EBCA General Membership Meeting – 18 September 2013

9/18/2013

EBCA General Meeting

Call to Order:  7:08 pm

Number of attendees:  17

Agenda:

  1. Purple Line Update by Andy O'Hare, EBCA Capital Crescent Trail Committee Chair
  2. Social Committee Update
  3. EBCA Executive Committee Nominations for 2014
  4. Call for New Business

 

1.       Purple Line Update:  Andy O’Hare

Andy O’Hare provided some history of the Purple Line project and updated attendees on the most recent developments.  He focused on the Comment Period currently open, triggered by the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and activities underway in the neighborhood to respond.

a.       Recent developments: 

·         Gas Tax: Some of the revenue from the recently passed gasoline tax will be directed to transit projects, one of which would be the Purple Line.  There is a lot of competition for federal transportation funding, and one of the criteria the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) considers is that the host state must contribute their share of financing.  There are several other transportation projects competing for federal funding in MD.  

·         The FEIS was recently released for public comment by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). This information, along with other details, such as costs and ridership projections, will also go to the FTA.  The FEIS initially had a 30-day comment period, but it was recently extended to 45 days to October 21, 2013. 

·         Other Developments:

1.       Andy shared that the MTA is also working on a public-private partnership structure for the construction of the Purple Line project.   They plan on putting out a solicitation at some point for an engineering firm to finance and complete construction.

b.      FEIS Comment Period and Associated Work:

                                                                           i.      Andy is currently working specifically with households whose homes back up to the trail.  He initiated a process with a group of homeowners on Kentbury Drive to work on addressing specific concerns and developing recommendations regarding noise, vibrations, lighting, safety, fencing, etc., which will be delivered as part of the comment period.   They are partnering with the Town of Chevy Chase in this evaluation and may collaborate on certain issues.  The Town has hired a consultant to assist them in preparing an FEIS response.

                                                                         ii.      Comments will be prepared on behalf of EBCA, focusing on trail access points, trail noise and general trail asthetics.  O’Hare noted that trail issues are largely the responsibility of the county, not MTA.

                                                                        iii.      East Bethesda residents and EBCA members will be encouraged to filing comments, perhaps endorsing those of EBCA and/or the Kentbury Drive group.  A template for such a letter will be placed on the EBCA website..   

                                                                       iv.      Anyone who wants to work with Andy on this should contact him ([email protected]).  Draft comments will be posted on the EBCA website.

                                                                         v.      After submitting these comments, the next step would be to engage in communications with elected officials to convey our concerns and recommendations. 

c.       Discussion:

                                                                           i.      There was a question as to whether getting involved in the Comment period compromises or conflicts with efforts to preserve the trail.  Andy’s perspective was that being involved in the Comment period does not diminish an individual’s or a community’s stance against the Purple Line, rather it reflects our involvement in the pre-construction process, providing East Bethesda with an opportunity to get on record regarding our desired mitigation measures to lessen any potential negative impacts on the neighborhood if the project is built.   Someone asked whether in the Comments, we should raise concerns about the construction period and trucks coming through neighborhood.  Andy shared that the FEIS was very unclear about the construction process.  Although there will likely be a significant impact, it may be hard at this point to say much because there is not much to comment on. 

                                                                         ii.      Someone asked whether we could ask for a comparative study on the cost of a rapid bus system.  Andy shared that they did that study about 5-6 years ago, but it was shot down. 

                                                                        iii.      Someone shared that the state Comptroller said that with the expected increase in gas tax, it won’t be until 2018 that the state can commit its share of income to the project.   Part of the exploration of the public/private partnership is that it could help jump start the project by having the necessary capital earlier (although this would also increase the cost of the project). 

                                                                       iv.      Someone shared that Purple Line funding just includes tracks, infrastructure, etc., that funding for the building and maintaining of the trail access/bike path would be the responsibility of the county. 

2.       Social Committee Update – Lisa McCabe

a.       Lisa shared information about the successful Labor Day picnic event.  Whereas the 2012 picnic was canceled due to lack of volunteers, this year we had 20 volunteers and over 200 attendees.  It was a great event with lots of positive feedback.  We also gained about 20 new members.

b.      Upcoming Events:

                                                                           i.      Halloween Parade Oct 27, 2-4. We will send out an email and post on Facebook details about the event and a request for volunteers.  We need volunteers to help block streets during the parade and at sit at tables selling tickets and food.

                                                                         ii.      We may have one more social event in Nov/Dec – a happy hour.

3.       EBCA Executive Committee Nominations for 2014

a.       Katya Marin announced that Lisa McCabe has been appointed as the Chair of the Nominations Committee.  The current slate of nominees and open slots for 2014 were shared.  If want to nominate someone or yourself, please email Lisa at [email protected].  Elections will be held at the November 20th General meeting.

b.      Current Slate:

                                                                           i.      President – Rebecca Fayed

                                                                         ii.      1st VP – Katya Marin

                                                                        iii.      2nd VP – OPEN

                                                                       iv.      Treasurer – Jack Hayes

                                                                         v.      Recording Secretary – Melissa Groman

                                                                       vi.      Assistant Recording Secretary - OPEN

4.       Call for New Business:

a.       Someone suggested we create an East Bethesda Toy Swap.  We discussed adding a section for that on the Forums section of our web site and also posting information on Facebook.  Someone shared that we also have the Yard Sale.   The Executive Committee will discuss in more detail at the next Exec Comm meeting.

b.      Garden Club – Members of the Garden Club in attendance shared information about the club.  They gather on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss gardening issues and also enjoy wine and cheese.    We will post information about the club on Facebook, with an email for a main contact. 

