April 10, 2006
Present: President of Commissioners Richard Allan, Commissioner Robert Heritage, Commissioner Michael Acierno, Terri Hogan, Gazette reporter.
Minutes: The minutes of the March previous meeting were accepted as written.
Financial Reports: The Commissioners reviewed the data and had no questions.
Announcements and Reports: Commissioner Allan reviewed the status of a number of projects and issues and reported on other developments. The items on the agenda were remarked on and related actions were taken as follows:
- Former Commissioner Pam Chandler died after a long illness. Pam was Commissioner in 1999 and 2000. The Commissioners moved to plant a tree on the Brookeville Academy grounds in her honor.
- Rentals of the Academy are picking up as reported by Business Manager and Clerk Diane Allan.
- Leary Trucking, Inc. has presented the Commissioners with a proposal to continue maintenance on North, South, and Water Streets. The Commissioners agreed to accept the proposal for $2,970.00. The streets in question will be scraped and graded, regraveled, and rolled. Work will commence the week of April 10, 2006.
- Excel removed four dead trees at the rear of the Brookeville Academy. The usable wood was left for residents to use as firewood. Additional tree work will be done on Town right-of-way on Market Street east.
- The Commissioners agreed to have its contractor (Greenskeeper) provide landscaping and maintenance services to Water Street as is done on North Street. Newly planted right-of-way trees will be mulched and tended and an area around the street lamp closest to Market Street will be cleaned and mulched. It was also agreed that funds be budgeted similarly to initially keep the Powers’ Wood park area under control until plans are developed for plantings and other landscaping.
- A recent meeting at the restored schoolhouse led to a decision to complete exterior features of the restoration. Resident Buck Bartley volunteered to do necessary concrete work for a ramp to the rear entrance and footings for front steps and a brick pathway. Dave Yinger has agreed to do the brick work and architect Miche Booz has sketched the plans. Work is to begin soon. The Commissioners also agreed not to have four pine benches built but rather to look for a few more period student desks and chalk or blackboards using remaining grant funds. Commissioner Heritage agreed to find a blacksmith or ornamental ironworker to repair two damaged Town sign holders.
- Market Street surface repairs, both short and longer term, were discussed along with curb replacement. The Commissioners agreed to initiate repairs of potholes and begin plans for the larger project of repaving, including investigating financing options.
- Storm water runoff continues to be a problem for water originating on High Street (Rt. 97) and flowing down the Salem Church driveway and also originating from the church parking area. This water then floods the Kerr residence on lower Market Street. The straw bales the Town installed last year are not sufficient to stem the flow velocity and quantity of water. The Commissioners will seek technical assistance from Montgomery County.
- Commissioners Allan and Acierno attended the District 14 Delegation reception in Annapolis on April 2, 2006.
- The Town election will be held May 9, 2006, and the Annual Town Meeting on May 15, 2006.
- An April edition of the Brookeville Times was mailed out and distributed through email.
- The Town’s website rework is still underway. Commissioner Acierno agreed to talk to the contractor to make sure that the project is satisfactorily completed in a timely way.
- It was reported that Darrell Mobley has been named as SHA District 3 Engineer, replacing the retired Charlie Watkins. Commissioner Allan will contact him to congratulate him and to ask for his assistance in removing a dead tree at the cemetery, correcting the misspelling of the “Brookville” (sic) sign, and the need for new curbs at the Brookeville Academy.
- Diane Allan will be resigning as Town Clerk and Business Manager for the Brookeville Academy effective June 1, 2006. She has suggested that recruitment of candidates for those positions or a combined position begin immediately so that she can provide training. She strongly emphasized the need for a person with excellent personal skills for the Business Manager’s position as well as someone who has the flexibility to meet potential clients on weekends and on evenings and can work closely with the Treasurer. The Commissioners will ask the Clerk to prepare a job announcement and to participate in the selection process.
- The Clerk met with John Joyce, State National Flood Insurance Coordinator as part of the annual Community Assistance Visit process under FEMA regulations. The Town was commended for effectively discouraging development in the floodplain.
- There will be a meeting of MML’s Montgomery Chapter on April 20, 2006 at which there will be a tour of the Montgomery County Homeland Security Emergency Center.
- Funding assistance is being sought from Montgomery County for the Thomas Mill cleanup project. Councilman Knapp has indicated he will try to assist in this project.
New Business: Commissioner Allan reported that a resident had requested that the question of the Iraq War be placed on the ballot at the coming Town election. Given the fact that Brookeville had no such procedural provision in its charter, he discussed protocols and precedents for “advisory referenda” or “legislative initiatives” with Jim Peck of the Maryland Municipal League. Peck provided examples of municipal charters in Maryland that provide for placing special questions on ballots during elections. All five of the municipalities with provisions in Maryland also had associated petition requirements with specific preparatory timeframes. The consensus of the Commissioners was that as there was no provision in the Town Charter providing for advisory referenda, and that if there were, there was insufficient time before the next scheduled election to exercise typical petition procedures, no further action on this matter would be taken. The Commissioners also discussed a request by a non-resident to place an ad on the Town web site. It was acknowledged that the Commissioners provide free advertising for residents and have previously agreed to allow a non-resident to pay for “hosting” costs in exchange for an ad. The Commissioners agreed that income to cover web site costs and related expenses from non-residents wishing to advertise would be useful. Each ad that might be submitted would be considered individually by the Commissioners and placed along with resident ads.
The Commissioners indicated they would adjourn and then hold a brief work session on the FY 2006-2007 Budget.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Diane Burr Allan