Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

March 18, 2021


Meeting came to order at 7:30 p.m.  Meeting was held via ZOOM on the internet. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Jim Nealis, Bob Catlin, Chad Stern, Karyn Keating, Kelly Jordan, Lily Fountain, Mary Najmi, Tim Triplett, Kyle and Emily Shofi. Other attendees were Christy Dollymore, Daria Bailey, Max Hans Skogland, Faith Rodell, Jason Daniels, Kevin Young, Sandy Tyler, Joe Theiss, A. Hinds, Brooks Bolick. Other attendees included: Llatetra Brown Esters, Mayor Wojahn, Catherine Oberfield, Bob Ryan, Thomas Johnson. Major Keleti from the P.G. Co. Community Relations Office, and Angela Alsobrooks, our County Executive.


The meeting came to order at 7:30 and began with introductions of the attendees and speakers.  The Treasurer’s Report was given, and Chad Stern told us we had a current bank balance of $2,664.  The report was approved by a floor vote.  The Secretary’s Report mentioned the problems we had getting the printed report delivered – a lot of assistance was given while the Recording Secretary (Jim Nealis) had been in the hospital.


Ms. Alsobrooks spoke first, saying nobody had expected a pandemic like the current one we are fighting.  She also stated many parts of our County are ‘food deserts’, because so many folks live in areas not well-served by grocery stores.  Though case numbers are starting to drop we still have several more months of fighting covid.  We now (the county) receive about 5,700 doses of vaccines per week, and the County has provided over 1,000,000 meals to those in need.  Another problem is that Prince George’s Co, has the highest diabetes rates.  Current plans call for the building of 6 new schools over the next few years.  Her office has worked on police reform proposals, including seeking ways to lower our drug-dependency since over 1/3 of persons arrested also have addiction problems.


Mr. Keleti was asked if anything could be done about ‘drag racing” on Greenbelt Rd.  Mr. Bolick also expressed concerns about this issue.  The police are doing what they can.  Another person asked what can be done about ‘food deserts?’ Ms. Alsobrooks replied that the Co. is working to help create more jobs, and she states P.G. has created more jobs than any other area jurisdiction, including special loans for grocery stores in poorer sections of the county.


Bob Ryan explained the city is divided into two “police beats”–the northern and southern parts of the city.  At our town airport, we host P.G. Co. police and Maryland state police.  We are also served by Metro, MNCPPC and UMD police. Overall, crime is down in this area.  Lily mentioned that recent shootings in Atlanta (of massage parlor workers) may have been related to drugs and prostitution – both issues our city has faced before.  Chad asked if drag racers get citations – Mr. Keleti said they if do they catch them, but two he recently caught were just released by the judge!   Keleti encouraged people to file complaints about the problem, which would raise awareness to the issue.  If you have complaints about drag racing, loud parties, etc, call this number: 240-487-3588.


Catherine Oberfield explained that compost is collected with trash in many cities, usually collecting both home and industrial organic waste.


Old Busines:   We received our new BDCA meeting signs – black letters on a green background.  Most people thought they looked great. 


New Business:  Russell Robinette’s dad passed away, Lily offered to send a card to the family.  Sat., April 3rd, BDCA will host a Spring Egg Hunt, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Interested volunteers should show up by 9:00 a.m.


Mayor Wojahn stated the new stimulus bill gave us money which we need to spend during the pandemic.  It must be used on pandemic-related issues, and we don’t want to lose the money.  ‘Helping Saturday”, a day to do volunteer activities here in the city is coming soon so check the city web site.  Max Hans Skogland said he was interested in the old Fishnet Café as a possible business site for gathering food to distribute in the community, and maybe a new café, sort of a food “co-op.”


Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.


Notes by Jim Nealis