Berwyn District Civic Association Thursday, April 16, 2015

  1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. The following BDCA officers were present: President Kevin Young, 2nd Vice President Richard Morrison, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, Board of Directors Member Bob Catlin, and Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan.

  2. Agenda Item 2. Officer Black. P.G. County Police Corporal Black reported that there have been three burglaries in the neighborhood since last month – one on Berwyn Road and two on Osage Street (the two on Osage Street both from the same house, two days in a row).

    There were several thefts from autos. Remember to keep valuables out of your car or well hidden.

    There is a program for young people age 14 to 20 who are interested in being police officers.

    If you know of anyone who fits that description, have them give Officer Black a call.

    Police can’t have a car towed if it’s on private property.

    Whether to put flashing lights on Berwyn Road where it crosses the Trolley Trail would be a matter for the City to decide, not the police.

    The police department does not currently have a system set up where people can text the police rather than call them. A resident thought it would be good to implement such a system.

  3. Agenda Item 3. Treasury Report. Treasurer Lori Young made the following financial report:


    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to accept the April 16, 2015, treasury report into the record.

  4. Agenda Item 4. Nominating Committee for BDCA Officers. If you would like to serve on the nominating committee for next year’s slate of BDCA Officers, or would like to serve on it yourself, please let President Young know.

  5. Agenda Item 5. Russell Robinette. Mr. Russell Robinette was thanked for his many years of volunteer service to the community removing unsightly litter. BDCA presented Russell with a certificate of appreciation, signed by attendees, and Baltimore Orioles jersey. There was a break

    for refreshments in honor of Russell’s contributions to the neighborhood.

  6. Agenda Item 6. Sidewalks. Bob Catlin reported on the possibility of having sidewalks added to the neighborhood. A number of them are going up in Berwyn Heights. The City has very little right‐of‐ way. The City engineer could possibly evaluate locations where sidewalks would be feasible. City Planning Director Terry Schum is currently looking at funding available through a walkable neighborhoods grant, so this might be an opportune time to at least have a feasibility study done. A letter to the City would be a good starting place.

    A neighbor suggested we poll residents to see how they feel about a sidewalk going in in front of their house. She knows some people who probably wouldn’t want one.

  7. Agenda Item 7. Neighborhood Watch. Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan reminded residents to keep cars locked and valuables out of sight. Public Services Director Bob Ryan will be scheduling four or five Neighborhood Watch trainings. Typically they’re held Saturday mornings, at City Hall, but if enough Berwyn residents expressed interest, it’s possible we could arrange to have one here in the neighborhood.

  8. Agenda Item 8. City Council Reports. City Councilman PJ Brennan reported. The budget for the coming fiscal year is similar to last year’s – it’s a balanced budget. Taxes are not increasing in the City. Some wish items are new receptacles for both trash and recyclables along the path between James Adams Park and Greenbelt Road – something resistant to animals and wind. Also dog waste posts. The planting at the end of Berwyn Road, where the pedestrian bridge collapsed, may be replaced. He will let Berwyners know about the timeline for putting in new curbs. The hotel project on the east side of Route 1 where Koons Ford used to be is no longer going to be a Marriott Courtyard. There will not be a traffic light there. That portion of Pontiac will be paved as part of the development project there and not along with the other road pavings the City is doing. Another grant for security cameras for the Trolley Trail has been applied for. These are forensic cameras, not live‐monitored cameras. The first part of the Smart Place to Live series was a success. There’s a lot of transformation taking place in College Park. The University has recently begun a “touring” program where they will drive new employees around the different neighborhoods to introduce them to the area. The City has a $5,000 grant available for a single family who buys a house that’s been rental housing for at least two years. There’s a more robust representation of Berwyn residents on City committees these days. County Councilwoman Dannielle Glaros is going to a commercial investment conference in Las Vegas and will directly solicit Trader Joe’s to come to College Park. There’s an online campaign on Facebook called “College Park Wants Trader Joe’s.” You can also go to the Trader Joe’s website and click on “request a Trader Joe’s in your town.”

    Councilman Monroe Dennis reported that there has been more discussion about funding for streets. The City will try to take advantage of state money and other initiatives whenever possible. The new budget will go into effect July 1st. Thanks to PJ and Nick Brennan for their generosity in purchasing the “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” signs. Other communities and now asked about where to get them.

  9. Agenda Item 9. Old Business. There was no old business.

  10. Agenda Item 10. President Young. President Young attended an event that Dannielle Glaros hosted that featured Kevin Maxwell, chief superintendent of schools in P.G. County. He was very impressive. The County has taken a hit since 2008 in revenue for funding schools. Teacher pay in

    P.G. County lags behind that for neighboring counties. The ratio of teachers and employees per

    student lags behind other counties as well. Mr. Maxwell is working to involve UMD in “dual programs,” where high school students have “dual enrollment,” completing their senior year of high school and attending community college simultaneously so that they obtain their high school diploma and an associates degree on the same day. President Young encouraged Berwyners to look into it.

  11. Agenda Item 11. Branchville Crossing. The Branchville Crossing Committee has met since the last BDCA meeting and went through a couple of drafts of a letter to the City before the final one, which President Young signed earlier tonight. The letter expresses concern over the proposed density, traffic, parking issues, and the impact on the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department. The attorney for the developer who attended an earlier BDCA meeting was not completely accurate in what he said at that meeting. There’s no way the developer can proceed with the current design without getting a lot of variances.

  12. Agenda Item 12. Nominating Committee. Volunteers are wanted to serve on the Nominating Committee, which will nominate a slate of officers for BDCA’s board for next year. Please notify President Young if you’re willing to serve on this committee. It isn’t a hard job and training is provided.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20pm.

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Nick Brennan PJ Brennan

Andrea Carpentieri Robert Catlin Kathy Cregar Monroe Dennis Marina Dullnig Jane Foust

Tracy Foust Michele Garnes

Doug Hunter Diane Jeffries Karyn Keating‐Volke Liesl Koch

Janet McCaslin Maria McLaughlin George Neder Colman O’Donoghue Elizabeth O’Donoghue Karen Robinette

Sam Robinette Rev. Ben Slye Dan Stafford Eric Thomas Sandy Tyler Tom Wolff Lori Young

Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.