Berwyn District Civic Association Thursday, June 18, 2015


  1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. The following BDCA officers were present: President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, Board of Directors Member Bob Catlin, Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan, and Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore.


  2. Agenda Item 2. Approval of Minutes. A motion was made to accept into the record the minutes from the May 21, 2015, meeting. The motion was seconded, and passed by a show of hands.


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


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


  4. Agenda Item 4. New Business. The following topics were discussed:


    1. There will be no BDCA meetings for the next two months (the Board will continue to meet).

    2. Mosquito spraying is done on a case‐by‐case basis; if you report excessive mosquitoes to the City, they’ll report it to USDA, which comes out and tests the site. If they determine an area needs spraying, they’ll send out a van to spray the neighborhood.

    3. A motion was made for BDCA to send the City a letter thanking City Manager Joe Nagro, who’s close to retirement, for his service and contribution to the City. The motion was seconded and passed by a show of hands. PJ Brennan will draft the letter; the Board will then review it and send it out.

    4. A motion was made to write a letter of appreciation to City Engineer Steve Halper for all the work he did coordinating with WSSC about the new curbs and gutters and the repaving. Also for working with individuals to address their specific needs. The motion was seconded and passed by a show of hands. Christy Dollymore will draft the letter.

    5. A call to Public Works should suffice for getting a curb where a fire hydrant is located painted yellow.

    6. The June issue of the Berwyn News is really good – especially the membership column and the column about snakeheads.

  5. Agenda Item 5. Old Business. There was no old business.


  6. Agenda Item 6. Special Guest: Senator Jim Rosapepe. Senator Rosapepe summarized the major issues and local issues the 21st District acted on during the 2015 Maryland Legislative Session:



  7. Agenda Item 7. Charter Schools. Bob Catlin reported on charter schools. The General Assembly changed what Governor Hogan wanted to do with charter schools. The State’s charter school law is complicated. It’s pretty restrictive compared to other states’, though not as restrictive as some people would have you believe. Senator Rosapepe is on the board of the College Park Academy. Currently, charter school employees have to be on the payroll of the school system and have to be members of collective bargaining. The major issue is how much flexibility charter schools have from micromanagement by the school system. The old law said you couldn’t have a “catchment” area for a charter school like you do for a public school. Since the charter schools often get more applications than they have seats for, they hold a lottery, thus negating the idea that charter schools give people a “choice”. The new law says that up to 35 percent of seats in a charter school can be reserved for people in a specified catchment area around the school – as long as the median income in the catchment area is less than half the median income of the whole county. The problem is that it’s not that hard to draw lines that are demographically inclusive. If a charter school applicant believes the local school system is being unreasonable, they can appeal to the

    state board. Prince George’s County has the second highest number of charter schools in the State.


  8. Agenda Item 8. Liquor Sold at UMD Sports Events. Right now, you can’t buy liquor in stadiums (in the suite boxes, yes, but not in general seating). That’s true of lots if not most colleges in the U.S. The Student Government Association put together a proposal to sell beer at games to those over 21 years old. A UMD professor who had done a study on this was opposed, saying that his research led him to conclude that it’s a very bad idea. Senator Rosapepe talked to President Loh about it a month ago; Delegate Pena‐Melnyk wrote Loh a letter, expressing why she thought it was a bad idea. President Loh decided about 10 days ago to go ahead with the plan, albeit with lots of stipulations, including a one‐year trial period. The stadiums now have to get a liquor license. Senator Rosapepe encourages anyone with strong views on the subject to talk with the Liquor Board. The Liquor Board does not have a closed mind about things like this – they listen to what people have to say.


  9. Agenda Item 9. Funding for Schools from Casino Earnings. Casino earnings go to three places first: the winners, the people who run the casinos, and a little bit to the county in which they’re located to deal with crime impacts, etc. One hundred percent of the money left over after those three groups take their share goes to the State’s education budget.


  10. Agenda Item 10. Council Member Reports. Councilmen Monroe Dennis and PJ Brennan reported the following:



  11. Agenda Item 11. Neighborhood Watch. Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan reported that there were a couple of stolen vehicles recovered in Berwyn. If you see any cars you don’t think belong here, call parking enforcement – they can run a search on the tags.

    There was a break‐in on Potomac Avenue. Entry was made through an unsecured window.

    Nick received great feedback from the survey on permit parking. There is no consensus that people want parking permits. It’s an issue that will probably come up again and again. Other neighborhoods have instituted it street by street, which we could do, but it could just cause the problem to go to another street.

    According to the survey, there does seem to be some interest about exploring the possibility of installing more sidewalks. It would be funded through a grant program. College Park has received about $350,000 from that grant program from 2009 to 2011.


  12. Agenda Item 12. BDCA Membership. Membership Director Dan Stafford is hosting a door‐to‐door canvasing event on July 11th. BDCA is a really great organization and an important part of our community. We have to go out and point that out to our neighbors as well. The goal is 250 members this year. We’ll do the normal membership drive at the bonfire in the fall and the holiday party in December. We’ll probably do another canvas later in the summer.

    Volunteers will meet at Dan’s house and then go out in pairs, then get together afterwards for pizza.


  13. Agenda Item 13. Movies in the Park. Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore (“Director of Fun”) is organizing some “Movies in the Park” events – possibly the last Friday of July, August, and maybe September. She’s going to test a projector this weekend. People will bring their own chair and snacks. She will survey people to see what movie they’d be interested in seeing.


  14. Agenda Item 14. October Bonfire. The bonfire will be October 24th. Christy Dollymore will coordinate with people who have trucks to arrange for firewood to be picked up.


  15. Agenda Item 15. Election of Officers. A motion to accept the slate of officers appearing in the June 2015 issue of the Berwyn News was made and seconded. The motion passed by a show of hands.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:25pm.


Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):


Nick Brennan PJ Brennan Robert Catlin Monroe Dennis

Christy Dollymore Dione Douglas Michele Garnes Chris Gordon

Liesl Koch Beth McAllister

Thomas McGonigle Coleman O’Donoghue

Harry Pitt Dan Stafford

Sandy Tyler Lori Young


Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.