Mayor and Council Meeting, 5/18/2009
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Mayor Katz presiding. Council Members present: Ashman, Drzyzgula, and Marraffa. Council Members Absent: Sesma and Spiegel. Staff present: City Manager Jones, Assistant City Managers Felton and Tomasello, Planning and Code Administration Direction Ossont, Planners Robinson and Voigt, Community Services Director Carr, Secretary Flemming, Aquatics Manager Mogus, Finance and Administration Team (Harold Belton, Denise Gantz, Sherry Lewis, Wes Rhodes, Tina Smith and Angela Woo), City Attorney Board and Executive Assistant Stokes.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge was led by Payton Bohrer, granddaughter of the late former Mayor W. Edward Bohrer, Jr.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The invocation was led by Reverend Randy Lord-Wilkinson, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council regular meeting held April 20, 2009, be approved.
Motion was made by Council Member Drzyzgula, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council work session held April 27, 2009, be approved.
Resolution of the City Council Confirming An Appointment
This resolution confirmed the following appointment: Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, Charles (Chris) Kirtz, 104 Russell Avenue, 20877, three-year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT BY THE MAYOR TO THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-26-09), be approved.
VI. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
- Friends of the Library, Montgomery County
The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County recently established a non-profit bookstore at Quince Orchard Plaza. The City provided a grant of $10,000 to defray the establishment costs of the store. The store provides affordable reading materials to the community and profits are used to provide enhancements to programming at local libraries. A ceremonial check was presented.
- 2009 First Quarter Employee and Team Recognition Awards
City Manager Jones joined Mayor Katz at the podium to congratulate the winners of the Employee Recognition Awards for the First Quarter of 2009, January 1, 2009 – March 31, 2009.
Employee of the Quarter winners were:
Sarah Fleming (Secretary, Planning and Code Administration), nominated for her exceptional performance assisting a tenant of a local apartment complex for over 11 months. The tenant was facing an unfair request to move or face eviction.
Jennifer Mogus (Aquatics Manager, Parks, Recreation and Culture), nominated for her exceptional performance creating a Power Point presentation for the Ad Hoc Committee for the Senior Center which was presented to the Mayor and Council.
Team of the Quarter:
Finance and Administration Team (Harold Belton, Denise Gantz, Sherry Lewis, Wes Rhodes, Tina Smith and Angela Woo), nominated for their exceptional performance in planning, developing, and assisting the Community Services Department with the accounting procedures for the Holiday Giving Program.
- GREAT Award to Diamond Elementary School
On behalf of the City Council and the City’s Education Committee, Mayor Katz presented the GREAT award to Diamond Elementary School. To accept the award, Principal Carol Lange was joined by School Counselor Meghan Holland, and student representatives Justin Cruz, Thomas Good, Natalie Marrato, Antoinette Hebron, and Charles Bloomer. GREAT stands for “Gaithersburg Recognizing Educational Achievement Today” and its mission is to promote and celebrate higher achievement and successes in Gaithersburg area schools. The goal of GREAT is to recognize schools, increase school success and promote “best practices” models.
Diamond Elementary School was recognized for the ongoing efforts of their Student Government Association and PTA and the sponsoring of activities that encourage students to demonstrate the pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS! Students participated in the Walk for the Homeless, collected non-perishable foods, donated winter coats, monitored the school paper recycling program weekly, and achieved county recognition for recycling and energy conservation efforts.
- Certificates of Recognition
Mayor Katz was joined at the podium by Vicki Conner, Patsy Green, Patrick and Payton Bohrer from the Ed Bohrer Memorial CC! Scholarship Fund and Gary Unterberg from Rodgers Consulting, Inc., to present the 2009 W. Edward Bohrer Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship winners with their awards and checks.
This year marks the City’s Twelfth Annual W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship Awards. The scholarship’s intention is to recognize and support Gaithersburg area high school students of outstanding character who have a firm commitment to their education and community. The three sponsors together contributing $10,000 to the scholarship fund were: DRS Technologies; W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. Memorial CC! Scholarship Fund; and Rodgers Consulting, Inc. This year’s recipients were Gaithersburg High School students: Francisco Cartagena; Veronica Henrique-Lopez; Abdul R. Wahla; and Audrey Wandji.
