December 13, 2004
ATTENDING: President Richard Allan, Commissioners Robert Heritage and Michael Acierno, and Clerk-Treasurer Susan Johnson. Terri Hogan from the Olney Gazette was also present. The meeting began at 8:00 p.m. at the Brookeville Academy.
MINUTES: The minutes for November were approved.
FINANCIAL REPORT: The financial report was reviewed and accepted.
REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS:
Operations and Maintenance – Academy – Ms. Johnson reported that she had suggested to Ms. Allan, Academy business manager, that the town consider raising the rental rates due to the recent significant price increase for propane. Ms. Allan discussed this with President Allan after additional discussion among the Commissioners, it was decided that the rates be left as they are. It was also pointed out that rentals are off compared to last year.
Market/High Streets Intersection – President Allan reported on the public informational meeting that was held on December 8th with representatives of the State Highway Administration. This meeting had been requested by the Town Commissioners as the result of resident concerns and the concerns of the commissioners. Most residents came prepared to discuss the negative impact this light would have on the town and its residents. SHA’s District Engineer Charlie Watkins indicated that they would not move forward with a traffic light at the intersection given the compelling arguments against it raised by the residents. President Allan said he would send a letter to Charlie Watkins confirming that outcome.
Bypass – Also at the meeting above, SHA’s Bypass project engineer Carmen Harris reported on the status of the bypass. The preliminary design of the bypass is expected to be completed within three months. At this time, it was reported, there is no further funding for final design or construction.
Montgomery County MML Chapter Legislative Dinner Meeting – President Allan reported that the town will be sponsoring State Delegates Karen Montgomery and Herman Taylor for the dinner and that he will attend.
Planning Commission – The commissioners received a letter from a town resident who was upset that he did not get notification of the public hearing being held for the subdivision of the Lowder property. Ms. Johnson reported that notice was advertised two times in the Gazette in accordance with legal requirements and was also announced on the town’s website. The developer had also notified all affected property owners as required. President Allan pointed out that the Planning Commission is a separate legal entity with its own responsibilities and authorities. The commissioners agreed that further efforts should be undertaken to make the distinctions between the Town Commissioners and the Planning Commissioners clearer.
Miscellaneous Management Improvement Issues – The commissioners and Ms. Johnson will be meeting to set up web-based task management software and a town calendar. Once work tasks are entered, commissioners and the clerk-treasurer and business manager will be able to update them and keep track of the current status and progress of all projects. Ms. Allan will also be able to use the web calendar for rentals at the academy. President Allan said that he would like to include a list of Town accomplishments for 2004 in the next newsletter to go out in January. He also said that the commissioners needed to address setting priorities and objectives for 2005. President Allan put together a list of recommendations for next year’s holiday party based on the experience this year and encouraged others to comment as well. It was decided that the party would be run by a volunteer committee so that Ms. Johnson and the commissioners would be able to spend more time with town residents. Ms. Johnson indicated that Pam Chandler was interested in being on the committee as well as Shirley Bowker. An announcement seeking volunteers will be in the next newsletter.
Archives – President Allan reported that he visited the Sandy Spring Museum and had discussions concerning the possibility of merging Brookeville’s historical documents and photographs with Sandy Spring’s. He indicated that Brookeville had very little space and no professional/volunteer resources compared to the existing resources of the SSM and in light of the new research library to be build by the Museum. The Museum’s curator was enthusiastic about the idea and noted that there was a hole in Sandy Spring’s collection with respect to Brookeville. After some discussion, President Allan made a motion for the town’s archives to be transferred to the Sandy Spring Museum in order to provide them with professional attention and storage and to allow for public access. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Acierno and passed unanimously.
General Comment – Commissioner Heritage suggested that the commissioners hold a workshop on town government as a way to get more people involved as well as informed.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. at the Brookeville Academy.