Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

November 19, 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, Lily Fountain, Tim Triplett, Karyn Keating, Mary Najmi, Emily and Kyle Shohfi. Other attendees included: Christy Dollymore, Sarah ?. Newly elected city councilmember Llatetra Brown Esters also.


Karyn proposed acceptance of October’s meeting minutes – Emily seconded; motion passed.  Chad gave the Treasurer’s report, and the current balance (Oct. 31) was $3,014.29.  Chad also discussed the recent problems with PayPal – someone named Ralph Jones was able to hack into our account one night and withdraw (steal) $2,400.  Our PayPal account was linked to our BDCA bank account, so the bank replaced our missing funds, but Paypal has not been very cooperative.  Chad plans to set up an entirely new bank account for us, but there will be perhaps $100 in total fees for these changes. Tim has also worked with this issue and he states we will be able to make payments on-line again soon.  Chad said payments to BDCA for now will be in a ‘holding account’ until all issues are resolved.  Lily stated she had received good service with PayPal.  Karyn noticed our account was a bit higher than usual - Chad said that was because we are not printing every issue of the newsletter – only printing 4 issues per year now.  He is also trying to set up multi-year BDCA memberships.  Tim motioned to accept the treasurer report, Lily seconded, the motion passed.


Old business:  nobody sent any pictures of Halloween costumes or pumpkins.  Mary, Lily and Kelly Jordan said they had fun with the virtual wreath-making class.  Mary hopes we can have more ZOOM activities.  Reminder: BDCA is sponsoring a Holiday house decorating event in Berwyn and Branchville from Nov. 15th – Dec. 31st and will award three prizes (gift cards?) of $50, $25, $10.


New business:  BDCA is still looking for volunteers, including a social media ‘guru’ to post events, run a twitter account, etc.  Volunteers for a neighborhood ‘welcoming committee’ are needed, and a Correspondence Secretary to handle note-writing and contact letters.  A safety/security (formerly neighborhood watch) coordinator is also needed.  Christy will operate a food donation collection each Friday, 2 – 5 p.m. at her house on Tecumseh St, gathering food donations for the College Park Food Bank.  Foods must be commercially sealed, no home-made items accepted.  Lily noted traffic problems in the Hollywood neighborhood around the Church of the Nazarene food distribution point.  Karyn mentioned the BDCA wanted to donate $100 to the food bank.  Tim seconded the idea, motion passed.  She also urged folks to join Next Door and the Berwyn Facebook page.  Bob stated the next leaf collection will be around Dec. 1st – 2nd.  Lily urged us to keep leaf piles for the caterpillars to have a home, but others said they kill grass and just blow back across their yards.


Newly elected city councilmember Llatetra Brown Esters spoke.  She will be sworn in on Dec. 8th.  She mentioned the traffic at the food bank but said it well-organized.  The long car lines show the level of need in our area.  Over 280 voters cast ballots in the city election and she is looking forward to working with District 2 residents and attending meetings/events.  She will submit a monthly letter for our News Letter.  Karyn expressed concerns about large commercial trucks parking on our narrow residential streets but Llatetra was not sure that is a code enforcement issue.  


Karyn also said November is when we usually thank Russell Robinette for keeping our community clean – it was decided we will place ‘Berwyn Loves Russell’ signs in the neighborhood.  Any ideas for virtual activities we can enjoy on-line – maybe a game night?  Emily wondered if sidewalks might be built along Ruatan?  Llatetra will look into it, but Bob said the available city right-of-way was probably too small for sidewalks.  Christy suggested maybe having a virtual virus mask-sewing event on-line, and encouraged folks to avoid large holiday gatherings, and even fire-pit gatherings for a while with the return of coronavirus.  Chad noted the correspondence secretary job is vital – establishing contacts with planners, construction companies, etc. Chad said he prints about 20 newsletters for the Perry Plaza box each month.  He also noted the College Park City Manager (Mr. Somers) recently resigned, and the city will hire a recruiting firm to find a replacement


Chad motioned to adjourn the meeting – motion was seconded and passed.


Meeting adjourned at 8:52 p.m.


Notes compiled by Jim Nealis (via ZOOM recording).