Mayor Katz issued a proclamation designating May 2009, as “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month” in the City of Gaithersburg. The month is celebrated to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Multicultural Affairs Committee sponsored a reception. Entertainment was provided by the Nova Music and Arts Academy featuring (2) two songs by their children’s choir and a solo by Ms. Lingling H. Peng. Following the issuing of the proclamation, Lindsay Gong and Denny Tang performed a cello and solo duet of a Qinghai Folk Song, “A Place Far Away”.
Mayor Katz issued a proclamation designating May 2009, as “Foster Parent Appreciation Month” in the City of Gaithersburg. The month of May provides an opportunity for people nationwide to get involved as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers, or in other ways. It's also an opportunity to show appreciation for the dedication of the foster families who care for these children and youth, and the social workers who support them. Carolyn Young, Foster Parent of the Year and LaSonya Kelly, Social Worker, Montgomery County Child Welfare Services accepted the proclamation.
Mayor Katz requested a proclamation be prepared designating May 16 - 22, 2009, as “National Safe Boating Week” in the City of Gaithersburg and mailed to recipient Jeff McKinney.
Mayor Katz issued a proclamation designating May 2009, as “National Preservation Month” in the City of Gaithersburg. This year, the theme selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation is “This Place Matters”. Clark Day, Acting Chair of the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, accepted the proclamation. On behalf of the Committee, Mr. Day expressed the importance to promote historic preservation awareness of communities and celebrate its unique heritage.
- Certificate of Recognition
Each year for Preservation Month, the City Council presents Certificates of Recognition to outstanding historic preservation projects nominated by the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. This year Grace United Methodist Church had been selected to receive the certificate for their outstanding preservation and adaptive reuse of 3 Walker Avenue in the Brookes, Russell, and Walker Historic District. Jim Akin, Bill Roth and Reverend Mark Derby accepted the certificate on behalf of the church.
VII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Clark Day, 26 Walker Avenue, further expressed gratitude to Grace United Methodist Church for the preservation of the house at 3 Walker Avenue.
VII. FROM THE CITY MANAGER
Council Member Drzyzgula
- Attended the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Wine Tasting at the City’s Kentlands Mansion.
- Attended the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Committee meeting. Issue discussed was the increase regulation of water quality, particularly in regards to stormwater management.
- Welcomed The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, and encouraged citizens of all ages to visit.
- Thanked the Old Siam Restaurant in Olde Towne that prepared food for the Asian Pacific American Heritage reception held earlier.
- Thanked and recognized Grace United Methodist Church for their efforts on their preservation project mentioned above.
Council Member Marraffa
- Congratulated all award recipients above, especially Diamond Elementary School where his grandchildren attend. Expressed a special recognition to the Bohrer family.
- Attended the Council of Governments Board of Director meeting and receive a summary of the handling of the swine flu throughout the Metropolitan area. Will attend an upcoming Transportation Board meeting.
- Received a report from the Community Economic Development Committee on Block Grant Funds and stimulus packages. Will update the City Council at a future meeting.
Council Member Ashman
- Joined his colleagues in thanking Old Siam for providing food for the reception held earlier.
- Mentioned the recent fundraisers for the Gaithersburg Police Department and the Wells/Robertson House. He thanked residents for coming out and giving their support.
- Reported its prom season and urged the community to support After Prom Parties which are alcohol and drug free, and asked parents to encourage students to participate.
- Urged citizens to subscribe to Alert Gaithersburg, emergency notification system to various devices.
- Announced the City’s annual Memorial Day observance on Saturday, May 30, 11 a.m. at Christman Park, located on West Deer Park Road, to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country.
- Expressed sympathy to Mike and Joni Sesma on the passing of Joni’s mother Elizabeth Russell Adams. Thoughts and prayers were also mentioned for the family members of Roy Passin, Roy’s Place restaurant.
- Reported two candidates are interested in serving on the Animal Control Board and directed staff to schedule interviews.
- Announced the following meeting schedule:
- work session, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, to receive a presentation on the City’s Emergency Management Plan.
- next regular meeting June 1, 2009.
Reported that the City received a memorandum of understanding from the County regarding the FinMarc and GE properties. Staff is in the process of reviewing the document and will schedule a meeting with the Mayor and Council to discuss the next steps.
