Regular Meeting at Davis Hall on June 10, 2010

Meeting began at 7:34pm. Maryland Legislative District 21 Senator Jim Rosapepe and Delegates Ben Barnes, Barbara Frush, and Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk were present. MD District 21 Delegate candidate Brian McDaniel and PG County Councilmember Tom Dernoga’s Representative Laura Moore were also present. 

Prince Georges Co. Police COPS officer Sarita reported that on May 28, 6:30pm, a 15 year old girl was sexually assaulted as she walked from the Greenbelt Metro station on a footpath that led into the neighborhood. The assailant is described as a heavyset Hispanic male in his 30’s with dark curly hair, a dark reddish complexion and a tattoo of a snake on his left arm; wearing a blue shirt and jeans. On June 07, around 3:30 pm the Mundo Latino store was robbed at gunpoint by a Hispanic male. The suspect did not wear a mask and she received a copy of the video surveillance. Also on June 24, the A1 Pawn shop was robbed, with two assault rifles stolen. From May 1st to June 6th, there have been 6 B&Es and 7 auto thefts, mostly GPSs were stolen. Ofc. Sarita organized two Neighborhood Walks – a Day Walk on June 2nd and a Night Walk on June 4th. The Night Walk was attended by several residents and city officials, who distributed safety related pamphlets to the neighbors.

Donna Weene conducted the officers’ election for the year 2010-2011. David Turley and Mohammed Sarwar assisted her in the election. Mohammed Sarwar could not renew his membership before the start of the meeting – a motion moved by Peter Lakeland to waive the membership requirement for conducting election was passed. The candidates were Mark Shroder for President; Bill Robertson for Vice President; Fazlul Kabir for Secretary; Joseph Smith and Mohammed Taluckder for Treasurer. Before the members cast their ballots, candidates spoke briefly about their plans if they are elected. 

While votes were being counted, Sean Kirk and Brian Haddad of the Bamboo Eater made a short presentation on their newly opened tobacco shop on 9935 Rhode Island Avenue. They said their store does not sell tobacco and only sells tobacco accessories. A portion of their product lines include jewelry and local art works. They will only sell their products to adults (18+). When asked about a MD state law banning display of drug paraphernalia item such as glass pipes in their store, they said that they checked with County officials, who verified their business was safe and products sold are legal for that zone. 

The election results were as follows: Mark Shroder was elected as President; Bill Robertson was elected as Vice President; Fazlul Kabir was elected as Secretary. Joseph Smith was elected as Treasurer with 14 votes, M Taluckder receiving 8 votes. The President-elect Mark Shroder later appointed Mohammed Taluckder and Donna Weene as members of the Board of Directors.

On a motion by Peter Lakeland, seconded by David Turley, the May 2010 minutes were approved. President Larry Bleau reported that there will be a Candidates’ forum for County Council District 1 candidates at Davis Hall, on Sunday, July 11th from 6pm – 8pm. He also said NCPCA is trying to organize another forum for countywide offices on July 15th; the next “Experience College Park Tour” event will be Wednesday June 23rd at 7pm at Plato’s Diner. 

As of June 2010, there are 69 members in 41 residences. NCPCA’s April 2010 bank statement states an ending balance $1,445.00. Revenues: $170.  

Stephen Jascourt reported that the Variance Committee took a position of “no opposition” on behalf of NCPCA on two variance requests this month. Our procedures only allow the Variance Committee to “oppose” or “not oppose”. The Advisory Planning Commission (APC) gave approval for a fence at 9419 Rhode Island Ave but did not approve a 57-foot setback (county code requires 60-foot setback) for a shed replacement with a much larger shed at 9903 47th Place. The question arose concerning whether NCPCA would like to enter a support position and send a representative to the hearing if the homeowner appeals the APC decision. Motion by Joseph Smith, seconded by Valerie Bleau, that NCPCA take no action on this case; the motion passed (7-1, 1).

Members discussed ways to make members more recognizable during meetings. Donna Weene and  Mark Shroder suggested use of name tags and name tents respectively. There was also discussion on seating arrangements during regular meetings. No decision was made. 

On a motion by Mark Shroder, seconded by Anne Riley, the meeting was extended beyond 9:30pm.  

Senator Jim Rosapepe, Delegates Barbara Frush, Ben Barnes and Joseline Pena Melnyk of MD 21st Delegation presented their report on the 2010 Maryland Legislative session. Their major accomplishments in the past legislative session included use of stimulus funds in repairing roads, schools and transit lines and preservation of police and teachers’ jobs. They also passed several bills – a bill banning hand-held cell phones while driving, a bill closing down health insurance loopholes, a bill extending sentencing terms for sex offenders, a bill protecting senior citizens from reverse mortgage scams, a bill requiring banks to try working with homeowners and state officials before foreclosing on homes. They also approved 3.8% increase in public school funding over 2010 levels and kept state funding for local transits.

On a motion by Anne Riley, seconded by Joseph Smith, meeting was adjourned at 9:37pm. 

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary.

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