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8 August 2011 | Approved: 12 September 2011

Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:33 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Joe Clark, Sylvie Favret, Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Alice Negin and Bill Robertson. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chair Charlie Challstrom and residents Ann Briggs, Christine Dibble, Nancy Haskett, Meredith Horan, Ann Philips, Carolyn Rapkievian, Ed Roberts and Warren Winter.

Approval of Agenda

Alice Negin moved, Joe Clark seconded that the agenda be approved.
Vote: 6-0.

Approval of Minutes

Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Town Council minutes for July 11, 2011 be approved. Vote: 6-0.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Joe Clark moved, Sylvie Favret seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for July 2011 be accepted. There were questions about Summer In The Parks, Meadow Maintenance, Capital Outlay, current Town investments, lifeguard salaries and lighting. It was during this time that Charlie Challstrom gave an update about our street lights and the proposed change to induction bulbs. PEPCO has a new person working with us now and we are waiting for PEPCO to come up with a dollar amount to charge the Town. Charlie is optimistic.Vote: 6-0.
  • Sylvie Favret moved, Alice Negin seconded the motion to transfer funds from savings to checking in order to pay bills. Vote: 6-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2011-08 pdf

Public Appearances

Ed Roberts explained that he was being chased by another car late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning and he ended up with his car in a drainage ditch at Hickory Road and Center Street. He went on to say that although the newly painted yellow lines are of some help, they are still insufficient to do the job. He has an idea for inexpensive ways to fix the unsafe corners in Town and asked to have a private meeting with the councilors in charge of Roads and Safety. Bill Robertson (for Roads) will meet with Ed to discuss his ideas.

Meredith Horan came to discuss safety and security in Woodward Park. The soccer players are lingering much longer than ever before. Warren Winter supported that statement. Mayor Cole said that the current signs use the wording “closed at dusk or 8:30PM whichever comes first”. She suggested that the closure time would be more precise if “dusk” was changed to “sunset”. Warren Winter also stated that he no longer sees any Grove people using the field because the weekday evening soccer play has become so intense that no one else can use the field. There are adult male soccer players using Woodward Park every evening beginning at approximately 6:00 PM. There was a discussion about permits, number of people there every evening (at least 20-25), clearer signage, lack of enforcement, contacting Officer Tillery, trash, taking the soccer goals down, shortening the playing time, Program Open Space money, Town philosophy, counting spectators and players and the fact that our field has less stringent use requirements than the County fields. Mayor Cole stated that she would not be going over to the field and asking players to leave. Our regulations permit the Mayor, any Council member and any other person authorized in writing by the Mayor to ask players to leave. Formation of a group to monitor permit compliance and close the gate at sunset was discussed. Warren Winter said that he would join the gate closing group. Richard Haskett, Elly Briggs and Tom Land were also suggested. A subcommittee of Joe Clark, Joli McCathran and Bill Robertson was formed to look into this idea and other ways to cope with use of Woodward Park. The committee will report back to the Council on Sept 12.
The proposed action items are;

  • Committee to close the gate at sunset.
  • Better signage
  • Joe Clark, Joli McCathran and Bill Robertson will meet with William Flores (current user on Sunday afternoon – no permit) before the next Council meeting.
  • Review the current regulations.
  • Find a new Woodward Park Coordinator.
  • Review the need to close the field for maintenance.

Fishing at Maple Lake

The Council reviewed the Fishing Regulations proposed and posted by the Lake Committee. Joe Clark suggested moving #5 to the #3 spot and adding May 1st – September 30th in #8. He also expressed concern that casting had not been addressed in the regulations. There was a discussion about enforcement, use of barbless hooks, educating the public, use of pictures with the universal “no” symbol on the signs and clarification of the shading on the map that shows the no fishing areas. The Council agreed that a more permanent sign should be arranged for next year. The Clerk read an e-mail from Dr. Patrice Klein (207 Grove Ave.) which explained that fishing for snapping turtles was illegal in the State of Maryland. This information will be published in the Town Bulletin.

Council Reports

  • Joli McCathran stated that she would like to see the Town markers near the Deer Park Bridge. Charlie Challstrom volunteered to show them to her. Mayor Cole reported that she had received an e-mail from about acknowledgement and appreciation of David Neumann for his years of service to the Town. Joli, as HPC liaison, will ask Bob Booher to write something for the next Town Bulletin. Audrey Maskery reported that Asplundh was in Town doing trimming for PEPCO. Joe Clark pointed out that the barrel planter outside McCathran Hall had been hit by a car. Audrey will deal with this after the plants finish blooming. Alice Negin reported that Craig English had agreed to do Labor Day again. She also reported that she and the Clerk would meet with Bill Saar after Labor Day to discuss the Town Calendar on the website. Alice also asked that a tribute be included in the September Bulletin to long-term resident and Recreation Committee chair/member Mary Kay Du Bois who died at the end of July. A discussion about memorials ensued. Joli McCathran mentioned that the tree problem in our East Woods was happening in other places and not just Washington Grove. She has arranged for County experts to come to the next Council meeting with a report on this issue.
  • Joe Clark moved, Alice Negin seconded that the Council Reports for July be approved for posting on the Town website. Vote: 6-0.
  • Joe Clark proposed that Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts be given two extra vacation days in appreciation for a job well done during his first year. Steve’s contract with the Town will be changed to accrual of 15 vacation days per calendar year instead of 13 days. Joe suggested that this was especially appropriate as Steve lost seniority and vacation time when he came to work for the Town. A discussion ensued.
  • Joli McCathran moved to accept the proposal that gives Steve two extra vacation days and that this is added as an addendum to his letter of agreement. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
  • Town Council Reports – August 2011 pdf

Mayor’s Announcements

  • Deer Park Bridge Update: The Mayor stated that another Special Town Meeting will soon be needed. She would like to do this in mid-September or early October. There was a discussion about timing and proper notice.
  • Casey 6 & 7: Mayor Cole reported that the EMOC meeting on Aug. 1st went well but that there were still some loose ends to tie up, like Roberts Oxygen access on Railroad Street. Shelley Winkler has volunteered to be the contact person for this project. She would like to invite the County out here for a tour of the Town area that will be affected by the moving of the service parks. A discussion ensued. Georgette and Joli will talk to the Woman’s Club about hosting a breakfast for the Planning Board, the County Council, and possibly our State Delegation. We recognize that in addition to current projects, like EMOC, there will be new planning decisions coming, like re-zoning Towne Crest, which will impact the Town. The goal will be to help these members understand why their projects and decisions affect the character of the Grove so profoundly.
  • Board of Elections: Mayor Cole reported that Meredith Horan has agreed to fill the vacancy left by the death of long-time Board member and chair Mary Kay Du Bois.
  • Well Failure at 300 Ridge Road: Mayor Cole reported that the well at 300 Ridge Road, which is only 60 feet deep, failed last week. There is an agreement in place with Toll Brothers that addresses potential well failures that could be a result of their development along the non-Town side of Ridge Road. Fifteen homes are on the escrow list. As it stands now, 300 Ridge Road was not included on the list. The reason for this over-sight is unknown. The Mayor and Council believe that it would be worth the effort to get Margaret on the list.

New Business

Joli McCathran reported that Brenda Sandberg from M-NCPPC stated that the plan for a school on the lower field beyond the LOS property is back on the table.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

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