Parkwood Residents Association
Member Meeting
April 13, 2010

MINUTES

Attending:
       Officers:    Bailey Condrey, President
Gerald Sharp, Treasurer
Maryann Dillon, Secretary
Directors: Gail Condrey, Chair, Beautification
Kira Lueders, Chair, Block Captains
Peter Mansbach, webmaster
Kitty Stone, Membership
Members: Approximately 25 other PRA Members
Guest: Sanford Daley, Town Manager, Town of Kensington

1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Bailey Condrey at 7:35 PM.

2. Old Business:
A motion was made (passed) to approve minutes of 1/26/10 meeting.

3. 2010 Budget: Bailey Condrey and Gerald Sharp presented proposed budget as published in most recent PRA newsletter and distributed at meeting. Total budget of $8,715 includes $4,000 for Beautification; $1,600 for newsletter; and $665 misc. administrative costs. Budget also includes potential expenses for:

Each category of the budget was discussed and voted on separately.
Beautification: Includes extra funds for repairing/replacing some of the winter storm damage, as well as funds to purchase additional neighborhood identification signs and meeting signs, bench at Saul/Wildwood garden. Moved (approved) Beautification budget.
Newsletter: Discussion ensued re: whether to use listserv only for posting newsletter, or to identify which households want electronic copies only. Bailey responded that PRA does not now have the digital capability of managing this. Gerald Sharp noted that having a physical newsletter with membership application and envelope really helps membership. Moved (approved) Newsletter budget.
Administrative: Includes misc. costs including mileage, membership supplies including refrigerator magnets. Question re: merits of magnets. Purpose = remind people of membership, avoid duplication of paying dues. Moved (approved) Admin. budget. One opposed.
Potential Expenses:
Much discussion ensued re: merit of supporting local schools; some discussion of support for KP since it’s within Parkwood community but not other two schools. Liz Brennan advocated that schools have no funds for landscaping, and that since she believes Parkwood could get redistricted at any time, supporting local schools could show Parkwood’s commitment to its school cluster. Some discussion re: concern that people do not contribute to PRA in order to support other organizations; should we contribute to local library; where do we “draw the line”? Kira Lueders moved (seconded) to remove school donations from budget. Motion carried 19 to 4.
Re: $50 donation to FORCE for Rock Creek Park clean-up, funds will be used for materials. While FORCE has not asked PRA for a donation, they do collect funds for the clean up. Peter Mansbach moved (seconded) to retain FORCE donation in budget. Motion carried.
After some discussion re: considerable work needed to organize a block party, Peter Mansbach moved (seconded) to remove block party expense from budget. Motion carried.

4. PRA Officer Election and Committee Chairperson Selection:
Bailey Condrey is willing to serve another term, unless another member wants to run for President. There were no volunteers.
Julie Tierney is resigning as Vice President.
Maryann Dillon wants to step down as Secretary, as she has served as an officer for six years. There were no volunteers, so she is willing to continue.
Gerald Sharp is willing to remain in office.
Gail Condrey is willing to continue as Beautification Chair.
Kitty Stone would like to step down as Membership Chair in June, 2010. Paula Flicker is willing to take on Chair in 2011 if Kitty can stay on another year.
Matt Murton volunteered to run for Vice President slot. Matt has lived in Parkwood since 2004, is a real estate agent, wants to give back to community. The following slate was unanimously voted in for a two-year term:
   • President: Bailey Condrey
   • Vice President: Matt Murton
   • Secretary: Maryann Dillon
   • Treasurer: Gerald Sharp
Gail Condrey will continue as Beautification Chair and Kitty Stone as Membership Chair, with the understanding that Paula Flicker will succeed her next year.

5. Annexation Discussion: Guest Speaker Town of Kensington (TOK) Manager Sanford Daley

At the request of Liz Brennan, Town Manager Daley spoke to members re: the benefits and process of annexing additional neighborhoods into local municipalities such as the Town of Kensington. Mr. Daley made it clear that he was not representing any official position of the Town, and that he was representing himself tonight purely for the purposes of sharing information. He stated that there has been no discussion within Town officials about any annexations. Mr. Daley formerly was City Manager for Gaithersburg, which annexed extensive surrounding lands, mostly undeveloped farmland, during his appointment.

Mr. Daley explained that down county municipalities, such as TOK, provide limited services including streets and traffic regulations, snow and trash removal; these jurisdictions gave up their planning authority to Maryland National Capital Park & Planning 60 years ago, and so have limited input on planning decisions. Other services TOK provides include maintaining street trees, recycling, some controls over commercial signs, some State grants, additional building reviews, parks, street maintenance and paying for street lighting. There are 760 homes in TOK.

The benefits are closer representation to other levels of government, i.e. more influence. Incorporated jurisdictions pay more in taxes; TOK pays an additional $0.15 per $100 assessed value starting July 1, 2010. TOK is losing a lot of State transportation funds due to budget cutbacks. TOK also receives 17% of the County’s share of the State income tax to compensate it for services it takes on. Annexation can be initiated by an incorporated municipality such as TOK under Article 23 Section 19 of State law. 25% of registered voters in an unincorporated area, such as Parkwood, can vote to start a petition. Usually annexation is for vacant land. If developed, such as Parkwood, Mr. Sanford recommends that at least 50% of registered voters support the process in order for it to be successful.

Matt Murton explained that brokers must now post projected new property taxes after a sale, and that typically he sees taxes being about $300 less for comparatively similar properties in Parkwood vs. in TOK. There was concern expressed about the Bethesda section of Parkwood being part of any incorporation effort. Matt Murton stated that Bethesda homes tend to start at higher prices than Kensington homes, and that many buyers limit their searches to Bethesda.

An attendee who identified himself as a resident of TOK asked what the township would think of absorbing 1,000 new households. He also asked how this could benefit current residents of TOK. Mr. Daley stated that he was not prepared to give an opinion, and that he was not representing any effort on the part of TOK to initiate annexation. He stated there could be an increased economies of scale, as TOK has 760 households.

Re: increased taxes, Mr. Daley stated that an annexation agreement could include a provision of no increased taxes until a property is sold, or phased-in tax increases, if both sides agreed to these. He reaffirmed that there would have to be strong interest by both the incorporated municipality and the residents to be annexed, as the County may not support this. He stated that the County must approve any incorporation and could ask for a referendum, even under an annexation. An annexation must be contiguous to an existing incorporated municipality; as TOK is not contiguous with Parkwood, there would be a need to include Kensington Estates in any annexation process.

Kira Lueders stated that PRA had held a similar discussion re: annexation three years ago when she was President, that PRA had conducted a written survey to all Parkwood households with 36 out of 37 respondents opposed to incorporation or annexation. Liz Brennan suggested that PRA should keep this discussion ongoing.

6. Spring Membership Drive Update: Gerald Sharp reported that he is still tabulating results, but that PRA has reached record levels of membership. Matt Murton asked if PRA can consider Paypal. Gerald responded that it’s easier for now to use the envelopes as the community is so small.

7. Upcoming Community Events:

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Maryann Dillon
Secretary


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