20 May 2019 | Approved: 10 June 2019
In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Charlie Challstrom, Rob Gilmore, Marida Hines, Patty Klein, and Audrey Maskery. Also in attendance were Treasurer Mary Challstrom and residents Georgette Cole, Robert Johnson, and Joan Mahaffey.
Oaths of Office:
Mayor John Compton gave the oath of office to newly re-elected Town Councilors Darrell Anderson and Patrice Klein
Areas of Council Responsibility:
Mayor Compton announced the areas of Council responsibility would stay the same unless there were objections. Rob Gilmore stated because the dog park responsibilities are lessening, he could take on additional responsibilities. John also reported that a liaison will be needed for an ad hoc stormwater management group that Robert Johnson has volunteered to organize.
ORDINANCE 2019-05; Ordinance Adopting Town Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2019 Through June 30, 2020, and Levying an Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property Within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland
Mayor Compton called the Public Hearing to order and asked if there were any questions. There were none. The Public Hearing was closed at 7:40 p.m.
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
Mayor Compton 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. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. The Council added a May 23rd hearing for the new County Salt Barn and a speed hump update to New Business. Mayor’s announcements were added as #10 on the agenda. Vote: 6-0, approved, as amended.
There were no public appearances.
Approval of Minutes:
Audrey Maskery moved to approve the April 8, 2019 Town Council Meeting minutes. Patty Klein seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the March 26, 2019 minutes from the Budget Work Session. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Rob Gilmore reminded the members of Christine Dibble’s comments concerning holding public hearings in a larger space in the building. Following a brief discussion about the table in the Old Council Room, Mayor Compton stated that in the future, when larger crowds are anticipated or actually present, meetings will be transferred to a larger Hall space if the Town Council and Mayor determine it is appropriate.
Treasurers Report 2019-April pdf
Patty Klein moved acceptance of the Treasurer’s Report for April 2019. Charlie Challstrom seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, accepted.
Approval of Mayor Pro-Tempore:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Darrell Anderson as Mayor Pro-Tempore. Audrey Maskery seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Authorize Mayor to Appoint a Town Liaison to the Maryland Municipal League: Joli McCathran has indicated she will not be continuing as Town Liaison. Mayor Compton thanked Joli for serving as the Town representative last year. Mayor Compton and Charlie Challstrom explained the benefits of attending the monthly meetings of the Maryland Municipal League Chapter. It is the intention of Charlie and Mary Challstrom to continue to attend Chapter meetings as Washington Grove representatives until they retire, and he urged more Town Councilors to attend the MML meetings. He also extended an open invitation for anyone to ride along with them when they go. Mayor Compton determined that with Mary and Charlie attending MML meetings, there is no need for a formal Liaison at this time.
Approval of Mayor’s Appointments and Reappointments:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Planning Commission Alternate Jon Cohen as a 5-year term as a member of the Planning Commission through June 2024. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Rob Gilmore moved to approve the Mayor’s reappointment of Wendy Harris and Mimi Styles as full members of the Historic Preservation Commission to 5-year terms through June 2024. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Approval of Ordinance 2019-05; Adopting Town Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2019 Through June 30, 2020, and Levying an Ad Valorem Tax on all Assessable Property Within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland:
Darrell Anderson moved to approve Ordinance 2019-05. Marida Hines seconded the motion. There was no discussion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Town Council Reports:
Mayor Compton explained that the detailed Council Reports produced for the Annual Town Meeting took the place of the regular May Council Reports. He asked Marida Hines to turn her annual report in so it could be incorporated in the full document.
Mayor Compton reported the following:
- Montgomery Municipal Cable (MMCTV) is interested in video recording several Town activities; Music Weekend and the Sign Restoration Project. They have been put in contact with the leaders of these two events/projects.
- Charlie Challstrom has previously reported that MMCTV is making video equipment and training available to any Town resident interested in video recording Town events. The Mayor will write an announcement about this for the Town Bulletin.
- The McCathran Hall floor refinishing is complete.
- The 4-foot gate for The Dog Spot has been installed and the facility is nearly ready to open.
- The speed hump on Ridge Road is installed and most cars appear to be slowing down. Georgette Cole stated the 15 mph speed hump sign is misleading. It should be 5-10 mph. Rob and Patty expressed concerns from residents about motorcycles and walkers. The Council thought adjusting the speed limit sign might help. Speed hump discussion will be on the June Town Council meeting agenda.
- Sale of Town land – Seegal (315 Grove Avenue) and O’Conner sales are still pending. They will be on the June Town Council meeting agenda.
- At the discretion of the Lighting Committee, Virginia Quesada has agreed to serve as Chairmen (in place of Robert Johnson).
- Current Chair Robert Johnson has agreed to use his talents to organize a volunteer Stormwater Management Committee. A survey asking what residents want in terms of lighting will take place.
- MCDOT Highway Services has proposed a new salt storage barn in their Gaithersburg Depot near Roberts Oxygen and adjacent to the Town. The height will be approximately the size of a four (4) or five (5) story building. Some Brown Street residents have met with County Representative Nkosi Yearwood to discuss their concerns about this project; specifically excessive back-up signal noise, exhaust from idling vehicles, and monitoring the landscaping plan. MCDOT and DGS has told the Mayor that the County will address these concerns, stating it is their intent to install a less harsh back-up signal on loaders, to not allow trucks to idle near the site, and to improve the landscaping buffer with the Town. Rob Gilmore and Marida Hines believe support for this new salt barn will just compound an error with the first salt barn storage facility and that the Town should oppose this project. Charlie Challstrom stated this plan is contrary to County Master Plan zoning. Mayor Compton will write a letter and testify at the Mandatory Referral hearing this month before the Planning Board, expressing opposition to this plan without firm commitment to reducing the impact of the existing operations on the Town and asking the Planning Board to explicitly include in their recommendations to the County agencies that corrective action be required.
Resolution 2019-08 Approving and Adopting the Montgomery County Hazard Mitigation Plan:
Charlie Challstrom moved to approve and adopt Resolution 2019-08. Rob Gilmore seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0, approved.
Open Meetings Act Requirements and Recommendation New Council Complete Online Training – Discussion:
Mayor Compton urged all members to complete the online training by August. He also suggested Council members encourage other committees within their areas of responsibility to take the training as well. Meetings should be held in accessible places, agendas should be posted and minutes should be taken.
Priorities for the Coming Year: Mayor Compton asked members to make a list of their priorities and general Council priorities for the coming year. Audrey asked the Council to look farther ahead to annexations and the purchase of properties. Charlie Challstrom suggested some priorities be added to the new Master Plan.
Patty Klein announced the Woods Committee will hold an informational meeting about the deer management program on June 24, 2019 in McCathran Hall. She also stated that prior to this meeting, the Council should define the word “sessions” at the July Town Council meeting. There was a discussion about how many sessions, how often, when to start, and when to end. There will be further discussion in June.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Kathryn L. Lehman