Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, March 15, 2007



1.         Agenda Item 1. Roll Call for Officers.  The meeting was called to order at 8pm by Jerry Anzulovic, substituting for BDCA President Tim Triplett.  Also present were officers and board members Liesl Koch, Al Cutino, Harry Pitt, and Debbie Mimms.


2.         Agenda Item 2.  Minutes from Last Meeting.  Minutes from the February 2007 meeting were accepted into the permanent record.


3.         Agenda Item 3.  Presentation on College Park’s Youth and Family Services and Seniors Program.  Peggy Higgins, Director of the College Park Youth & Family Services and of the College Park Seniors Program, gave an overview of her programs’ services for College Park residents.  The program “offers counseling help to famlies who are having difficulties with everyday living.” The program is a joint partnership of the city and the state of Maryland and is one of 20 service bureaus in the state.  It is, however, supported primarily by the city.  The City Council wants the services to be affordable, so payment, which is on a sliding-scale basis, is extremely reasonable.  The program is housed in a state-of-the-art facility located on the corner of Edgewood Road and Rhode Island Avenue.  College Park residents are welcome to visit, although it is recommended that one calls first.
     The program has an 84–95 percent engagement rate, which means that, on average, a family that comes once ends up coming four times.  The program works with schools and churches.
      The program is sponsoring the Annual College Park Egg Hunt on March 31st—not April 7th, as was indicated in BDCA’s March 2007 newsletter.
      The Seniors Program “provides supportive assistance to the senior residents of College Park with the purpose of enhancing their social and emotional welfare.”  The services are available at Attick Towers in the morning and at Spellman House in the afternoon.  Many of the seniors get help with drug prescription issues.  Transportation is provided, such as transportation to the library to get tax forms, etc.  Another example of assistance the program provides to seniors is help with their mail.  The program also arranges 7 to 8 day trips a year, which are available to the seniors at a reduced fee.
      The program has an extensive waiting list.  September is usually one of the slower months—things pick up again after the first school report cards come out.  College Park families get in quicker than non-College Park families.  Most College Park families wait an average of one month for the program’s services, while the wait for non College Park families can be up to three months.
      A very small percentage—perhaps 2 percent—of the program’s clients are referred to them by the Department of Juvenile Services.  There are five youth bureaus in Prince George’s County.
      The program works with schools.  Currently they’re working with two groups at elementary schools—they’re working with one group about bullying, another group about separation and loss.
      Working with the immigrant community is currently a challenge as the Program doesn’t have any staff who speak Spanish.  That said, the Program gets the “cream of the crop” from the local graduate student community (from Catholic University, Loyola, University of Maryland) to serve as interns.


4.         Agenda Item 4.  Treasurer Update.  BDCA Treasurer Al Cutino made his report.  BDCA is in good shape – ahead of where it was at this time last year.  There were 65 receipts from dues and donations.  Expenses were $151.  That leaves a balance of $1,688, $600 more than last year at this time.  Al sent in the tax papers.  We probably have 20 paid members as of today.  A motion was to accept the Treasurer’s report was passed.

5.         Agenda Item 5.  Committee Updates.
Jerry Anzulovic reported that the Welcoming Committee has visited a couple of new houses but was unable to find anyone at home.  The neighborhood does have some new residents who are couples with young children, a welcome development. Everyone gets a welcome bag and a request to register to vote.
     No other committees had anything to report.


6.         Agenda Item 6.  Civic Association Updates.


§         New signs announcing the BDCA meetings were posted around the neighborhood – a total of 22 were posted.  Jerry is the keeper of the signs.

§         The community clean-up will take place sometime the end of April.  It was suggested that we look at Pontiac Street as a potential clean-up site.

§         The Parks Director is asking everyday when we will be getting new the new playground equipment for Cherry Park.  It should arrive sometime in April.

§         The trees in the park have been trimmed and so it’s now hard to see where the bonfire site is because the grass has grown over the spot.
Peggy Higgins, College Park’s Director of Community Resources, will make a presentation at next month’s meeting.

§         Hats off to Bob Catlin and Russell for their continuing efforts in keeping the neighborhood litter-free.


7.         Agenda Item 7.  College Park Reports from Our Council Representatives. 


§         The Mayor of College Park was in attendance and discussed at length a proposed exemption from the school surcharge fee that developers can receive if they build student housing in certain areas of the City. In the past, the City Council, in order to encourage student develoment in areas identified as preferred for high-density student housing, has supported an exemption zone (mostly west of Route 1 and a portion of Lakeland). The City Council voted recently to support a new boundary as part of the Annapolis legislation, and the proposed exemption zone now includes a part of Berwyn (the area from Pontiac Street to Rhode Island Avenue).  The Council has in the past supported the exemption zone in other parts of the City, but thus far our neighborhood has not been part of that zone.
           A number of residents spoke out against the proposed legislation and were upset that we had not been expressly invited to participate in the debate, as it will directly impact the neighborhood.  The Mayor and Councilman Catlin were asked to defend their position in supporting the legislation.


8.         Agenda Item 6.  New Business.


Discussion of the proposed exemption mentioned above lasted until 10pm and as a result no new business was discussed.



The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm.




Meeting Attendees:


Jerry Anzulovic

Steve Brayman

Andrea Carpentieri

Bob Catlin

Al Cutino

Chris Dullnig

Larry Garnes

Michele Garnes

Diana McGonigle

Janet McLaslin

Debbie Mims

Jack Perry

Harry Pitt

Forest Tyler

Sandra Tyler

Barbara Valentich

Richard Valentich

Larry Wenzel

Bill Woodbridge

Kevin Young


Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA