CITY OF GAITHERSBURG

Mayor W. Edward Bohrer and the City Council last week approved a $16.5 million capital improvements and operating budget for fiscal 1991 -- an increase of $3.5 million, or 27 percent, over the current budget of $13 million.

For the 25th straight year, Gaithersburg officials set the property tax rate at 53 cents per $100 of assessed value. Still, rising assessments should mean higher property taxes for city residents. {See related article in today's Maryland Weekly.} CITY OF ROCKVILLE

Mayor Douglas Duncan and the City Council on Monday adopted a $47.4 million operating budget for fiscal 1991, an increase of $2 million, or about 4 percent, over current spending of $45.4 million, and kept the property tax rate at 83 cents per $100 of assessed value. The council also approved a six-year capital improvements budget of $67.6 million. {See related article in today's Maryland Weekly.} CITY OF TAKOMA PARK

The Takoma Park City Council on Monday approved an $8.2 million capital improvements and operating budget for fiscal 1991, an increase of $700,000, or 9.3 percent, over the current budget of $7.5 million. The council also lowered the property tax rate from $1.83 to $1.77 per $100 of assessed value. {See related article in today's Maryland Weekly.} TOWN OF WASHINGTON GROVE

In the first contested mayoral election in the 53-year history of Washington Grove, former Town Council member Ellsworth M. Briggs Saturday defeated Planning Commission Chairman Horace G. "Jim" Leng III, 81 to 52. Briggs will serve a one-year term.

Incumbents Charles Challstrom and Joli McCathran won the two Town Council seats up for election, running unopposed. They will serve three-year terms.

Challstrom is in his 10th year of elected office in the community of fewer than 200 houses located southeast of Gaithersburg. He was elected to the council in 1980, and served until 1985, when he became mayor. In 1987, after two terms as mayor, Challstrom was reelected to the six-member council. McCathran, who has served one term on the council, is married to the grandson of Irving L. McCathran, who served as mayor of the town from 1937 to 1957.