Regular Meeting on June 10, 2011

Meeting began at 7:34pm. Council member Marcus Afzali was present in the audience. Council members Patrick Wojahn & Chris Nagle couldn’t attend due to a scheduled meeting with the county council member Mary Lehman.

Prince George’s Police department’s community liaison officer Mr. Jaron Black briefed members about the crime related incidents in north College Park. Report is down. 8th to 15th : There has been 1 robbery on Cherry Hill road during this period. The victim identified positively the suspect, who was later apprehended and arrested. There have also been two breakings and entering around Milestone way near IKEA. There have been 3 thefts from Auto, one in 9300 block of Cherry Hill Road, where a car radio was stolen. Another was in the 9700 block of Baltimore Avenue, where a catalytic converter was taken. The 3rd theft occurred at the 9500 block of 52nd Avenue, where a tag was stolen. There has been 1 stolen auto on the 9100 block of Baltimore avenue. He invited members to attend bi-weekly coffee club, where many residents of College Park regularly attend and discuss public safety matters with members from local law enforcement authority. He said a Neighborhood Watch steering committee has been formed recently and met at the City Hall in late May. Three community members have been appointed to the committee. Members suggested to have more police patrols and Walk-and-Talk programs throughout north college Park. He also said Operations ID stops theft of expensive items. Mr. Black said the police department is having some trouble in publishing crime statistics online recently. He suggested members to go to to get crime statistics until the computer problem is fixed. Moved by Joe Smith and seconded by Fazlul Kabir, Have the IT department of the Prince George’s Police help Ofc Black in sending out crime reports, so that he can properly execute his job. Motion passed unanimously.

Recently appointed Neighborhood Watch steering committee members Robert Boone and Zari Malsawma introduced themselves to NCPCA members. Committee members Mr. Boone, Ms. Malsawma and Aaron Bourne met early June to discuss revitalizing City’s Neighborhood Watch program. Mr. Boone said neighbors can help build a sense of trust among themselves and help keep their neighborhood safe. Ms. Malsawma said, there will always be a component of community building in the neighborhood Watch program. She has also worked on building a neighborhood directory for Woods community. The NW committee is planning to organize the yearly national night out on August 2nd and looking for ideas to make the event a success.

In the President’s report, Mark Shroder said he attended a City Council meeting to oppose purchase of #1 Liquor as part of City’s 2011 budget. He also said he has received a letter from the PG Parks and Planning stating that it has denied a request from the Greenbelt Metro sector plan developers who requested that adequate public service for red light intersections in the area be defined  level of service E, not D.  He also said that the June 1st public meeting on Greenbelt sector plan did not discuss the Greenbelt metro station or the former Smith gravel pit. MNCPPC said it would not take the matter until late September. He also said he has been contacted by the UMd who is seeking residents of the age between 22 to 50 for a paid memory – testing program called ‘Training Cognition’. He asked interested members to contact him. He also announced two town hall meetings by District 1 and 3 county council members in the following week. Mr. Shroder also said he is planning to invite State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and host a City council candidate forum after the summer recess.

Donna Weene conducted the officers’ election for the year 2011-2012. David Turley and Syed Ridwan assisted her in the election. The candidates were Mark Shroder for President; Bob Seward for Vice President; Fazlul Kabir for Secretary; J Peter Lakeland / Seth Weene nominated Larry Bleau for Treasurer. All candidates were elected to their respective offices. President Shroder thanked former Treasurer Joe Smith and Vice President Bill Robertson for their services in the previous year.

Members also discussed NCPCA due structures to reflect family size and the cost of mailings. President Shroder said the issue of family size is somewhat overblown; at present there are only three families who have more than 2 members per family. He said none of them have abused their voting powers per his knowledge. Larry Bleau said the current due structure is based on household, whereas the voting system  is based on individual. He commented both systems should be consistent. Moved by Larry Bleau / Donna Weene, Have NCPCA ask officers to draft languages in Bylaws to make its due structure based on individuals. Motion passed by 11-2 votes.

Treasurer Joe Smith reported the NCPCA had a total of $180 deposit and $53.29 expenses (postage and mailing labels), with total ending balance of $1333.07. He also said that he submitted the NCPCA’s yearly tax document.

Prince George’s Property Association (PGPOA) board member board member Bill Chicca and District 4 council member Marcus Afzali spoke for and against petition, which may place two initiatives in the upcoming November ballots, if they get signatures of more than 20% of registered voters. Mr. Chicca said his organization opposes the rent control program because of its basic premise of preventing the conversion of single family homes into rental properties, which he thinks is unique in the country. He thinks the program is also not equitable since it only affects single family homes and does not affect the high rises. He said the initiative on placing a cap on the property tax rates was intended to lessen the burden of rising property taxes on residents. In his opposition remarks, Mr. Afzali said PGPOA has been dishonest from the beginning of the petition drive; there has not been any intent of discrimination as the petition tries to allege against the City on rent control. He said the petition initiative was motivated by financial gains, since majority of the PGPOA members do not live in the city and not even in the county. He also said, members of 21st Delegation, county council members and all living Mayors of College Park have opposed the petition. He said the City won’t be able to reap the tax benefit if a cap on the property tax rates is enacted. Moved by Mark Shroder, seconded by Dave Turley , Have NCPCA consider the petition initiatives as dishonest and deceitful. Motion passed (13-1)

Moved Ann Riley / Bill Robertson – Have NCPCA a discussion in its September meeting on City’s recent redistricting decision. Motion passed.

Moved by Peter Lakeland / David Turley, May 2011 minutes was approved.

Moved by Betty Rodenhausen / Donna Weene, Have NCPCA host its 2011 summer picnic, authorizing to spend no more than $200.

Moved by Leslie Booth / Valerie Bleau – Adjourn the meeting. Motion passed, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary.