Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, October 17, 2013

1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, 2nd Vice President Richard Morrison, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Board of Directors Member Dan Blasberg, Berwyn News Editor Elizabeth Kuligowski, and Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore. President Young recognized City Mayor Andy Fellows and City Councilman Monroe Dennis.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the September 2013 meeting was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young was not in attendance. President Young reported on her behalf. The September 2013 balance was $3,505.30. The current balance (as of October 17, 2013) is

$3,969.25. This includes $735 in advertising revenue and memberships, a PayPal deposit of $28.83, expenditure for Minuteman Press of $268.13, and $31.75 in bonfire expenses. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report subject to audit was made, seconded, and passed.

4. Agenda Item 4. Lighting on Trolley Trail. A motion to suspend the normal order of business in order to address various issues was made, seconded, and passed.

The UMD student who expressed concern about lighting on the Trolley Trail was unable to attend. Councilman Dennis Monroe reported that the student uses the trail to commute from North College Park to the University and feels there are some poorly illuminated areas on the trail. Councilman Bob Catlin reported that he has walked the trail at night and confirms that some areas could use some additional lighting. The City Council discussed this at a recent meeting in the presence of Chief Mitchell of the UMD police force. Chief Mitchell said he would perform an illumination survey and report back to BDCA and the City staff. It would then be up to the City to figure out how to enhance or correct the current lighting. A Berwyn resident stated that she feels trimming the hedges down in the area around where Quebec Street crosses the path is needed. The City would pay for the lighting.

5. Agenda Item 5. “Walk and Talks.” Special guest Andrea Hawvermale of the Prince George’s Property Owners Association (PGPOA) discussed PGPOA’s participation in “walk and talks” where various groups – including UMD officials, City officials, landlords, neighbors, Prince George’s County police, and UMD police

– get together to visit residences throughout the City to meet the residents and provide people with information about UMD’s Code of Student Conduct, student safety, crime, theft, etc. Ms. Hawvermale is part of the welcoming committee of the collaborative effort to enhance the relationship between all those groups and University students. They want students to be more responsible and more considerate of their neighbors. Residents expressed concern that the Student Code of Conduct reporting requirements are not widely known and are not being used by police. Someone said there was a website where a resident could report on student conduct.

6. Agenda Item 6. Proposed Golf Course Development. Mayor Fellows stated that he and several other City officials have opposed the proposed development of the UMD golf course. University Park and Berwyn Heights have also opposed it. A motion was made that the BDCA’s Board of Directors write a letter to UMD President Loh expressing our extreme dislike of this plan. A resident stated that if the golf course site becomes the main gateway to the University, Route 1 will become a ghost town. P.J. Brennan, who is running for City Councilman of our district, stated that our senator has told him he strongly opposes it and stated that the environmental impact it could have is significant. A lot of studies have shown that similar thruways built to relieve traffic congestion on other roads have resulted in little reduction of traffic on the original road. The proposed development would sabotage our efforts to improve Route 1. A motion to

amend the original motion to having the Corresponding Secretary write the letter to President Loh expressing our dislike of the plan, rather than having the letter come from BDCA, was made. The Mayor stated that he first heard about the plan in July and that no formal proposal has actually been submitted to the University. The developer proposing the plan is an alumnus of the University. His attorney, Tim Maloney, is very well‐connected. A motion was made and seconded for the BDCA to send a letter to President Loh opposing the proposed golf course development. The motion passed.

7. Agenda Item #7. Halloween Night Security. Board of Directors Member Dan Blasberg has been in touch with the City about Halloween night security. Four or five years ago, Berwyn started experiencing some rough gangs of kids coming to the neighborhood on Halloween night. For two or three years after, the City handed out two‐way radios that residents could use to report rowdy behavior to other neighbors. We didn’t do this last year, and there was no problem with the behavior of trick‐or‐treaters, but we got lucky. Anyone interested in participating should meet at Holy Redeemer parking lot half an hour before the trick‐ or‐treaters start making the rounds. Hours of trick‐or‐treating are supposed to be from 6pm to 8:30pm, so meet in the parking lot at 5:30 if you are interested in monitoring the area near your house.

