Thursday, March 20, 2013, 7:30 PM
Officers & Board
Members Present: Dan, Christy, Elizabeth,
Minutes: Motion to adopt last month minutes was seconded, acceptance unanimous.
Treasurer Report: $3816.17; no deposits, no expenditures, motion seconded, acceptance unanimous.
Guests: Dannielle Glaros and Tim Miller were welcomed. BDCA business was suspended to allow our guests to speak first.
DANNIELLE GLAROS. Currently Eric Olson’s Chief of Staff, Ms. Glaros is running for the Prince George’s County open seat in District 3 for the June Primary elections. During the distribution of her campaign literature, she provided us a brief bio including that she lives in Riverdale Park with her husband and 2 children in a historic house (built in 1906) that they are still restoring because of years of damage from renters. The Kids all go to the local public school. They are involved in the neighborhood, enjoy the trails and use Metro . Ms. Glaros’s graduate degree from the UM is in Public Policy. Her top priorities are “Education” and “Safety” although she considers “Jobs and Economic Development” as also being high priorities.
As to education, Ms. Glaros got involved and then involved other in working with local education issues before her own children were ready for school. She wants the schools to work for the kids and noted that the County has improved the schools in a number of ways but many issues remain, i.e., Parkdale High School counselors handle 300 kids/person.
Safety issues are connected to a number of areas. For example, in relation to the highways, she sees a need to improve cross walks, more and better signage, speed (the area on Rt. 1 between Paint Branch Parkway and Guilford is one of the top 5 areas for pedestrian accidents in College Park), bike lanes, and better connections between road communities (local, county, and State). In her current position, she is already working on the improvement of sidewalks and their interconnections. The suggestion was made and noted that UM should involve students in developing safer behaviors relative to the streets.
Jobs and Economic Development are seen as critical to Ms. Glaros. She supports smart growth as seen in her current involvement in the Purple Line, and future development plans. She sees a need to recruit more businesses, perhaps via tax breaks, improved hotels, schools, shopping, transportation, etc. – all of which will improve the standard of living for the rest of us. Ms. Glaro noted that WMATA has finally decided to hire a new developer for the Metro Station area in order to speak to the ideas listed above. She stressed that she is open to and hopes to get ideas from all of us.
Further questions and discussion included that she is in support of the FBI moving to P. G. County, Issues and ideas for helping immigrants more easily integrate in our neighborhoods (outreach, language help, parent liaisons at schools, activities and resources that bridge the gaps).
Endorsements: Jim Rosapepe endorses Ms. Glaros as does Eric Olson. Mr. Larsen spoke in favor of Ms. Glaros and shared his positive experience working with her to get his Company to move to P.G. Co.
Tim Miller re: lowering age to 18 to run for mayor or city council. Feb 11 it was voted on. Berwyn did not get a chance to discuss as we were dealing with major crimes. Bill introduced in December, politics moved it along fast after someone retired. Overwhelming amount of people spoke against it. There was considerable communication from constituents telling our council members to NOT vote for this.
Citizens are working toward a referendum to change this. Council members need to represent their constituents. April 3rd we are going to start getting signatures to move a referendum forward. Need 3500 signatures start April 3 turn it in May 3.
TIM MILLER: Re: the City Council’s recent decision (Feb. 11) to change the constitutionally required age for candidates to run for Mayor or Council from age 21 to age 18. Mr. Miller explained that many people in many College Park neighborhoods are upset by the Council’s vote because there was no chance for a public discussion prior to changing this constitutional point. Because a number of people who had heard about the issue and asked their representatives to vote “NO”, they and others felt that their Councilmen had not represented them. He came to this meeting to explain the need for a petition asking for a referendum on this issue and the process needed to make that happen.
The discussion became a mixture of the purpose of a petition vs. pro and con concerns about lowering the age for candidates. Age concerns included comments and questions including: How mature is any 18 year-old person? What differences in maturity are there between ages 18 vs. 21? Should other qualifications be added? Would an 18 year-old person take candidacy seriously? How committed would an 18 year-old person be to the community?).
The discussion was then refocused on the Mr. Miller’s purpose in coming to the BDCA meeting, i.e., why a signed, legal petition requesting a referendum on the age issue is needed. Mr. Miller noted that signatures cannot be taken prior to 4/1. After that date, volunteers will be needed in each district to collect a minimum total of 3500 signatures (25% of the 16,000 registered voters in College Park). Monroe Dennis noted that part of the City’s charter is that voters have the right to ask for via petition a referendum on Council decisions. Questions and other discussion points included: What is the cost of a referendum? What is true representation and is it being denied? Given that 18 year-old people can vote, would that automatically make them eligible to be candidates? Mr. Dennis will try to get a list of College Park’s registered voters. Mr. Miller wants to start collecting signatures by 4/3 and finish by 5/3.
COMMITTEE AND OTHER REPORTS
Neighborhood Watch: Nick Brennan was welcomed as our new Neighborhood Watch Director. Officer Black reported on some break-ins during spring break.
Canal Walk: Purpose is to check the water flow at the end of Berwyn Road behind the buildings. UM
A Taste of Spring: Richard Morrison presented this fundraising event sponsored by CPCF on 4/6/2014, 4 – 7 PM at the Fishnet Restaurant featuring an array of unique beer, wine, and fine food. BDCA members can use the BDCA code for a discount of $5.
Residential Update: The next BDCA meeting will have a speaker to update us on the new? Hotels. Also Steve Halpern will be here to update us on changes coming to Rt. 1.
Monroe Dennis: Despite a lean year for revenue, there is a wish list for more money in the budget for monitoring downtown cameras. The City has grant money to buy more cameras.
Janet McCaslin: Good Neighbor Day, sponsored by UM, will be held next weekend (March 22). It is an effort for students to help with neighborhood projects and will include breakfast and lunch as well as seminars throughout the day. All are welcome. Those interested should meet at the United Methodist Church on Rhode Island Avenue. More information available at www.goodneighborday.umd.edu
A Motion to adjourn at 9:07 PM was accepted.
BDCA Meeting Attendance
March 20, 2014
Elizabeth and Bob Kugligowski
JJ Black PGCP