Town of Brookeville
Commissioners Meeting Minutes
February 8, 2016
Present: Katherine Farquhar, Buck Bartley, and Sue Daley
Quorum present? Yes
Present during all or portions of the meeting:
Academy Manager Andrea Scanlon and Town Clerk Cate McDonald.
Town Residents: Debbie Wagner, Barbara Ray, Fred Teal, Teresa Meeks, Ruth Chacon, Jorge Chacon
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Commissioner President Farquhar
ROUTINE TOWN BUSINESS:
Minutes: The December and January Commissioners Meeting Minutes were approved as edited.
Financial: The budget was emailed to the Commissioner prior to the meeting.
Commissioner Bartley had a question about the Pepco street light bills. The street lights are unmetered and Pepco has summer and winter rates. Pepco uses averages to bill for the street lights and the winter rate is higher than the summer rate. Would the Town get a discount for switching the Town maintained lights to LED? There might be some savings from Pepco. Bogin Electric quoted $517 to replace the HSP bulbs with LED. Commissioner Bartley contacted another electrician for a quote and will follow up with the electrician to compare pricing. The Town will contact Pepco for a meeting regarding a lower cost for LED bulbs and other issues that need to be discussed with Pepco.
There was a discussion about the LED being too bright and might want to switch to a more yellow color LED bulb. The Town Residents will be asked for their opinion about the LED lights and check with BPC about switching to LED lights.
Academy Update: Dollars per rental are lower than in the past (average dollars per events). There have been a lot of inquiries this year but not a lot bookings. There have been many non-profit rentals.
Academy Manager ask the Commissioners to consider a minor increase in rental rates
Resident rental rate: $150; Week day rental rate: $175
Last rate increase was 2013 but not for all rates. Academy Manager will put together a proposal for new rates assuming that minor upkeep needed to the Academy is performed for the March Commissioners Meeting
Bill Kirwan’s firm will be visiting the Academy to give advice about updating the Academy.
Questions re: tree trimming: Academy Manager will get rates for tree trimming.
Stationery: has been ordered but has not been delivered yet.
Snow Removal Review: in light of 3ft plus of snow, the January blizzard was not as bad as expected. Pepco kept the power on and snow removal was prompt. One issue: Academy snow removal. Mark Ennis shoveled the sidewalks; Todd Greenstone did the snow removal between the sidewalk and Market Street but ended up recovering the sidewalk with snow. Commissioner Bartley will talk with Mark Ennis and advise the Town will have Todd Greenstone take care of snow removal at the Academy.
Waste Management: There have been many issues with Waste Management that are not resolved. The Town Clerk will solicit bids for trash and recycle collection for discussion at the March Commissioners Meeting.
Upcoming Town Election:
Requirement of vote reporting was raised to the Commissioners. Specifically, what the Town is required to report vs. what is reported to the Town. The concern was that Brookeville has elections every year and the Board of Elections run the election and reports the result but not the vote count. They report to the Town Clerk who won / lost. Per the Commissioners, that it is not a sufficient record for recount – you need to have a tally for a recount. Votes need to retain for 6 months per the Town Charter and the vote count need to be retained in case of recount.
Teresa Meeks: would like to see this issue put on ballot for the Town to decide. Several people are uncomfortable about recent decisions that have been made, like the tax increase.
The Commissioners have a proposal to clarified Section 26 (vote count) of the Town of Brookeville Charter:
The Board of Supervisors of Elections will certify the results of the election providing the following information to the Town Clerk immediately after the closing of the polls.
• Number of Votes cast for each candidate on the ballot
• Provisional ballots, if any
• Names of write in candidates, with the numbers of votes cast for each
• The names of candidates elected to open positions
The names of elected candidates will be emailed to Town Residents that evening, and published in the subsequent issue of the Brookeville Times.
The Town Clerk will respond to requests for detailed information about the election results and will provide election information to any government agency, or MML, requesting it.
Detailed will not be published. All votes that are cast will be retained for 6 months per the Town Charter and then they can be destroyed. The information will be archived.
Ruth Chacon: are the results included in the Meeting Minuets, which are published online? No – results are not included in Commissioner Meeting Minuets.
She is thinking ahead about issues for when voting by paper is obsolete. Technology is changing and technology is central to transparency. Commissioner should think about this issue not about right now but in the future when the technology may change. Most people do not think about the election process until after the election process. She does not have an issue with this clarification. When we vote electronic, how do you keep the information safe? Lots of questions about the use of technology in the Town. Engage the Town in the process on an ongoing basis.
Commissioner Farquhar Step 1: physical ballots in the Town Office for 6 months and then destroyed; vote results will be retained but not publicized and archived.
This clarification to the Town Charter is unanimously approved.
