The Board of Directors discussed new guidelines for the Neighborhood Watch listserv at its last meeting. The numbers in the financial report for Berwyn Day 2010 may change slightly but not much. The Octoberfest bonfire will take place this coming Saturday. The Branchville Fire
Department will be there for the lighting of the bonfire and again at the end to extinguish it. The Neighborhood Watch coordinator will send out information about Halloween. BDCA is offering Christmas wreaths for the first time this year – see back of the
newsletter for ordering information.
City Councilman Bob Catlin’s report can be found in the October 2010 newsletter. Councilman Catlin added that there is no new information on the Koon’s Ford site. Also, that the City has not conducted a survey of its residents for three years – usually it’s done every twoyears. The City plans to do an online survey this year.
City Councilman Jack Perry gave his report. The City’s survey tells the City which City programs are popular and which are not and also helps the City Manager develop his budget. See Councilman Perry’s column in the recent newsletter for information about what the City Council has been doing. There will be an interdependent study of College Park and the University and the value of each to the other and how they relate to each other. The University is paying for it.
Last week, the issue of having a student representative on the Council was discussed. Anyone with opinions on this issue can call the City Manager and leave a message. Speed cameras are now up and running on Paint Branch Parkway 24 hours a day. They will not issue tickets for the first 30 days.
There has been a change in rules in how the Council operates. There is now a “2-hour rule,” which forbids Council members from asking staff to do something that would take more than two hours without getting permission. The way the Council conducts public hearings will also change. The way the Council does charters is currently different than how they pass resolutions – the method for how to do them will be codified.
Questions have come up about the $7,000 that the City has contributed toward closing costs [on foreclosure properties?]. College Park joined with the three neighboring jurisdictions to buy a single street
Feel free to call Councilman Perry at any time if you have any questions.
7. Agenda Item 7. Special Guests. Collins Bailey spoke on behalf of Charles Lollar, a Republican candidate for Maryland’s 5th Congressional District. Mr. Lollar is at another candidate forum tonight and so could not join us. Mr. Bailey said it was an “exciting time.” We have a federal government that is “out of control.” This year’s deficit is larger than all the deficits put together over the past 200 years. The deficit doubled under President Bush. The problem is not whether someone is a Republican or a Democrat but that we need new faces. Bailey met Lollar in 2007. Mr. Bailey gave a brief biographical sketch of Mr. Lollar. He is in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Kosovo. He is still in the Marine Corps but is now also a businessman. He has four children – all girls. Mr. Lollar will be speaking at the University of Maryland next Wednesday. Mr. Bailey’s key issues are: he thinks we should have a commission to see if a bill is Constitutional before a vote on it is taken. He also favors a rule that would require Congress to read a bill before voting on it. Balancing the budget shouldn’t be hard – Lollar would favor zero-base budgeting, which is where you maintain the previous year’s budget, adding and subtracting from it according to priorities. Someone asked Mr. Bailey what Mr. Lollar would do to address illegal immigration, given that Maryland is a “sanctuary” state. Mr. Lollar would focus on the word “illegal.” We need to make sure we don’t shortcut those immigrants who come legally.
Someone asked if the people in the 5th Congressional District would suffer if Mr. Lollar were elected. Mr. Bailey replied that the single person currently serving in Congress whose loss this coming November 2nd would make the most difference would be Steny Hoyer, Mr. Lollar’s opponent, because of his violation of House Rules in a vote that results in us paying welfare to illegal immigrants. Mr. Bailey heard an ad of Steny Hoyer’s campaign where Mr. Hoyer claimed credit for keeping Maryland teachers from losing their jobs. If we send Mr. Lollar to Congress, we’ll see an end to the bailouts.
Mr. Jason Papanikolas is a Republican running for Maryland’s House of Delegates for
District 21. He opened his remarks by stating that we’re $40 billion in the hole in pension
systems. Maryland has an $8 billion deficit. “If you were a State employee and had put in
30 years and were told that now you’d only get a gold watch, how would you feel?” He is
running as a fiscal conservative. Maryland went from being in the middle of the pack in
terms of business-friendliness to being the fifth worst in the country. We keep raising taxes
and fees without consideration of the consequences.
Mr. Papanikolas spoke about his personal background. He moved to the area after
College, met his future wife, and moved from Silver Spring to Laurel. He has children in
public schools. Until 2008, when his job was cut, he was a financial data analyst. He has
since found work, but it pays one-third what he used to make.
Someone in the audience asked Mr. Papanikolas what he thought about the money
State delegates have to use for scholarships. If it’s a slush fund – used to give money to
people who supported the candidate – then obviously he opposes it. Otherwise, he
approves the idea, although he wishes it were done by private means.
Maryland drained its entire transportation fund so there will have to be tolls on the new Intercounty Connector (ICC).
Someone in the audience raised the issue of public schools in Prince George’s County.
He asked Mr. Papanikolas what he would do about a system where the taxpayers pay a lot
per student but with worse academic outcomes than in a lot of other states. Mr.
Papanikolas replied that only 60 percent of the education fund goes to educating students.
What it comes down to is parent participation. His wife is a National Certified Board
Teacher (NCBT). The County wants NCBTs to go to poorly performing schools to mentor teachers who need mentoring. But the County no longer pays for that program. Keeping qualified teachers is the County’s biggest problems. We don’t support our teachers or our students.
What can our State government do to make County government salaries more uniform? Why not have a COLA phase-out for people who make enough that they can afford to do without one?
Mr. Papanikolas thinks the State can be draconian in enforcing accountability in County governments – e.g., give them less money for education if they continue to spend 40 percent of their budget on administration.
Someone questioned the $8 billion deficit Mr. Papanikolas referred to in his opening statement. Mr. Papanikolas replied that the State admits to a $2 billion deficit, but that’s for the general fund and doesn’t include the fact that other funds, such as for pensions and transportation, aren’t sufficiently funded.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):
Jerry Anzulovic Jason Papanikolas
Collins Bailey Justin Paray
Joanne Becka Jack Perry
Robert Catlin Cheryl Pitt
Navin Datinarayan Harry Pitt
Margaret Himmelfarb Carol Savard
Liesl Koch Thomas Slezak
William Martinez Robert Weber
Daniel Meola Kevin Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.