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MRIA Meetings:
Minutes 2006
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November 14

Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah , John Kyle, Polly Duke, Richard Rosenthal, Perry Cooper, Clare Barkley, Carrie Cass, Mare Consugar, Micael Rynd, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Barbara White, Julie McArthur, Yoland Takeysian, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Keiffer Mitchell, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Darryl Lemons

President David Rocah called the meeting to order at 8 p.m.

The October Board minutes were approved as corrected.

Major Joe Conway of the Police Central District reported on the recent violent attack on a resident on Linden Avenue.  As a result of that crime and an increase in others, four additional officers are patrolling the area.  Sgt. Charles Hess gave the monthly report on crime, citing a 9 percent decrease this year, but a 6 percent increase in violent crime.  Major Conway and Sgt. Hess also spoke of gang activity in the city.

The Midtown Community Benefits District Board of Directors proposes to amend the bylaws as follows: “203 E. The Board of Directors shall contain a representative from the University of Baltimore and a representative from the Maryland Institute College of Art.” The discussion that ensued included the viewpoints that the two most important institutions in the Midtown District should have permanent seats on the Board and the opposing notion that the amendment is unnecessary because both institutions are routinely voted seats, a practice that will carry on.  A motion to oppose the bylaws change passed 12-2 with 1 abstention.

President Rocah opened the floor to suggestions for topics for future agendas.  There were no suggestions.

Bolton Hill is represented on the Midtown Benefits District Board by Polly Duke, the designee of the MRIA president; Greg Baranoski, Perry Cooper, and Julie Thorne, elected as at-large member.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45.
October 3 Officers and Board Members present:  John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, Clare Barkley, Carrie Cass, Mary Consugar, F.T. Clark, Henri Daniels, Charlie Duff, Michael Rynd, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Dahlia Woody, Penny Catzen, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Wesley Wood

John Kyle, First Vice President, called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.

The minutes of the September meeting were approved. 

Treasurer Barry Blumberg moved the following amendment to the budget according to recommendation of the Executive Committee.  “The FY 2007 budget line item for the website be increased from $1,000 to $4,500--an increase of $3,500--as a one-time expense resulting from significant maintenance and refinements to the website.”   The motion passed unanimously.

Mary Porter from the Department of Parks and Recreation and Tom McGilloway, the architect hired by that Department, presented proposed renovation plans for Sumpter Park.  The plan is a revised version conceived and accepted by the Neighborhood Design Center and the Sumpter Park Residents’ Association two years ago.  The impetus for progressing with the plan is the allocation of $300,000 in the city budget for renovations to the park. There was much discussion among the nearly 50 board members and neighborhood residents in attendance.  Although no vote was taken, the group was overwhelming in its support of moving the new plan ahead.

Peter Merles, Executive Director of the Midtown Community Benefits District, and Henri Daniels, President of MCBD, gave an overview of the organization and update on the services to Bolton Hill.  The MCBD annual meeting is October 18, 2006, at which time elections for neighborhood representatives will take place.

Vice President John Kyle announced that a committee was forming to discuss parking issues at the Beethoven, Sutton Place, and other sites.  He also reminded members that they could still contribute to the parks north of McMechen St. and take advantage of a matching contribution.

The November meeting will be the second Tuesday to avoid conflict with the election on the first Tuesday.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
September 5 Officers and Board Members present: John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, Perry Cooper, Betsy Boykin, Carrie Cass, Mare Consugar, F.T. Clark, Henri Daniels, Darryl Lemons, Michael Rynd, Sarah Cross, Tim Ingles, George Lavdas, Julie McArthur, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Doug Kelso, Keiffer Mitchell, Mike Molla

First Vice President John Kyle called the meeting to order.  The June 2006 minutes were approved with the following corrections: add day and year to minutes; note the re-election of the Executive Committee--David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, and Perry Cooper.

Sgt. Charles Hess reported an increase of criminal incidents:  July, 14 incidents; up to 31 in August, including theft and several armed robberies.

Treasurer Barry Blumberg gave the first quarter financial report (on file).  Finances are on track, according to expectations.

