SECTION 5 OF THE VILLAGE OF CHEVY CHASE
COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
Date: September 9, 2014
Place: 5906 Connecticut Avenue, Village Hall
Time: 7:30 PM
Present: Tim Hanlon, Frances L. Higgins, Scott Livingston, Chris Richardson, Greg White; four residents of Section 5
Agenda Item: Minutes
Scott moved that the June 10, 2014, Council minutes be approved as revised; Tim seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Agenda Item: Citizens Concerns
Two Woodbine St. residents said that Section 5 engaged an engineering company to conduct a traffic survey recently and that the volume and speed of vehicular traffic on Section 5 streets has not changed substantially. They recommended that the Council not conduct a traffic survey now. It was suggested that the demographics of Section 5 have changed substantially since the most recent traffic survey and a new traffic survey is warranted.
A. Morton Thomas, an engineering firm, has presented a proposal to conduct a traffic survey of both the volume and speed of vehicular traffic on Section 5 streets for a cost of $3,500.
Scott moved that the Council engage A. Morton Thomas to conduct a traffic survey of both the volume and speed of vehicular traffic on Section 5's streets. Greg seconded the motion. Greg, Tim, and Scott voted for the motion and Chris abstained.
Agenda Item: Update of Section 5 Survey
Surveyors from AMT have begun surveying Section 5's streets and placing temporary markers at certain intervals. They have presented the first invoice for this initial work for $4,700. The Council asked the manager to contact AMT and ask about a completion date for the survey.
Agenda Item: Discussion of Serving Alcoholic
Beverages at Section 5 Social Functions
In the past Section 5 has not served alcoholic beverages at its social functions. Some residents have suggested that the Council serve alcoholic beverages at its social functions. One resident said that Section 5 might be held liable for the actions of a person who had drunk alcoholic beverages at a Section 5 social function and then became involved in an illegal action.
The manager will contact someone at LGIT, Section 5's insurance company, and ask if Section 5 can be held liable for the actions of someone who drank alcoholic beverages at a Section 5 social function and report to the Council at the Oct. Council meeting.
Scott moved that Section 5 residents be notified that they may bring their own alcoholic beverage to the Sept. 14th Block Party. Greg seconded the motion. Greg, Chris and Scott voted for the motion.
Agenda Item: Treasurer's Report
Tim provided the Council members with a copy of the revenues and expenditures for the 2014/15 fiscal year. Each of the expenditures are within the budget. The amount of State income taxes is not sufficient to cover the present expenditures; however, the first large income tax check will not be sent to Section 5 by the State until November 30, 2014. It is expected that this amount will be the same or larger than the one for November 30, 2013.
Scott will call the State income tax office to be certain that the State is sending the income taxes collected from Section 5 residents in a timely manner.
Agenda Item: Building Inspector’s Report
Building Permits issued:
3801 Williams Lane - installation of driveway with permeable material
3826 Woodbine Street - construction of a stone wall along the Connecticut Avenue boundary line of the property.
Agenda Item: Manager’s Report
Section 5 has received a reduction in its insurance premium for 2014/15 because it has not had any claims.
The manager would like to publish a new telephone book because there has been a substantial number of new residents move into Section 5. There was some discussion. The manager said that many residents have said that they find the telephone book to be a valuable tool to locate and be able to contact other neighbors.
The Council agreed to publish a new telephone book this fall.
The manager would like to contact Wider Circle, a charitable organization, and ask someone to send a truck three days before the Section 5 trash spring bulk pick up so that Wider Circle may collect all the reusable items. These items will be given to the people in the County who need help.
The manager said that Section 5's ordinances mention a Code Enforcement Officer; however, it does not specify who this person is. There was some discussion about the Section manager being appointed as the Code Enforcement Officer. Scott said that an ordinance states that the Code Enforcement Officer will report to the manager. This could present some difficulty.
The Council asked John to review the sections of the ordinances which mention the Code Enforcement Officer and determine if the manager may serve in that position and report to the Council at the October Council meeting.
Scott asked the manager to determine the cost of replacing the existing street sign poles with ones that are more decorative. The manager has contacted Andy Harney, Section 3 manager, about the cost of their new street signs. The cost was $15,000.
Scott suggested the Council appoint Roberta Rosenbaum, a Woodbine Street resident, to chair a committee that will contact street sign companies to determine the cost and types of street signs. He suggested that his wife as well as other interested Section 5 residents serve on this committee. Roberta will contact Jean Sperling, Martin's Additions manager, and Andy Harney, Section 3 manager, about their experiences replacing both the street signs and posts.
A Woodbine Street resident asked the manager to paint the back side of the street sign at the corner of Woodbine Street and Glendale Road to cover the graffiti.
An Underwood Street resident has asked the Council to pay for the cost of planting liriope under the public tree in her front yard. The Council has discontinued its policy of planting liriope on public strips. The manager will contact the resident about this decision. This resident also asked the Council to trap the fox which lives under her front porch. The Council will not pay to trap wild animals in Section 5. The manager will contact the resident about this decision.
A member of the tree committee in Martin's Additions has contacted the Section 5 manager and asked her to come to their next tree committee meeting. They will discuss the possibility of enacting a tree ordinance in Martin's Additions which will require a permit to remove private trees. The committee members plan to use Section 5's tree ordinance and its permit for tree removal as models.
All of Section 5's files since its founding as a Special Taxing District in 1923 have been archived in the manager's house. During the summer she filed all this material in its proper order and has had it copied in case it is lost or damaged.
During summer the manager retyped all the parts of the Section 5 Charter including any changes that have been made. She also retyped all the chapters of the Section 5 Ordinances including any changes which have been made. She made copies of all this material and presented each of the Council members with a binder including this material.
The manager asked the Council if it would pay to set up a flexible account for her with Take Care Wage Works. She will contribute money into this account that will not be taxed. She will then present her medical bills to the company which will reimburse her for these medical bills. While Frances will contribute money for her benefit, there will be a cost of $55 per month to Section 5 to administer this fund.
Action: The Council agreed to pay the $55 per month maintenance fee for this account.
About six years ago a Section 5 resident complained that she did not receive Section 5's mailings because the material was sent as a flyer addressed to the "Resident" rather in an envelope to a specific resident. After this incident the Council decided to place each of its communications to residents in an envelope with the specific name of the resident as the addressee. The manager said that sending material in an envelope is expensive because of the cost of the envelope. She contacted the other Chevy Chase municipalties and discovered that they send their communications as flyers.
The Council decided that it would send its communications to its residents as flyers rather than in envelopes. This will be less expensive.
Also, each of these communications will be addressed to "Resident" rather than to a specific resident.
Agenda Item: Adjournment
Chris adjourned the meeting. The next Council meeting will be held Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at the Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue at 7:30 PM. The Village Hall has handicapped access. Everyone is welcome.