Assistant City Manager Felton gave an update stating that the County recently took action that would allow for a lease purchase agreement for the GE property. The FinMarc property is currently under contract. The use for those properties will be a public safety campus (administration offices, police and fire headquarters, 1st District Police-Rockville, Department of General Services) and a Liquor Warehouse in the existing warehouse. The County publicly announced that additional screening between the warehouse and Lane in the Woods community will be provided and areas of trees will be preserved. Mr. Felton further stated that the County did recently pass legislation approving the CIP for the public safety headquarters for the police station. It was stated that during the County’s rental over the next five years, the City will receive tax revenue until the scheduled purchase.
MAYOR KATZ RECESSED THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING AT 8:21 P.M.
FOR A HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING. THE MAYOR AND
COUNCIL MEETING RECONVENED AT 8:25 P.M.
IX. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND REGULATIONS
- Resolution to Build an Audio Recording Studio
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract with Washington Professional Systems, 11242 Grandview Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland 20902, for an Audio Recording Studio in the amount of One Hundred Thirty-Four Thousand Dollars ($134,000); said funds to be expended from the Olde Towne Youth Center Construction CIP Budget.
Motion was made by Council Member Drzyzgula, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT TO BUILD AN AUDIO RECORDING STUDIO (Resolution No. R-27-09), be approved.
- Resolution Adopting the Gaithersburg Olde Towne District Design Guidelines
Planner Robinson stated that there are currently a collection of design guidelines for Olde Towne. However, those guidelines were developed in conjunction with the 1995 Downtown Plan for the City of Gaithersburg, revised January 8, 1996. Since that 1996 plan, the City identified Olde Towne as a special study area for the 2003 Land Use Master Plan.
The Gaithersburg Olde Towne District Master Plan, MP-1-05, was approved by Mayor and City Council resolution R-64-05 on July 18, 2005. The future Olde Towne Plan envisioned in MP-1-05 would require new, expanded design guidelines, rather than the antiquated guidelines currently adopted and not created for the current plan. If the above guidelines are approved, staff will continue to work with the Planning Commission, Olde Towne Advisory Committee, and the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, in creating a final user-friendly illustrative document for the public’s use and reference during the development process. The efforts of staff and others to develop the guidelines were commended.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL ADOPTING THE GAITHERSBURG OLDE TOWNE DISTRICT DESIGN GUIDELINES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GAITHERSBURG OLDE TOWNE DISTRICT MASTER PLAN: MP-1-05 (Resolution No. R-28-09), be approved.
- Resolution Approving the Number and Location Polling Places for the 2009 City Election
Section 6C-3.1(3) of the City Code provides that the Board of Supervisors of Elections (BOSE) shall make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council concerning the number and location of election polling places. On April 23, 2009, the BOSE recommended to the Mayor and Council that the number and location of election polling places and the boundaries of each voting area be as shown on a map, which is recommended to remain the same from the 2007 Elections.
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL APPROVING THE NUMBER AND LOCATION POLLING PLACES FOR THE 2009 CITY ELECTION (Resolution No. R-29-09), be approved.
- Emergency Ordinance to Amend Chapter 6C Entitled “Elections” of the City Code
Assistant City Manager Felton introduced the above ordinance for public hearing on June 1, 2009. On May 19, 2008, the Mayor and City Council appointed the Ad Hoc Elections Ordinance Review Committee with the charge to review the City’s election ordinance and to provide recommendations to improve the City’s election process. The committee’s report was presented on April 27, 2009 during a work session and the Mayor and City Council concurred with the committee’s recommendations and directed staff to draft an ordinance for introduction. The emergency ordinance will go into effect upon adoption.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 6C ENTITLED “ELECTIONS” OF THE CITY CODE, be introduced.
X. FROM THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS, CITY ATTORNEY AND OTHER STAFF
Process for Proposed Telecommunications Facility at Kelley Park
Assistant City Manager stated that per the guidance received at the April 20, 2009 Mayor and City Council meeting, staff is requesting direction to proceed for a telecommunications facility being proposed to be located at Kelley Park by T-Mobile. At the discretion of the City Council, they can either determine a public hearing be held or have staff handle the request directly.
Mayor Katz suggested a work session to receive public input. Other City Council members concurred that for the above application request, staff should move forward without a public hearing.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:40 p.m.