Tim Ingles, reporting on the State Center, said the development team is interviewing the neighborhood groups. The committee is establishing goals and objectives.  The State Center Alliance is meeting more regularly and better as a group.

Dan Gilbert, Committee Chair for zoning matters, presented MICA’s request for two zoning variances.  The site for the new dormitory is in two different zoning classifications.  The request is for additional units and change of setback requirement.  Patsy Andrews moved MRIA’s approval. The motion passed with two objections. (Zoning diagram on file).  Mike Molla reported that 77 parking spaces will be provided to the dormitory residents.  Several members expressed concern that MICA does not provide sufficient parking.

John Kyle reported that the webmaster has been replaced.  Management of the site will be through the Board and Executive Committee, with John Kyle chairing the new website committee.  The format of the Bulletin Board will not change.

John Kyle announced that there is no longer a need for the Northern Bolton Hill Association.  The organization is disbanding and donating its treasury to the MRIA as a restricted fund to be used for greening and park maintenance north of McMechan Street.

The November MRIA Board meeting conflicts with the general election.  A motion to change the November meeting to the second Tuesday (November 14) carried. 

The November meeting will include a presentation of actions by the Park and Recreation Department which will move along the plans to design the park.  There will also be an update and discussion of the Midtown Benefits District.  This is prior to the October 18 Town Hall meeting when new Board members will be elected.  Julie Thorne, Bolton Hill’s representative, is up for election for a second term.  Bolton Hill needs a second representative.

In other new business, Patsy Andrews, Chair of the fall yard sale, has set the date for September 16.  Perry Cooper asked that comments regarding the updated Community Guide be submitted to him or to John Kyle by September 8.  Councilman Keiffer Mitchell reported that three issues affecting the neighborhood will soon be coming before the Council: 1. a hearing on inclusionary zoning, 2. a comprehensive plan for Baltimore City, 3. citywide smoking ban. Claudia Sennet requested that MICA work on improving the plan for MICA’s move in day, which presently is a problem for John Street residents.

Mike Pew said he would like support from the neighborhood to bolster complaints about prostitution and drug activity on Eutaw Place.  Doreen Rosenthal said that police typically will not work hard at arresting prostitutes because the courts will not convict.  A plan for Bolton Yards (University of Baltimore) is available as link on the Bolton Hill site.
June 6 Posted by: Clare Barkley

Minutes of June Board Meeting Officers and Board members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, Clare Barkley, Betsy Boykin, Mare Consugar, F.T. Clark, Henri Daniels, Marceline White, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Barbara White, Tim Ingles, Joe Libercci, Julie McArthur, Dahlia Woody, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Johns Hopkins, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla

Correction to April minutes: First Vice President John Kyle called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. The minutes were approved as corrected. First Vice President John Kyle suggested that the June minutes include action taken at the Annual Meeting and the list of speakers.

1. The Nominating committee consisted of Polly Duke, Chair, Sarah Cross, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Jennifer Goldszchmidt, and Barbara White. presented the following slate: continuing members for the 2009 term are Patsy Andrews, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Johns Hopkins, Doug Kelso, Keiffer Mitchell, Ellen Richardson, and Mike Molla. New nominees are Lee Bowers and Wesley Wood. Nominees for a vacancy in the 2008 term are Barbara White. Nominees to fill vacancies in the 2007 class are F.T. Clark, Marceline White, and Darryl Lemons. Richard Rosenthal is nominated as General Counsel. This slate was approved unanimously by the membership present.

2. Revised by-laws were adopted unanimously.

3. Speakers in the Candidate’s Forum were Senator Verna Jones (40th District), Delegate Keith Haynes (44th District), and Wesley Wood, running for the House in the 44th District.

Sgt. Charles Hess reported 5 robberies in the neighborhood and 14 calls to 911 for malicious destruction of property. Five police reports were written. Sgt. Hess offered to accompany drivers in the COP program.

Reservoir Hill resident Paul Gertner gave a brief presentation about the proposed mural to replace the ones on the properties at Park Avenue at North Avenue. The Board voted unanimously to endorse the concept of the mural as presented.

