Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

April 19, 2018


Meeting came to order at 7:40 p.m.  Meeting held at Fealey Hall.  Board members in attendance:  Rose Greene Colby, Bob Catlin, Karyn Keating-Volke, Chad Stern, Tim Triplett, Jim Nealis.  Other attendees included  PJ Brennan, Chris Gordon, Margaret and Harvey Himelfarb,  Monroe Dennis, Kolbi Hunt, Diane Jeffries, Christy Dollymore, Felipe Troncoso, Harry Pitt, Larry Wenzel.


A motion was made and seconded to proceed directly to the speakers.  Mr. Toyin Fasakin, running for Register of Wills, spoke through an interpreter (he is hearing impaired).  He is active in his own Civic Assn., and feels such associations are a voice for change. He is concerned that many county residents pass away without a proper will, leading to family infighting and legal problems.  He was surprised to see so many at our meeting even knew the county has a Register of Wills.  He seeks more outreach, and is concerned about estate and inheritance taxes.  He feels you should be allowed to pass your property on to your heirs, and supports eliminating inheritance taxes here, as he says Connecticut and New Jersey have done.  He supports electronic filing and making the office more accessible, and reminded everyone to vote on June 26th.

     City Council member Monroe Dennis spoke about the FY 2019 city budget planning – the budget is viewable on-line, and will be balanced and require no tax increase.  Council will be working on the budget this Sat., Apr. 21, starting at 8 a.m.

     City Council Member PJ Brennan said a senior citizen was struck on Rt. 1 near the McDonald’s in a hit-and-run accident.  New lighting will be coming soon on the bridge over Paint Branch, and demolition has started on the former Clarion Hotel site to make way for the Lidl grocery – contact the city engineer with any problems at the site.  Parking issues on Potomac Ave. have moved up the street since the “No Parking” signs were erected, so this issue remains a problem.  City is working on bulk trash concerns, and he reminded us that the city has a tree-planting and chain link fence removal program available – check the city web site.

     Chad Stern (Treasurer) reported he has cleared up our banking problems, and we now have our federal taxpayer ID number.  Karyn Keating-Volke asked how many 2018 paid members we have – Chad will check and let us know.  Treasurer’s report was approved.

     The question about sending a letter expressing concern about the Mayor acting as a ‘legislator’ on city charter votes was tabled indefinitely by a vote of the majority of attendees, by request of Bob Catlin.  Rose mentioned other civic associations were meeting that night to discuss Maryland’s “Open Meeting Act.”  PJ Brennan said the city will have a meeting on the 24th to discuss and perhaps vote on the city charter issues.

Monroe Dennis said the charter changes are on the city web site.

     Christy Dollymore said the parking restrictions on Tecumseh St. have worked well – the lines of parked vehicles have disappeared – but now folks are speeding on that street. Harry Pitt said the restrictions have worked at his lower end of Potomac, and PJ Brennan suggested residents farther up Potomac can get the restrictions extended on Potomac with 60% of property owners signing a petition to that effect.

     Bob Catlin said we need a nominating committee to take recommendations for BDCA office-seekers.  Karyn, Bob, and Jim accepted this job. 

     Christy Dollymore said the Boy Scout planter project on Berwyn Rd. is nearly finished – PJ said new plants will be put in when it gets warmer.  We learned the city Public Works director is resigning shortly – a search for a replacement is on.  A discussion about advertising on ‘Next Door Berwyn’ was held, but BDCA has no control over this.  Ads should not appear in the general section, but are OK in other sections such as the “Events” section.  The owner of Smile Herb Shop will be asked to speak at May’s meeting.

     Vigilante Coffee has opened on Rt. 1, and we now learned that the vacant lot on the east side of Rt. 1 just north of University Blvd. will become yet another development containing 300 more apartments and 45 townhomes.

     Mayor Wojahn arrived late, but reminded all that UM’s ‘Maryland Day’ is Apr. 28th, there is a ‘storm-spotter’ class at UM on Apr. 21st, and the Senior Arts Show at UM’s Catholic Student Center is later this month also.  Saturdays in April from 7:30 a.m. – noon you can bring electronics, Styrofoam, old appliances, etc. to Davis Hall for disposal/recycling.

     Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.



Notes compiled by Jim Nealis