21 May 2018 | Approved: 11 June 2018
Mayor Joli McCathran gave the oath of office to Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom, Robert Gilmore and Marida Hines because newly elected Mayor John Compton was in Germany. Mayor Compton will sign the internal oaths of office upon his return. In attendance were Council Members Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom, Robert Gilmore, Marida Hines, Pat Klein and Audrey Maskery. Also in attendance were Historic Preservation Chair Bob Booher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom and residents Emily Cavey (and their four (4) children), Georgette Cole, Christine Dibble, Robert Johnson, Joan Mahaffey and Paula Puglisi.
Mayor McCathran and the Cavey/Gilmore’s left after the oaths were given.
Marida Hines moved to select Darrell Anderson as the presiding officer for the meeting. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
PUBLIC HEARING, ORDINANCE 2018-03; Ordinance Adopting Town Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2018 Through June 30, 2019, and Levying an Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property Within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland
Darrell Anderson called the Public Hearing to order at 7:37 p.m. He asked if there were any questions about the annual budget that was approved at the Town Meeting on May 12, 2018. There were no questions. The Public Hearing was closed.
Darrell Anderson called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:40 p.m.
Approval of Agenda:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the agenda. Pat Klein seconded the motion. Marida Hines requested the addition of a discussion about Council support for a communications initiative to form a work group to improve communications in Town.
Vote: 6-0, as amended.
Christine Dibble announced the new Dog Park Committee is being formed. They want to use as many communication channels as possible and welcome all ideas. Joan Mahaffey understood more would be in place before the resolution (item 10 on agenda) would be passed. Folks were reminded the original Dog Owners Group (D.O.G.) already presented rules and regulations some time ago.
Approval of Minutes:
Pat Klein moved to approve the minutes of the Town Council meeting on April 9, 2018 and post them to the website. Rob Gilmore seconded the motion. Some changes were made. Vote: 6-0, approved, as amended.
Treasurers Report 2018-April pdf
Charlie Challstrom moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report for April 2018. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. There was a discussion about year-end expenditures and budget transfers. Vote: 6-0, accepted.
Mayor Pro Tempore:
It was moved and seconded to nominate Darrell Anderson as Mayor Pro-Tempore. There was a discussion about the process for such a nomination. Vote: 4 (Charlie Challstrom, Rob Gilmore, Marida Hines, Audrey Maskery) in favor, 2 (Pat Klein, Darrell Anderson) abstentions.
Pat Klein moved to transfer $10K from savings to checking. Rob Gilmore seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved. It was moved and seconded to approve John Compton and Darrell Anderson as check signers. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Authorize Mayor to Appoint a Town Liaison to the Maryland Municipal League:
Marida Hines moved to authorize the Mayor to appoint a Town Liaison to the Maryland Municipal League. Rob Gilmore seconded the motion. There was a discussion about the benefits and history of the MML. The motion was amended; “to appoint Joli McCathran as the Town liaison to the Maryland Municipal League.” Both Marida and Rob approved the amendment to the original motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Approval of Ordinance 2018-03; Adopting Town Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2018 Through June 30, 2019, and Levying an Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property Within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland:
Pat Klein moved to approve Ordinance 2018-03. Marida Hines seconded the motion. There was a discussion about Council powers, binding votes and the process for making changes (Special Town Meeting).
Vote: 6-0, approved.
Introduction of Ordinance of 2018-04; A Zoning Text Amendment to Modify Special Rules for Fences and Carports, add Definitions for Clarity and Consistency and Modify Accessory Building Set Backs:
Charlie Challstrom took the lead and explained the documents approved by the Planning Commission and sent to the Town Council. Charlie noted John McClelland did most of the work on this as a “parting action” before he stepped down from the Planning Commission. He also reviewed the notification requirements for a Zoning Text Amendment and distributed a potential timeline for the process. Introducing the ordinance now would save having to do a special mailing. Rob Gilmore moved to introduce Ordinance 2018-04 and set the public hearing date for July 9, 2018. Marida Hines seconded the motion.
Vote: 6-0, as amended.
Introduction of Ordinance 2018-05; Amendments to Article IV; Building Permit Regulations to Modify and Clarify Requirements for Building Permits:
Charlie Challstrom moved to introduce Ordinance 2018-05 and set the public hearing date for July 9, 2018.
Vote: 6-0, introduced.
Introduction of Resolution 2018-06; Establishing Rules and Regulations for a Town Dog Park:
Darrell Anderson explained the original Dog Owners Group, input from Local Government Insurance Trust and edits from John McClelland comprised this document. Charlie Challstrom suggested members review the Woods Committee letter from April 9, 2018. The Council deferred acting on the resolution to allow for additional review and public input at the June Council Meeting. Marida Hines moved to introduce the draft document known as Resolution 2018-06; Establishing Rules and Regulations for a Town Dog Park distributed in the pre-meeting packets. Pat Klein suggested item #3 from the April 9th letter from the Woods Committee be included in the resolution for additional clarification. Christine Dibble suggested additional language recognizing the new Dog Park Committee be added as well. Vote: 6-0.
Discuss Open Meetings Act Requirements And Recommendation That New Council Complete Online Training:
Information about the Act and access to training can be found on the State Attorney General’s website (www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov). Charlie Challstrom distributed frequently asked questions. Council members will update their status concerning training at the next meeting. The Open Meetings Act item started a discussion about the following:
- Use of the Town Listserve
- Official and unofficial communication
- Equitable notice to all
- Sharing information electronically
- The new communications initiative
- Reasonable methods of notification
- Improving efficiency
- Using a subscription method
Pat Klein noted earlier in the meeting that members should be mindful of the Open Meetings Act during e-mail discussions. Rob Gilmore and Charlie Challstrom further stated it is the “reply all” and sequential e-mails that are of most concern. Rob also pointed out the distinction between “reply all” and sequential e-mails. The Council was urged to read the laws.
Priorities for the Coming Year:
Pat Klein noted that priority business for the Council is already in the approved FY19 CIP. Council efforts should be directed to what can reasonably be accomplished in the year.
The Council discussed addressing the following issues in the coming year (listed in no particular order of priority):
- Town Master Plan
- County Shared Bike Path
- Town Street Lights – Charlie gave an update on Town street light fixtures and the inability to acquire parts for our lights. He suggested another committee form to study this subject.
- Mechanism for residents to voice concerns to Town officials
- Town Drainage
- The Town’s 150th Anniversary in 5 years (Celebrations, Chautauqua Week, Meetings, Promoting the Town, etc.)
- Communications Improvements (Listening sessions)
- Deer Control
Discussion of Council Areas of Responsibility:
The Council suggested waiting until the June meeting to discuss this subject. Charlie Challstrom stated the Council liaison to the Planning Commission is a time sensitive appointment and needs to be selected this evening.
Marida Hines moved to approve Mayor Pro-Tem Darrell Anderson’s appointment of Charlie Challstrom as PC liaison. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 5-0, approved. Charlie Challstrom abstained.
Support for a Communication Initiative – Marida Hines reported, after numerous discussions with Town residents, the Mayor and Council should improve communications with residents and asked the Council’s support for this initiative. There was additional discussion about various available forms of communication.
Marida Hines moved that the Council express its support for a Town group forming to improve official communications in Town. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
There being no further business, the regular meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
TC REPORTS – June 2018