10 January 2005 | Approved: 14 February 2005
Senator Patrick J. Hogan attended this meeting. He spoke about legislative affairs for the coming session. Senator Hogan also answered questions from citizens.
Mayor John Compton called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:54 p.m.. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Linda Baim, Betsy Klinger, Tom Land, John Tomlin, Treasurer Mary Challstrom and Maintenance Supervisor James Fletcher. Town residents Gary Gordon, Charlie Challstrom, Chris Kirtz, Carol Uhlendorf, Ann Briggs, Georgette Cole, and Sarah Steel were also present.
Chris Kirtz reported about another incident concerning Baron Wilson, a local mentally ill man who periodically shows up in Town. This time he attended a choir rehearsal at the WGUMC. The police were not called but the choir director cancelled the rehearsal because he felt threatened. Mayor Compton repeated the need for people to call the police about this man if he is a problem. Chris also wanted to thank the Mayor and Council, on behalf of the Historic Preservation Commission, for the opportunity to comment about revisions being made to the building permit application process.
Approval of Minutes
John Tomlin moved, Darrell Anderson seconded, that the Town Council minutes of December 13, 2004 be approved. Vote: 6-0.
Jim Fletcher reported that monitoring the PEPCO tree-cutting project was much more time consuming than expected. He is still working out details concerning clean-up and re-cutting some of the stumps. The stumps that remain in residents’ yards will be cut to ground level. All others will be cut very low. Jim also reported that he negotiated the purchase of some of the logs by a local wood man for $1,350.00. Jim and Bruce continue to work on deer-proofing the new plantings in the forest conservation area along Ridge Road (old WSSC area). Jim reported peeling problems with the renovated McCathran Hall sign. He will repair it this winter. The pick-up of Christmas trees continues and the barriers on Oak Street and Center Street are up. A more permanent fix will come a little later. Jim reported that someone may be staying in the bathroom at the Town Garage so he changed the combination and locked the doors. Jim also reported that he has been made aware of problems with the swings in Woodward Park and will examine them.
Treasurer Mary Challstrom reported that the State Income Tax is up this year. David Stopak moved, Tom Land seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for December be accepted. Vote: 6-0. There was a brief discussion about our legal expenses.
Review & Discussion of Revised Planning Commission Requirements for a Building Permit ApplicationRevisions for the Building Permit Application documentation were done by both the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission. The general sense of the Council was to discuss the PC revisions at this meeting and defer a discussion about the HPC documentation until the February meeting. The Clerk will continue to give out the current information to all residents applying to a building permit.
Linda Baim reported that Jim Fletcher will repair the "ailing swings" in Woodward Park.
Linda Baim reported that volunteer webmaster Bill Saar has made major changes to the Town website. She also reported that he is not receiving very much feedback about the site. Bill will be coming to the February meeting of the Town Council. Tom Land would like further clarification and thinks that each councilor should review and comment on his/her areas of responsibility. Bill Saar would also like feedback concerning posting the Town Directory on the website.
Betsy Klinger reported the Baron Wilson incident (see public appearances). Betsy also reported that Rico Sturniolo (338 Ridge Rd.) caught a man with a ladder looking into a second story window of his home. Rico called the Montgomery County Police but the intruder got away.
Tom Land reported that our trash pick-up is going along quite well right now. There have been very few reported misses.
Historic Preservation Commission
David Stopak reported that the HPC is struggling with old Heritage Committee responsibilities. David also reported that the HPC wants a protocol for copying, handling, and viewing Town documents. The Mayor and Council would like the HPC to come up with a process. Ed Roberts suggested that documents be available for viewing but that they not leave the building.
Roads & Walkways
John Tomlin reported that he will bring a list of areas that are in need of paving to the February meeting. He will also check the walkways for gravel needs. John reported that there are many ruts on the shoulders in Town and he wondered how to handle it.
Darrell Anderson reported that 2 residents have had large propane gas tanks installed on their properties. The Town Ordinances have nothing in place to handle these large tanks and will be addressing this at their next meeting. Darrell also reported that the PC will address what to do about homes that encroach on Town property. Specifically; could a home that fits in this category be rebuilt the same way should the home be destroyed by a fire? Could these "grandfathered" homes be rebuilt larger than the original? A discussion ensued. Darrell reported that the PC continues to discuss parking problems in Washington Grove.
- Casey Field Update – Mayor Compton reported that the County PHED Committee is taking up the Shady Grove Master Plan and will be looking at the Legacy Open Space field for a school. The Mayor will meet with County Council members to work on this issue. It is clear that another Town effort to save the field will be necessary. Mayor Compton believes that the L.O.S. field has now moved into the political arena and that we need to get additional support from other communities.
- Fences – Mayor Compton reported that letters, along with corrective action orders, have been sent to both 103 and 406 Grove Avenue. A discussion ensued about enforcement and about a municipal infractions ordinance. There was a brief mention about the tall hemlock hedges at 102 Grove Avenue and equal enforcement there as well.
- Deer Park Bridge – Mayor Compton announced that a public workshop about the bridge will be held at Summit Hall Park on January 31st at 7:30 p.m.. Comment cards will be taken at this meeting. The Mayor urged the Council to encourage people to go to the workshop.
The Mayor and Council decided that in order to get a true Town position about the Inter-County Connector, a special Town meeting was necessary. The meeting was scheduled for February 5, 2005 at 4:00 p.m..
At this time (10:50 p.m.) the Mayor closed the meeting to the public for a closed session.
After the closed session, Mayor Compton strayed from the agenda to ask for a sense of the Council about allowing a fundraiser for the Shady Grove Alliance in McCathran Hall. Discussion… David Stopak moved that we allow the Shady Grove Alliance to use McCathran Hall in order to raise funds for their legal expenses. Tom Land seconded. Vote: 5-0; 1 abstention.
It was moved and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 11:28 p.m..
The meeting was adjourned at 11:28 p.m.