12 January 2009 | Approved: 9 February 2009
Mayor Anderson called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark, Georgette Cole, John Compton, Kathie Evans and Marida Hines. Also in present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Maintenance Supervisor Jim Fletcher and Town residents Sheldon Bierman, Ann Briggs, Bruce Rothrock, Shelley Winkler and Pastor Judy Young.
Approval of the Agenda
Joe Clark moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Agenda for January 12, 2009 be approved. Kathie Evans asked to add a discussion about the soccer field. Mayor Anderson said it could be administrative only. John Compton suggested that Woodward Park Permits be added after the Mayor’s Announcements. Vote: 6-0.
Ann Briggs came to express her disappointment about the vandalism of the soccer field and asked the Town Council to consider short fencing along Grove Road. She thought that perhaps the question could be presented in the next Town Bulletin to ask for input concerning fencing off the soccer field. She thought it was wise to pursue this in order to protect the field and prevent future vandalism. A discussion ensued. It was suggested that the Town Council come up with two (2) solutions (including estimates) for the problem and put this information in the Town Bulletin. This will also be an agenda item for the February 9, 2009 meeting.
Ann Briggs also came to ask the Mayor and Council to consider changing the Mayor’s term to two (2) years instead of one (1). She went on to say that the first term is a learning experience and the second year is really where the person can get things done. There was a brief discussion. The method for changing the term is a Charter amendment which is a bit expensive.
Shelley Winkler came to report on a meeting that she and Bob Booher had with Senator Nancy King and Delegate Charles Barkley concerning the Inter-County Connector. She began by thanking the Mayor and Council for the work that they do for the Town. She went on to say that most of the tree loss in the entire project is happening right beside the Town and that no reforestation was in the plan. She suggested that the State could buy the land in order to preserve the large trees that are still standing. It was also stated that Ms. King and Mr. Barkley were unaware of the negative impact that this project was going to have on the Town. The meeting was an eye-opener. Shelley asked the Mayor and Council to continue to communicate with Mr. King, Mr. Barkley and Phil Andrews about the negative impact on the Town.
Judy Young came to ask the Mayor and Council if the WGUMC might be able to use McCathran Hall for another Silent Auction this year. The date is March 7, 2009. Mayor Anderson approved the gratis use.
Linda Buel came to say that the newly installed guardrail on Johnson Alley prevents her from driving down that road and she has a problem with that. She went on to say that she found it objectionable that she, a Town resident, didn’t know that this was happening and that Town funds were spent without notice. There was a discussion about the guardrail being on Town property, the 8ft. width ambulance clearance, Town right-of-way, possible remedies, opening or closing the alley and the drop-off at the roads’ edge. Jim Fletcher and Georgette Cole will look at the guardrail and determine what might be gained by moving the wooden spacers.
Approval of Minutes
Joe Clark moved, Georgette Cole seconded that the Town Council minutes of December 8, 2008 be approved with one (1) correction. Vote: 6-0.
Maintenance Report and Discussion of Winter Task List
Jim was asked how long he would continue to pick up Christmas trees. Jim said that he would pick them up until they were all gone. Jim asked for the Council’s opinion of his new method for installing “walkway only” signs. Charlie Challstrom voiced a strong negative opinion of the new method. HPC Chair Bob Booher said that it wasn’t pedestrian friendly and asked if the chain could be shorter. A discussion ensued. Kathie Evans suggested that a group get together to discuss different ways to solve the problem. Mayor Anderson asked Jim not to put up anymore and see if something better couldn’t be figured out.
Mayor Anderson conveyed to Jim that perhaps it was time for a “No Thru Street” at the beginning of Daylily Lane. He recently received a phone call from the Robertson’s (7 Daylily Lane) asking for one. Jim will install a sign after the Clerk checks in with the residents at the corner of Daylily and Washington Grove Lane.
Kathie Evans brought up keeping the drainage swales clear for Jim’s winter list. Marida Hines brought up the paths in the woods for the same list. Council members will e-mail the Clerk who will combine the suggestions and send it to the Mayor and Council.
There was a brief discussion about the “boiler plate” letter received from the Town auditors. Treasurer Mary Challstrom stated that the report included a $3,300.00 invoice from Bil Chen. She also stated that the income tax revenue will definitely be $45,000.00 more than anticipated. The bad news is that the State highway user revenue will be down $7,000.00 next year.
Georgette Cole moved, Kathie Evans seconded that the Treasurer’s report for December 2008 be accepted. Vote: 6-0.
John Compton moved, Joe Clark seconded the motion to transfer funds. Vote: 6-0.
Presentation of Planning Commission Recommendations on Revisions to Ordinance No. 2008-07
Modifying Building Coverage Standards: Charlie Challstrom presented and reviewed the changes to Ordinance No. 2008-07 that were approved by the Planning Commission. Bob Booher stated that he was still concerned that homes in the RR-1 zone could potentially become very large and suggested that the RR-1 portion needed more attention. Charlie asked Bob to submit written comments for the record adding that the record is still open even though the hearing is closed. Mayor Anderson said that the changes presented were significantly different and that another hearing should take place. Joe Clark asked if the changes could be presented as modifications and then schedule an information session. Discussion… With something of this magnitude, residents must be notified. They should be told how this will affect them. A public hearing to take comments about the revisions is in order.
Woodward Park Permits
Kathie Evans stated that she wanted to discuss three (3) things; when to open the soccer field, when to close the soccer field and the need for timeframes to accept permit applications.
- There was a brief discussion about when to open the field. Montgomery County opens theirs in mid-April. Mayor Anderson said that the County policy was probably well thought out and using them as a model seemed appropriate. It was suggested to add the language “subject to change”. Charlie Challstrom moved to endorse April 15th as the opening date. Marida Hines seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- There was a brief discussion about when to close the field. Should it stay at November 1st as it did this year? Yes.
- Charlie Challstrom moved to approve the following dates for accepting applications to use the soccer field; spring applications – Jan. 15th; summer applications – April 15th; fall applications – July 15th. John Compton seconded the motion. Vote: 6-0.
- LOS Condemnation Update: nothing new
- Deer Park Bridge: Mayor Anderson reported that he still had not received the inspections reports promised from Montgomery County many months ago.
- Casey 6 & 7: John Compton reported that he was phoned by someone from Montgomery County asking for Town support for the moving of the Service Parks to this property. Comments are due by January 22, 2009. Discussion… Georgette Cole suggested that the Town support this project if we get trees planted in exchange.
Georgette Cole brought up the Maryland Department of Transportation traffic surveys that were sent out. She asked if it should be done collectively or individually. The Council wanted to do it individually.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.