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18 May 2015 | Approved: 8 June 2015

Mayor McCathran called the Organizational Meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

Oath of Office for New Councilors

Mayor McCathran gave the oath of office to new and re-elected councilors.

Approval of the Agenda

Georgette Cole moved to approve the agenda. Greg Silber seconded the motion. Mayor McCathran added the Treasurer’s Report. Vote: 6-0, as amended.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Mary Challstrom fielded a few questions from the Council. The report was accepted by general consensus.
  • Georgette Cole moved to transfer $5,000 from savings to checking. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
  • Treasurers Report 2015-June pdf

Nomination and Election of Mayor Pro Tempore

Georgette Cole moved to nominate John McClelland for Mayor Pro Tempore. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.

Council Assignments

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

  • Georgette Cole – Historic Preservation Commission, WG Meadow Park, Liaison to Shady Grove Crossing
  • Alison Faupel – Maple Lake, Playgrounds, Safety
  • Audrey Maskery – Maintenance, Forestry & Beautification, Memorials
  • John McClelland – Planning Commission Liaison, McCathran Hall
  • Bud O’Connor – Recreation, Roads & Walkways, Website
  • Greg Silber – Contracts, Woods Group

Mayor McCathran encouraged all councilors to attend their respective meetings and stressed how valuable they can be. She explained some details about deadlines and council reports. Audrey Maskery pointed out the need for open communication among the members.

Action on Ordinance 2015-04

Georgette Cole moved to adopt Ordinance 2015-04: Ordinance to Adopt the Town Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2015, Through June 30, 2016, and Levy an Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property within the Town. John McClelland seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.

New Business

  • Mayor McCathran brought to the attention of the Council the number of signs around Town from the various congregations which use the Washington Grove United Methodist Church. There was a discussion about these signs and the recently passed Town ordinance governing signs. Bud O’Connor will look into this situation.
  • Mayor McCathran announced she will meet with Montgomery County Police Officers Willie Parker-Loan, Chief Manger and, perhaps, Office Scott Zimmerman on May 26, 2015. They will discuss traffic safety and improving patrolling of the Town by MCPD.
  • John McClelland reported he would like the Council to act on two (2) suggestions from the Annual Town Meeting;

    1. The orientation of Council members around the table at meetings. There was a discussion about having one’s back to the public. John will look into “U” or “V” shaped tables for the room.
    2. Establishing an Abandoned Building Registry and levying a tax on abandoned buildings. There was a discussion about how other municipalities handle this problem, the difference between lack of maintenance and abandoned buildings and forming a group to do a study. The group would consist of a member from the Town Council, the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission. This will be an item for the June meeting agenda and the scope of this topic will be discussed.

    There was also a discussion about the process for resident-sponsored McCathran Hall rentals and a brief mention of air-conditioning for the Hall.

  • John McClelland also reported about the following permits:

    • 117 Washington Grove Lane – handicapped ramp in front of the home. It does not meet setbacks and will likely be denied and referred to the Board of Zoning Appeals. John also stated parking of a recreational vehicle solely on Town land at this property should be addressed. In addition, parking problems on Boundary Street, Daylily Lane and overflow MARC rail parking should be addressed as well.
    • 203 2nd Avenue – a Public Ways & Property Permit for this address was approved with conditions.
    • Little Free Library – a Public Ways & Property Permit was approved for installation of this at Ridge Road and Brown Street.
    • 409 5th Avenue – an application for a permanent easement was presented to the Planning Commission. It was incomplete and will be presented again.
    • 17051 Railroad Street – a request for subdivision of this land was denied. HPC Chair Bob Booher, will send a letter outlining recommendations and suggested layout for the homes in the form of a drawing.
  • Audrey Maskery reported the Woman’s Clubhouse needs a set of steps similar to those built by Town Maintenance on the Chestnut Road side of the building. Town Maintenance will take this on as time allows.
  • Georgette Cole asked about the inadequate signage at Ridge Road and Railroad Street. She would like additional signs to be installed to eliminate the confusion for those leaving the Grove as opposing traffic does not stop unless turning into Town. Signage was suggested to be added to our stop sign exiting Ridge Road.
  • She also reported a dead tree in the buffer area between the Town and Shady Grove Crossing is on their land not the Town’s. Charlie Challstrom has offered to help put in property markers. He, Georgette and a representative from SG Crossing will stake the area together.
  • Mary Challstrom reported due to the snow blower accident this winter, our Worker’s Compensation premiums will go from $4,500 to over $9,000. They will stay higher for a few years and gradually go down as long as we are accident free.
  • John McClelland thought the Town should purchase a few more 6-foot tables for McCathran Hall. Mary Challstrom will look into this.
  • Alison Faupel asked if the minutes could be posted on the Yahoo listserv. There was a discussion about official communication and equal access. The Yahoo listserv cannot be an official form of communication as it only reaches approximately half of the Town residents. Minutes will not be posted there.
  • Mayor McCathran reminded the Council about the Maryland Municipal League hosted by the Town on Thursday, May 20th and encouraged all to attend.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

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