Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting
October 15, 2020
Meeting came to order at 7:35 p.m. Meeting was held via ZOOM on the internet. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Bob Catlin, Chad Stern, Jim Nealis, Lily Fountain, Kelly Jordan, Tim Triplett, Karyn Keating, Ron Cameau. Other attendees included Dan Alpert, Robert Thurston, Dan Blasberg, Clara Niel, James Hunt, Patrice Cameau, Robert Day, Andre Philemon, Denise Mitchell, Patrick Wojahn, the Shohfis, Monroe Dennis, Jon Najmi, Kelvin Esters, Mary Hartnett, Sandra Tyler. Candidates for City Council seat: Llatetra Esters, Ron Cameau, Lindsay Dively
Tim Triplett proposed acceptance of September’s meeting minutes – Kyle Shohfi seconded, passed.
Chad delivered the Treasurer’s Report as of September 30th – the BDCA had a balance of $3,016.29, with $1,665.00 income in Sept. Jim moved to accept – it also passed.
Halloween recommendation is to place candy in bags for individuals to pick up on a table at the curb. Interested parties can submit pictures of kids in costume and pumpkin carvings to myberwyn.org. Some pictures may be displayed on our web site and in next month’s newsletter. There will be a virtual (via Zoom) wreath-making event for those interested on Nov. 7th.
Mayor Wojahn said the city will
hold a special Halloween event called Halloboo
Drive-thru at the Duvall Field parking lot on Oct. 30th, 5-8
p.m. Candy will be given away. Also, Christy Dollymore will host a food
pantry collection at her house every other Friday, 2–4 p.m. Location:
Lily announced the city had
approved parking permits for
Candidates for District 2 Councilmember Seat:
– his biography is on the city website.
Served as Neighborhood Watch coordinator for BDCA, local food drive,
helped get a Stop sign on
Llatetra Esters – is invested in the city, serves on advisory planning commission, has experience handling complex problems. Supports more public safety (auto theft and speeding are problems), diversity, inclusion, smart growth. All residents need to be engaged and have their voices heard. More fiscal responsibility, new development needs to benefit city residents.
– biography is on the city web site. She thanked BDCA for hosting the
forum. Branchville and
Questions: David Jones (emailed?) this to Esters: Will
there be a conflict of interest since you work for the UM System? Esters replied – no, she works for the
Lily and Richard Fountain asked:
What are your top 3 issues facing
Another question: District 2 includes about ½ of the campus, so how can we better support transient student residents? Ron replied – students should have a voice, so work with UM and find a balance where student needs are met. Llatetra replied – we need to create a welcoming community where even short-term students are heard. Lindsay replied – she is an UM graduate. We need to bridge the gap between the community and the students, get students more involved in the community since they may have new ideas.
Another question: Part of District 2 is north of
Lily and Richard Fountain asked about plans to move Oak Springs out of Dist. 2, but Llatetra had not heard about this – she wondered if 2020 census numbers would cause a change in city council district boundaries?
Another question: What
Another question: What about raising or lowering property taxes? Ron replied – he hopes taxes won’t go up again – already pays nearly $9,000. Developers must pay their fair share. Only an emergency dire need would justify a tax increase, but otherwise city should not increase taxes now. Perhaps lower taxes for lower-income folks, possibly with tax credits. We need better use of state/federal grants and funds. Llatetra replied – city has lowest taxes in PG Co. Let’s maintain that, need more fiscal responsibility by the city. Lindsay replied – she does not see a need to raise taxes, PG Co. taxes are already high. But situations can change, so we need more transparency.
Another question: Should we reduce or eliminate the use of non-recyclable plastic bags? Lindsay replied – Yes, let’s eliminate them and get reusable bags. Lidl uses them or supplies them. Ron replied – ban non-recyclable bags, and work with local businesses to remove them. But plastic bags for trash cans may be OK, not sure those can be banned. Llatetra – also not sure about the trash can bags, but get local businesses to work toward eliminating non-recyclable bags.
Another question: What can our city council do to promote trust in local government? Lindsay replied – recent events inspired her to run, she is a ‘people person.’ We need more communication and need to shelve personal agendas. She will take feedback to the council. Llatetra replied – need to focus on our communities and need to represent our constituents. Need more transparency, trust, do more door-knocking and engaging with folks. Ron replied – the city’s Planning Survey proved residents don’t feel represented, and feel we are ignored by the University. Use social media, Nextdoor, other means of communication to reach people, and make decisions based on residents’ needs.
Another question: Plans for developing the Stone industrial property
in District 2: Llatetra
replied – attended a recent meeting about this – there are a variety of
suggestions, including residential, other industry, maybe a crawfish?
production facility. Would a fish ‘farm’
cause water contamination, odors, etc.? More traffic on
Another question: What initiatives can
Another question: How will Purple Line Metro rail affect
Closing Statements: Lindsay replied – all three candidates are good, and she was thankful for the chance to meet and debate. We need visions for the future and to be inclusive. Walk the streets and talk with neighbors – she will be a voice for the people. Llatetra replied – she cares about College Park, will represent District 2 to the best of her abilities, and stand up for District 2 interests. Ron replied – he was thankful for the chance to speak and felt that all candidates were qualified. He admits he is “not a politician’ – he is a ‘can do’ guy. He is passionate about his neighbors and the community. He is involved and mission-oriented, wants to work for a safe, healthy community.
Other business conducted: Mayor Wojahn reminded us that Oct. 24th
is another ‘Clean-Up Saturday’, you can bring cans of paint, large pieces of
Styrofoam, electronics, etc., to Davis Hall.
Also, there is a 2020 election drop-off box next to the
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis
The meeting ended at 9:22 p.m.
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis