


June 5th (Sunday) at 11:00 AM at the church;
The former resident of Washington Grove and retired Scientist, Gary Gordon will speak about his life story, work and faith. Come and join us to support and be inspired by his story.

General Information

Vacant Homes Task Force
The next meeting of this Task Force will be on June 20, 2016, at 7:30 PM in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Emergency Preparedness Committee
The Washington Grove Emergency Preparedness Task Force will meet in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall on Thursday, June 30 at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend the meetings.


DVDs of the lively, memorable, and spirited performance of Grove Trek (Holiday Show December 2015) are available. If you saw it and want to see it again, or you missed it altogether and want a copy, contact Judy Mroczka at [email protected] or Emily Cavey at [email protected]. In exchange, a voluntary contribution of $5 to the Recreation Committee is suggested. Some DVDs from the 2014 holiday extravaganza, The Grove Holly Follies, are also available. Both DVDs, produced by our very own John Porter, also contain the bonus feature of still photos from the shows and rehearsals.

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