11 December 2006 | Approved: 8 January 2007
Mayor Compton called the Town Council meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
Darrell Anderson moved to go into a closed session in order to consult with legal counsel, discuss pending litigation, and the possible acquisition of property. David Stopak seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Darrell Anderson moved to end the closed session (8:16 p.m.) and begin the Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 2006-07; Verizon Franchise Agreement. Mayor Compton reviewed the issue. There were no public comments.
David Stopak moved to adopt Ordinance No. 2006-07; Verizon Franchise Agreement. Linda Baim seconded the motion. There was a brief discussion about Verizon’s customer service. Vote: 5-1.
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 8:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Georgette Cole, Kathie Evans, Betsy Klinger, and David Stopak. Also present were; Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher, Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Charlie Challstrom, Sheldon Bierman, George Paine, Sylvie Favret, Mimi Styles, Ed Roberts and John Tomlin.
Sylvie Favret came to ask the Mayor and Council for help with a drainage problem between private properties and on Town property. She brought pictures of the area right after a recent heavy rainfall. Discussion… The Mayor and Council believe that this is a problem on privately owned land and offered to try to bring the two parties together. Jim Fletcher will talk with the residents at 208 Chestnut Avenue and ask them to move things that may be impeding the flow of water.
Sheldon Bierman came to talk about Town legal expenses connected to the Legacy Open Space field. Discussion… The Mayor urged Mr. Bierman to attend a public information meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006.
Charlie Challstrom asked if the Mayor and Council were going to take action on the two Charter Amendments that were introduced in November. The Mayor will add this to the agenda.
Approval of Minutes
David Stopak moved, Linda Baim seconded that the Town Council minutes of November 13, 2006 be approved as amended. Vote: 6-0.
Jim Fletcher presented his written Maintenance Report to the Mayor and Council. There was a discussion about the removal of an oak tree on Locust Lane and a mulberry tree along Grove Road. Jim will schedule the removal of the oak tree. The discussion also included a proposal to use new radar technology to help better determine the health of the big, older trees. The Mayor and Council also discussed the Brown Street extended light. Jim suggested that the Town should clean up the mess, cap the line and consider the replacement in next year’s budget. The decision was made to wait and see if there is public comment concerning the absence of the light in question.
Georgette Cole moved, David Stopak seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for November be accepted. There was a lengthy, heated discussion about legal expenses. Mary Challstrom reported that the Town’s Income Tax Revenue will be $30K more that expected. Vote: 6-0.
Mayor Compton reported that the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League would be having their annual dinner soon. The three (3) most pressing issues are; increased State aide, local government authority to purchase street lights, and municipal opt-out aggregation authority.
Discussion – Ordinance No. 2006-03
Mayor Compton reviewed and pointed out the additions and deletions from a recent re-working by volunteers. After a lengthy discussion about consistency, criteria & standards, 2 vs. 3 lots, effects of the subdivision process on home owners, benefits to the Town, and the removal of design/aesthetic language, it was decided to include this ordinance and No. 2006-04 on the agenda for January.
Charter Resolution No. 2006-05
Kathie Evans moved to approve Charter Resolution No. 2006-05 which moves the date of Town Elections and Town Meeting to the second Saturday in May. Darrell Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Charter Resolution No. 2006-06
Georgette Cole moved to approve Charter Resolution No. 2006-06 which permits the duties of the Clerk-Treasurer to be performed by one of more people. Betsy Klinger seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
Resolution No. 2006-07 – Verizon Franchise Agreement
Kathie Evans moved to approve the Verizon Maryland Cable Franchise agreement between Montgomery County and the Town of Washington Grove. David Stopak seconded the motion. Discussion… Vote: 5-1.
Linda Baim reported that the lock on the tennis shed has been replaced. She also reported that the leaves needed to be removed from both courts and that the broken piece of equipment was fixed.
Forestry & Beautification
Georgette Cole reported that Forester Dan Landry inspected two (2) trees in November; a mulberry opposite 113 Grove and an oak on Town property at the end of Locust Lane. He recommended the removal of both trees. There was a discussion about a Tree Radar Service which is designed to better determine the health of tree roots. There was also a discussion about our increasing deer population and the contraception program at NIST.
Roads & Walkways
Georgette Cole reported that she, Jim Fletcher and Charlie Challstrom met with a representative from Montgomery County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation in reference to the drain that runs under Railroad Street. Since the low point appears to be in the middle of the park, it was recommended that excavating be done between the low spot and Railroad Street which would move the pooling area closer to Railroad Street. This could help with the request asking the County to lower the drain pipe.
Kathie Evans reported that the trash/recycling pickup is going well enough though not perfect. Leaf pickup is progressing as planned and the snow removal contract was just signed and is ready for mailing.
Kathie Evans reported that the website was a very useful tool for her most recent research concerning the definition of an “accessory building”.
Betsy Klinger reported that the Committee met on November 29, 2006 at which time plans for the Holiday Program, the Town Hall decorating potluck, Town Caroling, and a St. Patrick’s Day dance were solidified.
Betsy Klinger reported that the three (3) pedestrian crossing signs installed on Washington Grove Lane were destroyed within a week of their installation. The County replaced the signs.
Betsy Klinger reported a leak in the roof of the octagon during the most recent rains.
Kathie Evans brought up the issue of two (2) meetings per month both ending by 9:30 or 10:00 PM at the latest. Discussion… The sense of the Council was to try better time management before going to two (2) meetings. As a follow-up to previous meetings, Betsy Klinger asked about Tom Appleby’s complaints about the Commercial Corner, the rat complaint on Hickory Road, and the Speed Hump issue. Kathie Evans agreed to take on the Commercial Corner complaints, Betsy Klinger agreed to call the residents about the rat complaint before a letter from the mayor goes out, and Mayor Compton will contact the folks who volunteered to help with the speed hump issue. Darrell Anderson then brought up the Code Enforcement Officer issue. A discussion ensued and Darrell said that he would talk to the Planning Commission about the supervision of this person.
Betsy Klinger moved to adjourn. David Stopak seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 p.m.