Board of Supervisors Membership: Debbie Wagner was ad hoc Election Supervisor for the 2014 election and 2015 election was asked to take a 1 year term as Election Supervisor. The Commissioner did not have a January meeting and will be talking with Debbie Wagner about her appointment soon.
April 11 deadline for self-nomination
May 10 election for one Commissioner
Election time will be 3:00pm – 7:00pm
BYPASS & BEYOND:
.Don Moore has resigned; the BTBTF last meeting minuets are attached for the Commissioners to review.
Is having the Beyond the ByPass Taskforce (BTBTF) redundant? Does it overlap with BPC? The BPC needs to update the Comprehensive Plan by October 2016; will include the vision for the Town post ByPass era.
Barbara Ray: BTBTF is an open meeting with anyone welcome – more policy making not big on details. The BPC is much better at details. BTBTF can give policy advice to BPC. Most issue are getting resolved without the BTBTF. The communication between BPC and BTBTF has been very poor. BTBTF gets contentious because it is a small group. It should be a bigger group of people. The GoogleGroup for Residents to be part of but the listserv is not working as envisioned. BTBTF not keeping it simple.
Ruth Chacon: BTBTF and BPC are redundant. Keep process going with ad hoc committees, specific focus groups.
Commissioner Bartley and Commissioner Farquhar explain the difference roles of BPC and BTBTF.
BPC is working on the updating the Master Plan – which is why they have 7 members now.
Items such as resurfacing the Town streets are restricted by what is in the Master Plan.
Commissioner Farquhar makes a motion to disband the BTBTF and have one final BTBTF meeting with the BPC. She will consult BPC Chair about this.
BTBTF minuets state that the BTBTF should still convene with new leadership and interact with BPC to make recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Farquhar wants BTBTF members to help to form a taskforce or subcommittee to help the BPC revise the Comprehensive Plan
Debbie Wagner: BPC has divided into subcommittees to update the Comprehensive Plan. BPC spends a lot of time thinking about big picture stuff; permits and plans is not the only thing we do. BPC do not really know the boundaries of the Town.
There was a discussion about annexing 19500 Georgia Ave; the Town is waiting to hear back from that property owner about his wished before consulting the Town’s attorney.
Motion: Commissioner Farquhar will talk to BPC Chair and convene a joint BPC / BTBTF meeting at the next BPC meeting and have a discussion about what the BTBTF has been working. Then will ask the BPC to weave BTBTF members into BPC to help with the update of the Comprehensive Plan. The goal would be the decommission of the BTBTF with Thanks. Commissioner Daley seconded. Passed unanimously.
Commissioner Bartley brought up that the BTBTF has funds for 3 entrance signs via grants but wants 4.
Commissioner Bartley motioned to buy 3 signs; unanimously approved purchasing 3 signs.
Next SHA meeting is February 17 in Baltimore
SHA Public ByPass meeting is February 25 at Longwood 6pm -8pm
• Landscape Architect: Commissioner Bartley consulted cph Corp. for a bid. Will need to get one more company for a quote / design proposal.
• Academy Interior: work with Bill Kirwin’s company and will seek more companies.
• Brookeville Angle: no action taken
• Academy gutters: have been cleaned and do not need to be replaced
• Academy lawn maintenance: East Coast uses 2,4D but not Glyphosate. It was decided to cancel the East Coast contract after exploring natural options. Will ask the Landscape Architect to design the lawn to minimize the need for chemicals. Mark Ennes will be given a work order for mowing this year.
Roof did well with the recent snow fall. Ridge cap is on, gutters have been rehung, and new snow guards. The schoolhouse has not been retested for mold. The ceiling is insulated above and covered with plywood over it keeping moisture in. Need to figure out how to handle the insulation to let the roof breathe.
Dehumidifier in crawl space on auto pilot. The portable one will work in the summer. Right now there is low humidity in the air so they have not been running.
Sandy Heiler has a proposal for the BPC regarding the schoolhouse cleanup and usage. Commissioner Farquhar suggested we invite Sandy Heiler to the next meeting or review jointly the proposal jointly with BPC.
Commissioner are responsible for schoolhouse and Commissioner Farquhar will check with Sandy Heiler and BPC Chair and see if a review of the proposal can do at next meeting.
Public Works (sidewalks, streets, lights)
CPH update: No update on cph project. They are working on the survey and should start on test boring on the streets.
“Children at Play sign” – sign has been ordered but HAWP still needs to be filed.
• Spring clean-up will be on agenda for March.
• Flood Ordinance: Commissioner Bartley passed out 2 ordinance options. The ordinance will need to be signed at the March Meeting. BPC has discussed the Flood Ordinance at their February meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 9:16p.m.