12 June 2004 | Approved: 11 June 2005
Mayor John Compton called the 68th annual Town Meeting to order at 8:12 p.m. Gary Gordon delivered the invocation.
Approval of Minutes
It was moved by Carol Uhlendorf and seconded by Barbara Hawk that the Annual Town Meeting minutes of June 14, 2003 be approved. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Compton thanked members of the Town Council, Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Board of Election Supervisors, and the GWG Fire Board representatives. He commended members of the standing committees on Forestry and Beautification, Lake (special recognition to retiring chair Dodie Tippens), and Recreation (special recognition to retiring chair Kathi Carey-Fletcher) for their work throughout the year. Out-going Council member Peggy Odick was presented with a whimsical gift and sincere thanks for her valued service. The Mayor specifically noted the following accomplishments by Grove volunteers:
- Patricia Deely & Don Henninger – Fire Board Representatives
- Jenny Long – McCathran Hall Scheduler
- Vicky Erhart – Street Light Czarina
- Trash Crew along Washington Grove Lane
- Dan Tutas – Trash Crew of one; Railroad Street
- Carol Uhlendorf – Maryland Municipal League liaison
- Bill Saar – Website Coordinator
- Tami Williams & Terry Strother – Summer In The Parks Program
Mayor Compton spoke about the importance of volunteers in our community and urged residents to get involved. Mayor Compton also specifically thanked the Town employees Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Clerk Kathy Lehman, and Maintenance Assistant Bruce Rothrock for their hard work throughout the year. Mary Challstrom stood and thanked the Audit Committee for their help as well.
Mayor Compton reported that the state of the Town was good and reviewed the following:
- A traffic study was completed resulting in a new Town Ordinance lowering the Town speed limit to 15 mph.
- Special Town meeting concerning the proposed John Wesley Academy at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church.
- Hurricane Isabel. Mayor Compton praised the Town for the way they helped one another during this crisis.
- The Neighborhood Watch Program.
- New Playground Equipment.
- Installation of new street lights along the lower part of Ridge Road and on Maple Avenue.
- Road Repairs
- New “open” & “closed” signs for the soccer field in Woodward Park.
- Tennis Court repairs. This was a combination of volunteer and Town maintenance efforts and the courts look great! The fence was repaired and total replacement will be deferred to another year.
- Reforestation efforts continue with the planting of 30 new trees.
- McCathran Hall face-lift; new stain, new sign, gutter work and storm windows for the old Council Room.
Planning issues noted during the year included:
- Revision of the Town Ordinances by the Planning Commission.
- New/improved procedures for the Historic Preservation Commission.
- Lowering Town speed limit.
Mayor Compton noted the following issues for the coming year:
- Casey Field: Approval of this plan will likely happen this year. The Planning Board Staff has approved the plan for storm water management. The Shady Grove Master Plan proposes 7,500 dwelling units, 15-story office buildings, a 20- acre park and the relocation of the County service parks. This will require a school site and part of the Casey property is being considered.
- John Wesley Academy: The school proposal at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church appears to be off the table. Mayor Compton reported that this issue showed the Town Council and the Planning Commission that an Ordinance review in this area was necessary. Both groups will work with the Town attorney on a new ordinance. A public hearing will likely be in the fall.
- Deer Park Bridge: Darrell Anderson, John Compton and Ned Helme are going to meetings about this issue. The County study states that the current bridge has 5 – 7 years left. There are 5 alignments that will be proposed at public meetings. All options must have CSX approval.
- Water Line Replacement: Replacement of old water lines on Brown Street and on 4th Avenue will happen soon.
- Code Enforcement Officer: Discussions concerning the hiring of a part-time, as-needed, code enforcement officer continue. This person would help with the enforcement of the Town’s Code of Ordinances, specifically our Planning and Zoning Code.
Board of Supervisors of Elections Chairman Mary Kay Dubois announced the following election results:
- Mayor: (1 yr. term) John G. Compton 51 – elected
- Ann Briggs 1
- David Neumann 1
- Nick the dog 1
- Council: (3 yr. term) Betsy Klinger 54 – elected
- (3 yr. term) Linda Baim 54 – elected
Town Council Reports
Residents brought up the following concerns to the Mayor and Council:
- John Hutchinson announced a change in Maple Lake hours when a lifeguard would be present. Hours are 12 Noon – 6PM.
- Paula Puglisi stated that there were still openings for Lake gate keepers.
- Jim Leng asked what we could do about the pieces of glass and the “goop” from the trash truck that is being left all over Town on trash day. Jim also expressed his gratitude to the Mayor and Town Council for taking action on closing the Casey Field to cars and to Jim Fletcher and Bruce Rothrock for doing the work.
Action on FY 2005 Budget and Tax Rates
Mayor Compton began the discussion with an explanation of specific line items in the budget; new tractor, road repairs, playground equipment, Town Hall improvements, new street lights and reforestation. The Mayor also mentioned monies not spent and stated that there was less under-spending than in past years. Barbara Hawk noted that there was nothing in the budget for the Maryland Municipal League Convention. Ann Briggs moved, and John Hutchinson seconded that the budget for FY 2005 be adopted. David Gumula asked about the new chairs. Brenda Gumula asked about money for drainage. Discussion. Treasurer Mary Challstrom answered questions about money for an orientation of Town officials by the Town attorney, money for the Historic Preservation Commission house history project, County revenue sharing, insurance increases and a road bond. The question was called and the vote was unanimous.
Mayor Compton announced the date for the Organizational Meeting; June 21, 2004.
Darrell Anderson moved to adjourn, Ellsworth Briggs seconded and, by unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 p.m.