8. Agenda Item #8. Neighborhood Bonfire. Board of Directors Member Dan Blasberg led the discussion about the bonfire. This year we had no Berwyn Day; BDCA decided to combine Berwyn Day with the October bonfire. The BDCA Berwyn Day Bonfire event will be on Saturday, October 19th, from 4pm to 9pm in Berwyn Neighborhood Park. Residents are encouraged to pay/renew their membership dues at the

bonfire. Cider will be provided. The deadline to drop off wood is tomorrow. Please do not bring pressure‐
treated wood, broken furniture, poison ivy, or weeds.

9. Agenda Item #9. Candidates for District 2 City Council Members and Mayor of College Park. Councilman Bob Catlin is not running for reelection as City Councilman this year, after having served on the council since 1997.

Monroe Dennis, current District 2 Councilman and candidate for another term, stated that he is nearing the end of his first two‐year term. He is running unopposed. He lives in Lakeland, also part of District 2. As President of the Lakeland Civic Association, he has worked with President Young and other members of BDCA’s Board. He has worked well with Councilman Catlin the past couple of years. He wants to continue to work on the issues of (rent?) stabilization and quality of life issues, including public safety. There’s a huge list of things that come before the Council, so he doesn’t want to focus on just two or three things at the exclusion of others. He will try to attend as many BDCA meetings as he can and will continue to have regular communication with President Young about issues that concern us.
Berwyn resident PJ Brennan is also running for one of the two District 2 posts on the City Council. He stated that he moved here two years ago. There are many exciting things coming down the pike, including security initiatives. He wants to make our community more interconnected. He has his own website (pjbrennanforcollegepark.com). He invited people to contact him at pj4cpmd@gmail.com or by phone (number listed on NextDoor) with any concerns they may have. He wants to know what our priorities are so he can represent us. He wants landlords and investors to peacefully coexist with owner‐occupied households. A Berwyn resident asked Mr. Brennan how we can be assured that he is going to represent us when he has not been active in the neighborhood thus far. Mr. Brennan responded that he joined the association soon after moving here, has volunteered for College Park Day, is involved with the University of Maryland as an alumnus, has attended City Council meetings, and is very engaged and invested in this community. He will count on people who have been here a long time to bring him up to speed on topics he should know about.
Mayor Andy Fellows, who is running for reelection, stated that he is finishing his second term. He has said since he first ran that he wants to focus on improving the City’s collaboration with the University. He wants to continue working on that. Without that cooperation, public safety, education, and economic development won’t move forward. He’s very pleased with the fact that the College Park Academy began operation this fall. Unfortunately, not every child who lives in College Park can go there because of
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competition for seats throughout the County and there’s currently a waiting list. The Mayor stated that within six months there will be a lot more announcements about development projects along Route 1. The “Knox boxes” will be developed into housing accommodating more students. There are certain houses in every neighborhood that present challenges; the “walk and talks” mentioned earlier are an attempt to address this. There’s a lot more we could do development‐wise around the College Park Metro station.
Our neighborhood has been really lucky to have been been represented by Jack Perry and Bob Catlin for so many years; it will be important for us to continue communicating our concerns to Monroe Dennis and PJ Brennan.
Bob McCeney, a candidate for Mayor, stated that he first moved to College Park in 1968. He lives in College Park Estates. As Mayor, he would focus more on crime in the City. Adding more police, more contract officers, isn’t always the answer. We can do better, for example by working closer with the UMD police. The deterrence factor is important. He would like to get more citizens involved; civic associations are an excellent way to do that, but unfortunately not all neighborhoods have active civic associations. In his own neighborhood, he has talked with landlords as well as tenants to try to solve problems.

10. Agenda Item #10. New Business. WSSC is on the final third of the current pipe‐replacement project.

11. Agenda Item #11. College Park Foundation. Richard Morrison of the College Park Community Foundation stated that the Foundation is in the process of awarding its first round of grants to small projects and charitable projects. If anyone knows of a nonprofit group or charitable group that wants to apply, there are three more weeks before the deadline. The Foundation’s website is collegeparkfoundation.org.

The meeting was adjourned at [time unrecorded].

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Dan Blasberg Robert Catlin Lisa Center Monroe Dennis
Christy Dollymore Marina Dullnig Andrew Fellows Michele Garnes Andrea Hawvermale
Harvey Himmelfarb Margaret Himmelfarb Doug Hunter
Karyn Keating‐Polke
Jim Kiernan
Liesl Koch
Bob Kuligowski
Elizabeth Kuligowski
Ryan McCulley
Thomas McGonigle Heather McGurgan Richard Morrison Harry Pitt
Larry Wenzel
Kevin Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.
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