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Date: February 9, 2016

Place: Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue

Time: 7:30 PM

Present: Chris Richardson, Nancy Pines, Pat Xeller, Scott Livingston, John Higgins, Ashley Kavanaugh, 3 Section 5 residents

Agenda Item: Greetings and Introductions

Chair Chris Richardson called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. Chris took a minute to thank John Higgins for his many years of service both on the Council and as the Interim Manager the past six months. The Council presented John with a small gift.

Agenda Item: Approval of Minutes

Chris moved that the minutes from the December Meeting be approved; there was a second and the motion passed unanimously. (Note: The January Meeting did not have a quorum so there were no minutes to approve.)

Agenda Item: Resident Comments

A resident thanked the Town Manager for the job the Section did on snow removal and noted email communication as a great tool.

There was a discussion regarding the Section email list and whether the Section should also consider creating a listserv. It was mentioned that managing a listserv can be difficult, and in other municipalities a listserv is not usually operated by the Town, but moderated by a resident. It was decided not to engage in creating a separate Section listserv as this time, but to encourage interested parties to consider signing up for existing area ones including the BCC listserv.

Agenda Item: Building Permit Report

Nancy Pines stated that there were no new applications this month.

Agenda Item: Discussion Regarding Qualified Voters in Section 5

At the November meeting, a question was posed by a resident concerning the ability to vote in Section 5 if not a U.S. citizen. Currently, the Section 5 charter denotes a “Qualified Voter shall mean any person who is registered to vote in Montgomery County (which requires U.S. citizenship) and who appears on the registration lists as resident of Section 5.” Neighboring Sections have differing rules. There are 19 municipalities in Montgomery County. Of the 19, seven have decided to allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in municipal elections, and have in effect, created their own separate additional voter registration system. These municipalities include: Barnesville, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Martin’s Addition, Section 3, Somerset, and Takoma Park. The Council engaged in a discussion regarding the pros and cons of creating such a process in Section 5. It was determined that the Council is in general agreement that this is something the Section should consider closely.

Agenda Item: Status of Income Tax Allocation Issue

As mentioned at the December meeting, Section 5 has been notified by Montgomery County’s Department of Finance that there appears to have been an error in the coding of municipal income tax returns in Tax Years 2010-14. Certain returns were incorrectly assigned to municipalities when they were actually outside of the municipal boundaries, and to a lesser extent, some income tax returns should have been assigned to a municipality but were not. The Town Manager attended a January 15th meeting regarding this issue with executives from the State of Maryland. The meeting in large part focused on the external audit currently underway. They will hold another meeting late February to discuss the results of the audit.

Agenda Item: Status of Comcast Cable Negotiation with the County

John Higgins discussed the status of the Comcast Cable rate negotiation. Section 5 and the neighboring municipalities have traditionally let Montgomery County negotiate their Comcast rates. The Comcast franchise renewal was approved today by the County Council. The franchise will take effect on April 1, 2016. A resolution was made that Section 5 adopt the Franchise agreement as approved by the Montgomery County Council. The Council agreed and the agreement will be signed by Chair Chris Richardson.

Agenda Item: Manager’s Report

The Board made changes to Section 5’s bank account regarding authorized signers. Peter Gray and Timothy Hanlon were removed from the list of authorized signers. Scott Livingston, Pat Xeller, and Ashley Kavanaugh all were acknowledged as new authorized signers. Chris Richardson, Nancy Pines and Greg White will also remain on the account as authorized signers.

There was a brief discussion of the snow storm. We have purchased fire hydrant markers to be put on the Section fire hydrants from December thru March of each year. We will begin using them next year. We are also making sure we have a complete list of Section storm drains, as well as working to gather a list of teen helpers that might include snow shovelers, in addition to babysitters, pet sitting, etc.

We will soon be making some changes to the Section 5 website and encourage residents to use it as a resource.


Chris adjourned the meeting. The next meeting will be held March 8, 2016, at 7:30 PM at the Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue. The Village Hall has handicapped access. Everyone is welcome.