Discussion of parking problems during Artscape resulted in a motion to send a letter to the City asking if Residential Parking restrictions could be in effect for that weekend. That motion failed: 5 in favor of sending the letter, 16 against.

Barry Blumberg presented the proposed budget for 2006-2007. The budget was approved unanimously.

The Board agreed to support the concept of the City’s leasing of the Park in the 200-300 blocks of W. Lanvale St. to the Atrium Association, Inc.

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, was the final presenter in the Candidates' Fora.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40.

April 4 Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Penny Catzen, Dolph Druckman, Johns Hopkins, Keiffer Mitchell, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Carrie Cass, Henri Daniels, Sarah Cross, Michael Rynd, Karen Helm, Tim Ingles, Julie McArthur, Yolanda Takeysian.

President David Rocah called the meeting to order at 7:35. Minutes of the March Board of Directors meeting were approved.

Sgt. Charles Hess reported two robberies, one of which occurred at 9 a.m. at 140 W. Lafayette St. Sgt Hess also described a new police initiative in which identification bracelets are provided free to senior citizens who sign up. The number etched in the bracelet is recorded at all police stations for the purpose of identifying people who are injured or, for some reason, cannot identify themselves. .

The Institutions Committee moved “That the Board resolves that there be at least one seat on the Board each year designated to be filled by a member recognized as a neighborhood institution.” The motion was revised as follows: “That the Board resolves that there be at least one seat on the Board each year designated to be filled by a representative of a member institution.” This motion passed unanimously.

The Executive Committee will present a package of bylaws revisions to be circulated to the membership before the Annual Meeting. The proposed changes will be voted on at the May meeting. Polly Duke, Chair of the Nominating Committee, reported that many more people volunteered or were nominated than there were seats available. The complete slate will be voted on at the Annual Meeting.

Tim Ingles and Marcia Hart gave a brief update on the State Center development. Struever Brothers Eccles and Rouse team has been chosen as Master Developer of the State Center. Anyone who wishes to become more involved in on-going activities concerning the State Center is urged to contact committee members Tim Ingles, Marcia Hart, or Yolanda Takeysian.

Jeremy Skinner, candidate for House of Delegates in the 44th District, was the only speaker in the candidate’s forum. Senator Verna Jones, 40th District, was unable to attend. She will speak at the May meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40.

March 7 Mount Royal Improvement Association Board of Directors Meeting March 7, 2006 Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Barry Blumberg, Patsy Andrews, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Dolph Druckman, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Carrie Cass, Kyle Cunningham, Henri Daniels, Charlie Duff, Michael Rynd, Suzanne Brockmen, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Tim Ingles, Joe Libercci, Julie McArthur, Yolanda Takeysian

President David Rocah called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.

Patsy Andrews, MRIA Parking Coordinator, reported the following institutions’ number of parking passes: Brown Memorial Tutoring program 11 passes; Corpus Christi Church 1; Bolton Hill Swim Club 5 ; Bolton Hill Nursery School 7; Baltimore Choral Arts Society 5; Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies 6; Strawbridge United Methodist Church 1; Memorial Episcopal Church 12; Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church 8; Meals on Wheels 1; Midtown Academy 10. Patsy moved to accept her recommendations. The motion carried 16-2. Doug Kelso moved to explore having restrictions (of time and place) put on some passes next year. The motion passed.

Charlie Duff, Chair of the ad hoc committee to review Baltimore’s proposed Comprehensive Master Plan, gave a preliminary assessment that the Plan lacks immediacy and urgency. A written report will follow. Nine public hearings will be held before April 1.

Officer Jimmy Clark gave the police report. Thirteen crimes, including an armed robbery on John Street, were reported this month, a slight reduction from the previous month.

Tara Andrews, candidate for Senator (40th District) and Antonio Hayes, candidate for Delegate (40th District) were the speakers for the third Candidates’ Forum.

Barbara Blumberg reported an alarming increase in graffiti around the neighborhood. The cleanup is slowed because owners must give permission to have city cleaners come onto their property. However, she urges everyone to report graffiti on public property; e.g., mailboxes, light poles, sidewalks. To report, call 311.

