Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1. Agenda Item 2. Officers Present. President Kevin Young was unable to attend the meeting so 1st Vice President Harry Pitt conducted the meeting. Officers present in addition to 1st Vice President Pitt were Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Board Director Bob Catlin, and Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Two Previous Meetings. The June 2014 minutes had been revised to include the name of the traffic engineer who spoke at that meeting. A motion to accept the revised June 2014 meeting minutes was made, seconded, and passed by a show of hands. A motion to accept the September 2014 meeting minutes was made, seconded, and passed. It was agreed that given that there was not a quorum of BDCA Officers present, the motions could not be recognized.

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. 1st Vice President Pitt reported on the finances since Treasurer

Lori Young was unable to attend the meeting. The previous balance was $2,955.55. As of October
16, 2014, there have been no deposits since the previous balance of $2,955.55; expenses since then
include $244.33 for Minuteman Press, $20.01 for bank and internet fees, and $54.95 for Berwyn
stickers, This leaves a balance of $2,636.26, which matches the statement dated October 16, 2014.

4. Agenda Item 4. Berwyn Mural Replacement. The mural of Berwyn on the side of the auto parts store at the end of Berwyn Road has been painted over. After getting ideas at the September 2014 meeting for whether to replace the mural with something else, and what to do with the monies

that had been designated for maintenance of the mural, the BDCA board developed a list of criteria that any suggested projects must meet: (i) the cost cannot exceed $1,500 or must include how funds would be raised to meet additional costs, (ii) the project must be unique to Berwyn, and (iii) the project must promote Berwyn. One idea suggested earlier – to install a decorative cast iron arch across Berwyn Road near the entrance to the neighborhood – looks like it would be out of our price range (the estimate was around $20,000). Another option would be to install a flag pole and fly a Berwyn and/or College Park banner on it. Additional funding, such as community block funds, is always possible, but $20,000 is probably unrealistic. “Street” signs – that is, not the signs indicating the street name but multicolored signs that could go on the pole directly under the signs with the street name – would be more affordable, at under $100 apiece, according to Christy Dollymore’s research into it.

5. Agenda Item 5. Officer Black’s Report. Officer Black reported that the police are dealing with a lot of burglaries, mostly in Old Town. Officer Black suspects that 80 percent of the burglaries committee in Old Town recently have involved unlocked doors and windows. Sometimes the would‐be burglar ended up fleeing because someone woke up and observed him. A person suspected of committing multiple burglaries in the area, Sherrod Weaver, was recently arrested. Officer Black will let us know the trial date for Mr. Weaver when he learns it. We might want to consider showing up at his trial in force – perhaps in “Berwyn” t‐shirts – to show the judge that we care about our neighborhood and don’t want Mr. Sherrod released yet again to commit more burglaries.

6. Agenda Item 6. Neighborhood Watch Report. PJ Brennan reported on behalf of Neighborhood

Watch Director Nick Brennan, who was unable to attend. We are looking for volunteers to do
street patrol this Halloween. Bob Ryan of the City will provide walkie‐talkies as in past years. Patrolling entails letting the other patrols know if you see anything suspicious Halloween night.
Nick is going to prepare another newsletter that highlights crime in the neighborhood and best practices and that will target the rental houses so that the tenants will know they’re the prime prey for burglars.

7. Agenda Item 7. Councilman Brennan’s Report. The City has purchased surveillance cameras but is encountering obstacles with Pepco about the installing the cameras. However, the cameras will go up. The permaculture garden at the end of the Trolley Trail near Greenbelt Road has been prepared and planted. This is a pilot project, so feedback is welcome. There will be a public hearing October 28th on the selection of a site for City Hall. The two viable sites are the current site and the old Friends School on Calvert Road. Councilman Brennan believes prominence and visibility of their City Hall is key for any city. This decision will probably inform other decisions the City will be making the next year, on subjects such as childcare centers and the College Park Academy. On Thursday, November 6th, there will be a quality of life discussion at St. Andrews Hall at 7pm that all are welcome and encouraged to attend. A small yard sign saying something to the

effect of “Drive like your kids live here” might be something worth looking into along neighborhood roads that have seen people speeding up and down them. The City‐University partnership is planning to bring a CYC (Center for Young Children) like program to Paint Branch Elementary. They are seeking approval from the Board of Education. The first pilot program would be kindergarten through second grade. The City has voted to support it.

8. Agenda Item 8. Berwyn Day Bonfire. Christy Dollymore reported. The annual bonfire will be held Saturday, October 18th. Dan Blasburg will light the bonfire at around 4:30 or so. Firewood donations can be dropped off up until noon on Saturday. The Civic Association will provide hot apple cider. A membership table will be set up and will include goodie bags of community items to go on your refrigerator. There will be a potluck table if you choose to bring something to share, although that isn’t necessary.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Cpl. J. Black PJ Brennan Robert Catlin
Christy Dollymore
Chris Gordon
Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Doug Hunter
Liesl Koch
Janet McCaslin
Ryan McCulley
Harry Pitt
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.