Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

Thursday, May 21, 2015



The meeting was called to order at 8:08 PM by Kevin Young.


Agenda Item 1: Officers Present.  The following BDCA officers were present: President Kevin Young, Vice President Harry Pitt, Board of Directors Members Bob Catlin and Christy Dollymore, and Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan.


Agenda Item 2: Approval of April 16, 2015 Meeting Minutes. Passed.


Agenda Item 3: Treasurer’s Report.

·         Lori was absent so Kevin distributed the report—it will be officially adopted at the June meeting when Lori returns.

o   Balance is $2.589.23, down from $2.705.11.

o   Income of $65.00 from memberships/donations

o   Expenses of $100.00 for a church donation, $23.00 for a gift, $5.50 for shipping, and $52.38 for Internet fees.


Agenda Item 4: Guest Speaker Tom Tanner, Vice-President, Branchville Volunteer Fire Department. 

·         100% volunteer; 24/7 fire and emergency medical response (EMS) covering Berwyn and Berwyn Heights and nearby areas, plus secondary support farther out.  Average ~2000 calls each (fire & EMS) per year.  Expected response time of 7 min in area of primary responsibility.

·         Manpower is a challenge; constant turnover (most new applicants are UMCP students) and significant training required (108 hours fire, 165+ EMT).  Currently 30-40 active.

·         Must raise own funds for new equipment (e.g., $525+ K for an engine; $200+ K for an ambulance).

·         Web page:


Agenda Item 5: Guest Speaker Eric Olson, Executive Director, College Park City-University Partnership.

·         2020 vision: “Creating a sustainable top 20 college town by 2020”

·         2015 strategy areas:

o   Revitalization and redevelopment (Innovation District to incubate new businesses and keep them here; financial incentives for home ownership; redevelopment);

o   Transportation (Purple Line lobby; pedestrian safety; Route 1 rebuild; new bike trails; improved bus transit)

o   Public safety (increased lightning on Rt. 1; recent expansion of University police jurisdiction and code of conduct)

o   Education (College Park Academy; increased University partnership with local schools; potential City / University partnership for a new child care center)

o   Sustainability (new clean energy options; new community gardens)

·         Web page:


Agenda Item 6: New business.

·         Harry Pitt moved that the BCDA write a letter to the College Park Mayor and City Council asking them to write a letter to the Prince Georges County Council requesting a referendum regarding the County Executive’s efforts to override the TRIM initiative to raise property taxes.  Motion was seconded.

o   PJ Brennan stated that the City Council discussed this on Tuesday (19th) and did not agree on sending a letter to the County Council requesting a referendum but would instead send a letter expressing their concerns.  Their concern was that a referendum would force a stop-or-go decision and preclude the possibility of a negotiated adjustment.  Monroe Dennis noted that the City Council did not agree on the content of a letter but will discuss it on Tuesday (26th).

o   Harry was concerned about the County’s relatively poor results for the money currently being invested and noted that the window for taking action is short.

o   Bob Caitlin noted that the new Superintendent of Schools may be the last opportunity for a significant change and that not providing additional funds could sabotage this opportunity.

o   The vote passed; Harry will provide the text to Kevin.


Agenda Item 7: Committee Reports.

·         President’s Report (Kevin Young):

o   No updates about Branchville Crossing.

o   Full slate of officers for the next term, but opportunities for floor nominations / challenges to the slate at the June meeting.  Lori Young would like to step down as Treasurer if someone is willing to step in.

o   Next month: visitors from the State Legislature will update us on the most recent legislative session.

·         Neighborhood Watch (Nick Brennan):

o   Two Neighborhood Watch training sessions coming up June 10 and 13.

o   Parking Permit survey (non-binding!) closes May 30.

·         City Council:

o   Monroe Dennis:

§  Recruitment of a new City Manager continues; will soon narrow down the current list of 10-12 to a smaller number to interview.

§  Finalizing 2016 budget.

§  Still working on 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

o   PJ Brennan:

§  Acknowledged Karen Keating-Volke for her efforts to push initiatives to encourage home ownership in College Park.

§  Next Eat Smart, Live Local at Hanami on June 22 (Dr. Kevin Maxwell will speak).


Agenda Item 8: Non-Agenda Items.

·         Nick Brennan: College Park Community Foundation’s Mother’s Day 5K raised slightly over $2000.

·         Monroe Dennis: Memorial Day Service for veterans at 11 AM on MD-430.

·         Tom Tanner would like to discuss Branchville Crossing at the June meeting.

·         Cruz Developers will (tentatively) be in town May 28 to discuss Branchville Crossing


Kevin adjourned the meeting at 9:43 PM.


Meeting attendees (from sign-up sheet):

Harry Pitt, Bob Kuligowski, Harvey Himmelfarb, Marge Himmelfarb, Thomas McGoingle, Steve Beavers, Nick Brennan, Dan Stafford, Dione Douglas, Monroe Dennis, Bob Caitlin, Sandy Tyler, Barb Valentich, Richard Valentich, Karyn Keating-Volke, Rose Coreene Colby, Diane Jeffries, Chris Gordon, Robert Hunter, Chee Stern, Eric Olson, Christy Dollymore, PJ Brennan, Kevin Young, Tom Tanner, Eric Olson.


Bob Kuligowski (for Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BCDA)