Mike Rynd, co-chair of the Institutions Committee, circulated lists of institutional neighbors and asked Board Members to check the list for completeness. He will move, at the next meeting, that the Board name an institutional member to each of the three terms.

February 7 Mount Royal Improvement Association Board of Directors Meeting February 7, 2006 Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Patsy Andrews, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Dolph Druckman, Johns Hopkins, Keiffer Mitchell, Ellen Richardson, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Betsy Boykin, Henri Daniels, Charlie Duff, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Yolanda Takeysian, Dahlia Woody.

President David Rocah called the meeting to order at 8 p.m. Minutes of the January meeting were approved.

Sgt. Charles Hess reported that crime in Bolton Hill was limited to robbery, larceny (auto), and burglary. He introduced the new Central District Commander Dean Palmere and Jimmy Clark, the “motorcycle cop” who monitors the neighborhood.

Catherine Pugh and Marshall Goodwin, both incumbent Delegates of the 40th District, were the invited speakers for the Candidates’ Forum.

A request for Zoning Variance at 1311 Park Avenue was reviewed by the Executive Committee, acting for the Zoning Committee and the Board. A letter was sent to the owner, expressing neither support nor opposition. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the letter as written.

The Midtown Community Benefits District will hold its spring town hall meeting Wednesday, March 22 at the University of Baltimore’s new student center. Any suggestions for budget or work of MCBD should be sent to neighborhood representatives on the Board, Julie Thorne (Jethorne@aol.com ), Greg Baranoski (gbaranoski@covad.net), David Rocah (david.rocah@mindspring.com) or to Henri Daniels (henriann@msn.com) who was recently elected President of the MCBD Board.

Charlie Duff agreed to chair an ad hoc committee to review and draft comments for MRIA on Baltimore’s first new Comprehensive Master Plan in more than 30 years.

A resident of Reservoir Hill has asked Bolton Hill to join in a project to renew murals on the sides of the corner properties at Park Avenue and North Avenue. Tod Myers said he would speak to the property owners.

John Kyle and Peter Satten will host the New Neighbors party March 12.

Patsy Andrews announced that Parking Permit renewals can be arranged on line and picked up at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church on March 18 or March 25 from 8:30 a.m. till noon.

An issue was raised concerning truck traffic on Lafayette Avenue. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
January 3 MRIA Board Minutes, January, 2006 Officers and Board Members present: Davaid Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Dolph Druckman, Johns Hopkins, Keiffer Mitchell, Ellen Richardson, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Betsy Boykin, Carrie Cass, Henri Daniels, Charlie Duff, Michael Rynd, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Tim Ingles, Yolanda Takesian, Dahlia Woody.

The meeting was called to order at 8:05 p.m. The December minutes were approved.

Sgt. Hess reported two robberies (one on the street and one as the victim left his garage) and four stolen cars (one returned) in Bolton Hill. He also urged MRIA members to attend a meeting with the police, mayor, and city council regarding the issue of unlawful arrests. The meeting is 4:30 p.m. January 4 at the War Memorial. Sgt. Hess also said Major Dean Palmeri (dean.palmeri@baltimorepolice.org) has been named Central District Commander and Officer Joe Conway (joseph.conway@baltimorepolice.org) is the new Deputy District Commander.

Anthony McCarthy, candidate for the House of Delegates, was the first invited speaker in a series of candidates, both incumbents and challengers, in the 40th and 44th Districts. One or two candidates will be invited to each MRIA Board meeting throughout the spring. Attendees submitted questions written on cards that were read by President Rocah, a practice that will be followed for all candidate appearances.

The owner of the property at 1522 Mt. Royal asked MRIA to support a zoning variance so that a garage/studio that exceeds the maximum height and yard coverage allowed by the applicable zoning rules. Doug Kelso moved to defer action until the MRIA Zoning Committee can review the request and report back. The motion passed 14-0.

Michael Rynd, reporting for the Institutions Committee, said the Committee has identified 30 institutions throughout the neighborhood and requests consideration that some Board positions be reserved for institutions. He will bring a full report to the February meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.