13 May 2017 | Approved: 12 May 2018
Mayor Joli McCathran welcomed everyone and called the 81st Annual Town Meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. There were over 50 residents in attendance.
Town resident Alice Negin read “Ode To The Grove and a Benediction” by Nancy Cox.
Approval of Agenda:
It was moved and seconded and the agenda was approved by a unanimous vote.
Approval of Minutes:
It was moved and seconded and the minutes from the 2016 Annual Town Meeting were approved by a unanimous vote.
State of the Town Report:
Mayor McCathran gave thanks to her husband Ken, the Town Council, the Planning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of Election Supervisors, and employees Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Town Clerk Kathy Lehman, Town Archivist Pat Patula and Maintenance Supervisor Steve Werts. She also listed the Committees residents could join if interested. She gave updates on the playground improvements, East and West Woods boundary surveys, road work, Master Plan work, and street signs for our roads and walkways.
Mayor McCathran reported the state of the Town was healthy with residents working together and going forward. She took questions about the following:
- Master Plan approval
- Street Signs
- Road improvements
- Needed repairs at the McCauley Street/Washington Grove Lane intersection
- Ownership of the park at McCauley Street & Washington Grove Lane
Planning Commission Report:
Chairman Peter Nagrod thanked the members of the Commission and the Town Clerk. He reported there were 18 building permit applications made to the Commission this year. He gave updates on the Cator property (Railroad Street), the de-platting of the East Woods, Ordinance 2016-10 (Ordinance Adopting Amendments To Article VII, Zoning, Section 8.21 To Allow Charitable, Religious Or Educational Institutions In The Commercial Zone As A Special Exception Approved By The Board of Zoning Appeals), permanent easements, the house files, storm water management and the possible location of a dog park. Peter took questions about the following:
- Fences (repair vs. replace)
- Single family vs. Multi-family homes
- Master Plan work
- Town Borders
- Border Committee
- Non-resident Code Enforcement Officer
Peter announced the new 10-member Border Committee whose primary focus is to change the perception from driving AROUND an undefined area to driving THROUGH and RESPECTING a unique and inviting community. The goals of this new group are to stop littering, stop speeding and inclusion.
Historic Preservation Commission Report:
Chairman Bob Booher thanked the members of the Commission, HPC liaison Georgette Cole and minute-taker Cynthia Werts. Happy Birthday to the two (2) homes that reached 100 years old this year; 3 Ridge Road and 118 Grove Avenue. Bob reported the Records Management Plan was approved by the State. He thanked Marilynn Frey, Pat Patula, Wendy Harris, Ernie Kawasaki and Kathy Lehman for their help with the plan. He spoke briefly about weaknesses in our previous National Register nomination and the need to update our status.
The Historic Preservation Award goes to Eva Polston for her renovation of 203 2nd Avenue after a devastating fire in January 2014. She gets “The Renaissance Award.”
Woods Committee Report:
Committee co-chairs Joan Mahaffey and Patrice Klein presented a slide show explaining Committee goals, accomplishments and next steps. They thanked the Woods Committee members for their help and enthusiasm. Joan and Pat fielded questions about Paulownia trees, greenbrier removal, non-native invasive cuttings near the Maintenance Garage, and drainage in Morgan Park on Brown Street.
Forestry & Beautification (F&B):
Chair Georgette Cole mentioned and thanked the members and the “ad hoc mustard grass pullers.” She urged folks to come to their meetings and help with tree planting ideas. Georgette also praised Audrey Maskery’s efforts of planting larger trees (5” – 10” caliper) and moving others to more suitable locations. She explained fall is the time for planting heritage trees and others, like Dogwood and Serviceberry, are planted in the spring.
Emergency Preparedness Committee:
Chair Sat Amagai gave an overview of the group’s progress for the year; Automatic External Defibrillator purchase, re-booting Neighborhood Watch, investigating McCathran Hall generator purchase, and investigating street sign visibility issues. There was a brief mention of monitoring CSX cars carrying hazardous waste.
Eve Zibart asked to have the floor. She reminded residents that most events enjoyed in Town come through the Recreation Committee. There is now an online sign-up for helping with events, thanks to Emily Brown. Eve pleaded for more volunteer hands and praised Mary Challstrom and Emily Cavey for their work. Shelley Winkler gave “kudos” to Eve.
Discussion of Town Council Reports:
There was a motion and a second to accept the Town Council Reports and post them on the Town website. Unanimously accepted.
Action on FY 2017 Budget and Tax Rate: Peter Nagrod moved to approve the budget as presented. Greg Silber seconded the motion. Mayor McCathran took questions about the following:
- Constant yield tax rate
- Town Attorney and the Increase (almost double) in legal expenses
- Radar speed sign removal from the budget
The budget was approved unanimously.
There was a motion and second to approve the proposed tax rate of $0.255 per $100 assessed valuation and the dwelling tax of $117.00 per dwelling. Approved unanimously.
Ed Roberts made a motion regarding the improvement of the Council Chambers or moving Council meetings to a bigger room with better placement of the table and better audio conditions. Larry French seconded the motion. There was a discussion about the following:
- How often a bigger space is needed
- John McClelland, Recreation Committee members and Film Society members are also working on this
- Moving to the old Council Room
- Moving the flat files from the Council Chambers to another location
John Compton moved to amend the original motion with the addition of “The Council will report back no later than next year.” Ed Roberts and Larry French agreed to the amendment. There was addition discussion about accessibility. John Compton called the question. The motion as amended was unanimously approved.
Volunteer of the Year Award:
The Mayor announced this year’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year is Georgette Cole. There was a round of applause.
Meredith Horan read the elections results.
The results are as follows: 80 ballots were cast.
Mayor: Joli McCathran 58 votes
Council: 3-year terms;
John Compton 67 votes
Audrey Maskery 65 votes
Mayor: 1-year term;
Georgette Cole 2 votes
John Compton 2 votes
Ed Roberts 2 votes
Charlie Challstrom 2 votes
Christine Dibble 1 vote
Muddy Haskett 1 vote
Sean Kelly 1 vote
John McClelland 1 vote
David Rapkievian 1 vote
John Tomlin 1 vote
Council: Missy Yachup 2 votes
Emily Brown 1 vote
Charlie Challstrom 1 vote
Tom Land 1 vote
Toni Morrison 1 vote
Peter Nagrod 1 vote
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:17 p.m.