Parkwood Residents Association
Member Meeting
March 31, 2009

MINUTES

Attending:
       Officers:    Bailey Condrey, President
Julie Tierney, Vice President
Maryann Dillon, Secretary
Gerald Sharp, Treasurer
Directors: Kitty Stone, Chair, Membership
Gail Condrey, Chair, Beautification
Kira Lueders, Chair, Block Captains
Peter Mansbach, webmaster
Members: Approximately 25 other PRA Members
Guests: Lt. Denise Gill, 2nd District Police Dept; liaison to Kensington and surrounding communities, including all of Parkwood

1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Bailey Condrey at 7:33 PM.

2. Safety Overview:

Lieutenant Denise Gill, community liaison to Kensington for the 2nd District Police Station, made a presentation on trends in crime in Parkwood and surrounding communities. Lt. Gill emphasized that the best remedy to deterring crime is for neighbors to pay attention to their surroundings. She noted that neighborhood listserves are a huge tool but expressed the caveat that they sometimes can raise fear levels beyond what is warranted. Lt. Gill gave the following statistics on the Parkwood neighborhood:

Lt. Gill stated that despite these crime statistics, Parkwood is considered pretty safe. She suggested knowing your neighbors’ habits, picking up newspapers and mail for neighbors who are out of town, and paying attention to your gut reactions, as it is human nature to ignore negative thoughts. Re: GPS devices, Lt. Gill suggests entering your home address as a saved location so that police can return retrieved equipment to you. Record the make, model and serial number so that police can identify devices that are recovered. Lt. Gill also suggested contacting her directly with any community concerns at (301) 657-0962. A member asked about illegal parking by parents when dropping off and picking up children at KPES. Lt. Gill stated this is a problem at every school and is difficult for police to monitor. A member asked if Rock Creek Park was safe. Lt. Gill suggested that residents exercise caution, but that it was "not that bad". She suggested not confronting suspicious persons, but contacting police instead. There was another question about speed cameras, and some discussion that a temporary one might be needed to deter speeding at key locations.

3. Meeting Minutes: Julie Tierney moved (and was seconded) to approve the minutes from the February 3, 2009 meeting. Motion carried.

4. Pedestrian Safety at Kensington Parkwood Elementary School: A representative from KPES PTA stated that the school’s principal wrote a letter to all parents designating the crosswalk at Franklin and Saul as the only safe crosswalk and the only one the school would staff with student volunteers. While there are four crosswalks, speeding cars have made the other crosswalks unsafe for students and crossing guard volunteers. The representative asked PRA to work with the PTA to send a letter to County Council and MCPS and to conduct an independent traffic study at the crosswalk by Saul and Oldfield. Liz Brennan reported that the PTA should take the lead in pursuing this issue, and that the school principal should be able to do a lot if there is a safety issue involved. The PTA representative stated that the PTA has a parent volunteer who is a traffic specialist and willing to conduct a survey. Bailey Condrey asked if members supported working with the PTA to conduct the survey. Gerald Sharp moved (and was seconded) to work with KP PTA to conduct the survey. Motion carried.

Members continued to discuss, and agreed that the "PTA should speak with the loudest voice" and that the PRA can support their efforts. Bailey Condrey stated that, when PRA communicates with the County, there’s strength in numbers, and that it is in our best interest to support PTA. He also stated that if two witnesses write down the license plate numbers of speeders, that the Police will mail a warning notice.

5. PRA Board Communication with County Representatives: Bailey Condrey stated that he has received feedback from several residents who believe that all communication to County representatives should be cleared by the PRA membership in advance. Bailey asked for an affirmation from members that the PRA president can communicate with the County without prior clearance from members. As an example, he stated that he had sent a letter to County officials asking what they could do to improve the safety of the Saul Road/Oldfield Road crosswalk and gave some examples, such as installing bollards. A member moved (and was seconded) that the president can communicate with County officials without prior authorization from members. Motion carried. The motion was opposed by Peter Mansbach who stated that he didn’t believe there had been sufficient discussion or explanation of the issue.

6. Treasurer's Report: Gerald Sharp reported that PRA’s current cash position is as follows:
    Wachovia checking:$1,800
ING savings:$7,055
Cash:$  135
TOTAL: $8,990

7. Beautification:
Gail Condrey reported on accomplishments in 2008:

Gail acknowledged Clare Murphy and Kira Lueders for their ongoing Beautification work.

In 2009: the Committee’s goals are as follows:

Gail noted that a Rock Creek Park clean-up was scheduled for April 4 and urged members to volunteer. She also requested that members let the Beautification Committee know if a house is scheduled for demolition. She reminded members that they can donate a few hours of their time by responding to requests posted on the PRA listserv. She also needs volunteers to water landscaping at Wildwood and is looking for a landscape designer.

8. New Business:
Bailey Condrey stated that the first public workshop for BRAC intersection improvements near the Bethesda Naval Hospital is scheduled at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on April 2. The Coalition of Medical Center Neighbors, of which PRA is a member, has reported that $30 million of funds have been allocated for improvements but $230 million is needed to get it done. Bailey stated that the improvements as proposed are inadequate, as all four intersections targeted for improvements currently fail traffic mobility standards and that only two will be slightly better after the $30 million of improvements. Liz Brennan requested that PRA send a letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen to make sure Parkwood’s section of Cedar Lane does not get opened up to four traffic lanes. While this is not currently proposed, Liz emphasized that we should continue to remind officials. Bailey reported that the Coalition is advocating multi-modal transportation including bike and pedestrian paths and mass transit. Van Hollen, County Executive Ike Leggett, and Lt. Governor Brown are requesting a Metro pedestrian tunnel under Wisconsin at a cost of $40 million in the 2010 budget.

Liz Brennan reported that the Coalition of Kensington Communities (CKC) met with officials from the State Highway Administration in January to discuss traffic congestion at Connecticut and Plyers Mill and were told there are no "shovel ready" projects in Kensington at this time. The County Federal Committee has been considering delaying completion of the Kensington Sector Plan; Mayor Fosselman wants CKC to pressure the County to complete the study. CKC members also met with Council Member Marc Elrich regarding traffic and potential budget cuts that could impact Kensington. Elrich noted that Police, Fire Safety and Public Works were likely areas for budget cuts, but that there were no cuts planned for the public schools.

Julie Tierney suggested that PRA post some sample letters r: BRAC on the PRA website that could be models for individual letters to public officials. Peter Mansbach stated that there are some letters already posted there.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Maryann Dillon
Secretary


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