Adjourned at 7:53 pm.   

EBCA General Membership Meeting – 20 February 2013

7:07 PM: Meeting Called to Order

Attendees: 12

I.           Introduction of 2013 EBCA Executive Committee and Committee Chairs

Rebecca Fayed introduced her executive committee and chairs:

  • President – Rebecca Fayed
  • 1st VP – Dani Green
  • 2nd VP – Katya Marin
  • Treasurer – Jack Hayes
  • Secretary – Melissa Groman
  • Past President – Kevin Kraus 
  • Membership Chair – Pascale Kraus
  • Social Chair – Lisa McCabe
  • Education Chair – Monica Hayes

 

II.          Treasurer’s Report – Jack Hayes

Jack presented an 18 month lookback (due to the recent change in the EBCA membership year from fiscal to calendar year) as well as a 2013 proposed budget.  The proposed budget for 2013 reflects 2012 spending.

A motion was made to approve the budget, which was seconded:  Proposed Budget approved.

 

III.         Overview of President’s Goals for 2013:

A primary goal for Rebecca and the Executive Committee will be to revitalize EBCA, as membership has dwindled across the last few years.  To increase membership and gain more involvement from the community, EBCA will focus on a variety of social activities in 2013.   A key challenge in 2012 was that our two key social activities were canceled:  1) Labor Day picnic - insufficient volunteers and 2) the Halloween Parade - weather.

A discussion around the social activities followed, as well as the identification of other opportunities to increase membership and get more involvement:

  1. Web:
    1. The website is in the process of being updated.
    2. Facebook – We currently have two pages, with a total of about 120 people.
    3. EBCA.org allows electronic payment through PAYPAL.
  2. Email:   We have an email list of approximately 500 people
  3. Youth Involvement:  A question was asked whether we could provide SSL (volunteer) hours but we learned that we likely would not qualify.
  4. Social Events:  Discussion around how to motivate residents to join EBCA when they participate in events.  Ideas included offering stickers that allow you to get a treat or other give away.  More discussion occurred during the update by the Social Chair, later in the meeting.
  5. A question was asked as to what kind of activities we’ve discussed to increase membership.  These included: Emails, Facebook posts, a variety of Social Events, Messages on Park signs, membership drives

 

IV.         Overview of 2013 Calendar
              Rebecca presented the key EBCA dates for the 2013 membership year:

  • February 20: General Membership Meeting
  • May 15: General Membership Meeting
  • May 11: Yard sale
  • September 2: Labor Day Picnic
  • September 18: General Membership Meeting
  • October 27: Halloween Parade
  • November 20: General Membership Meeting

 

V.          Committee Updates

1.       Membership: Pascale Kraus

  • Pascale reported that as of that evening we had 121 members.

2.      Social Chair: Lisa McCabe

  • Lisa walked through the key social events being planned for this year.  These include:
  1. May 11th for Yard Sale.  Lisa led a discussion around the approach to the yard sale this year, including offering both an option to set up on the blacktop next to Lynbrook as well as offering an option to set up in your own yard.  A yard-based option may encourage more participation as there is no need to transport items to the blacktop.  We discussed providing a map of which houses are participating, discussed whether we should require membership to participate, and using some sort of identifiers, such as balloons, to mark houses that are participating.  EBCA used to have a truck take away what didn’t sell from the yard sale, but has run into challenges in securing them.  We also discussed having some entertainment – moon bounce/refreshments – as well as a membership table set up on the blacktop.
  2. Harp & Fiddle Event – Greg will connect with Lisa on planning another event there.  Last event, with live music from a neighborhood band, was successful.  We got the back room and 10% of sales went to EBCA.
  3. Other fundraising events: Discussed potentially doing a fundraising event at a local restaurant (e.g., California Tortilla) to bring together neighbors and raise funds/membership.
  4. A participant suggested organizing an outside movie night, using a blow up screen.
  5. Halloween Parade – a participant asked whether we could make the Halloween parade a little more of a formal parade – we will look into have a police or park horse lead the parade.
  6. Great Zucchini – Have a credit for a Great Zucchini performance due to cancellation of Halloween parade.  We discussed using him for the Labor Day picnic to help encourage participation at that event.
  7. Fourth of July – Columbia country club’s fireworks are typically the Tuesday before July 4th.  We discussed using that as an opportunity to increase membership and either selling glowsticks or offering them for free to members.
  8. Farmer’s Market – A participant asked whether could we buy a table and sell memberships at the market.

3.       Education: Monica Hayes

  • Elementary School: 
  1. As of 2013, East Bethesda is officially assigned for Bethesda for K-5.  Monica shared that she’s currently helping parents who have rising 2nd graders at RHPS identify ways they can advocate for their children to transition to BE for 2nd grade instead of remaining at RHPS, as is currently stipulated.   
  2. Anyone with rising Kindergarteners should register at BE as their earliest convenience.
  • High School:   They continue to have meetings (2/19 the latest) to present updates on the expansion of BCC.

 

VI.         New Business
  • A participant asked whether we have a committee chair for Parks (we do not).
  • A participant asked whether EBCA had a position on the request by two houses on Kentbury for the county to abandon the public use of the right of way between their homes.  EBCA does not have a position.
  • A participant asked about the newsletter – we will have 3 newsletters this year.
  • A participant raised an idea about bringing the neighborhood together – Summer Fridays at the Park. 


Meeting Adjourned at 8:33 PM

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