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MRIA Meetings:
Minutes 2007
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Jan 3 Introduction of new neighbors:
John Gaffney, Rutter Street
Luth and Noel Damron, 309 W. Lanvale

Minutes were moved and accepted with a correction:
Ashley Chertkof attended the 12/5/06 meeting

Police Report: Major Palmere attended the meeting and discussed the recent crimes and the police departments strategy to deal with the crimes. 

Midtown Benefits District:
D Rocah announced that the Midtown Board retreat was schedule for January 20.  Poly Duke and Julie Thorne will attend the meeting. Greg Baranoski has resigned from the Board of Midtown, many thanks to Greg for his years of service and particularly for his tenure as treasurer.  D Rocah will appoint a new Board member this prior to the Board retreat so Bolton Hill is well represented.

Update on the St Paul Street Historic properties:
Johns Hopkins provided an update on the latest news regarding the historic properties.  Johns reported that the properties most likely would not remain on site.

New business: SNAP proposal:
Polly Duke reported that funds were earmarked for the SNAP and that the SNAP plan has expired.  The City planner recommended that Bolton Hill meet with the City Planning staff and submit a proposal to use his portion of the SNAP funds available.  Board agreed to add the lighting plan for Sumpter Park to the original SNAP plan and if possible the  sidewalk replacement in the 1800 block of Bolton Street.  P Duke will follow up with the City Staff to schedule a meeting with planning.


Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal,  Betsy Boykin, Penny Catzen,  F.T. Clark, Darryl Lemons, Carrie Cass, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Barbara White, Tim Ingles, Julie McArthur, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Ashley Chertkof, Johns Hopkins, Doug Kelso, Keiffer Mitchell, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Wesley Wood.

The minutes of the January meeting were approved.

In his police report, Sgt. Hess reported three robberies in the last 30 days, some attributed to a roving gang of juveniles.

President David Rocah presented the following nominating committee: Sarah Cross, Chair; Dahlia Woody and Julie McArthur, Board Representatives; Jennifer Goldsszmidt and Andrew Lacovara, MRIA Members.  The Board voted unanimously to accept the committee.

The Midtown Community Benefits District has named two institutional representatives to its board to fill two slots that had not been previously filled.  The new representatives are Diane Bell-McKoy, Executive Director of Associated Black Charities, and Joseph Palumbo, representative of Spicer’s Run Homeowners' Association.

Patsy Andrews explained the procedure to apply for parking permits.  On-line applications will begin in mid-February, and pick up will be March 17 and 24 from
 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Brown Memorial Church.

The announced candidates for City Council seats for our district will be invited to appear at the March MRIA Board meeting.  The forum will follow the same procedure as that used in the State candidates’ fora. 

In response to a request by the Dickeyville Neighborhood Association to support its efforts to prevent the demolition of an historic house, Johns Hopkins offered the following motion: “MRIA supports the Dickeyville Neighborhood Association in its request to CHAP that it exercise all available authority to obtain independent financial evaluations for rehab and remediation in petitions to demolish historic buildings where such evaluations are warranted.”  The motion passed 11-5.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05


March 6

Officers and Board Members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, Mary Consugar,  F.T. Clark, Henri Daniels, Charlie Duff, Darryl Lemons, Michael Rynd, Marceline White, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Barbara White, Tim Ingles, George Lavdas, Joe Libercci, Julie McArthur, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Johns Hopkins, Doug Kelso, Ellen Richardson, Wesley Wood.

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

The minutes of the February meeting were approved as presented.

Safety Committee Chair Jason Goscha reported on his analysis of “Part 1” (serious) crimes in Bolton Hill with some comparisons to 2005.

Pat Karzai asked for a letter from MRIA acknowledging that MRIA knows that B Bistro has applied to the City Liquor Board to transfer the liquor license from Nancy Cusack (the present owner of the liquor license) to Pat Karzai.  The Board agreed, with no objections, to send a letter to that effect.

Representatives of Hiram Grand Lodge of 1205 Eutaw Place requested that MRIA endorse their proposal to use the vacant lot between Waxter Way and W. Lanvale St. as a parking lot.  This is a plan that had been rejected earlier when ARC and CHAP agreed to a landscaped area.  That plan was never carried out.  Sarah Cross moved to endorse the plan presented.  Tim Ingels seconded the motion..  The motion was defeated.  George Lavdas moved  That the MRIA (1) oppose the construction of (and any zoning change needed to permit) a permanent surface parking lot on the property of the Hiram Grand Lodge; take steps to have the City repair the illegal “curb cut” along Eutaw Place (that permits the Lodge to drive cars onto the lot); (3) take steps to have CHAP enforce the plan it approved previously for the lot (i.e., the landscaping of property, the construction of a retainer wall, and all other parts of the approved plan). That motion passed with one dissenting vote.

Treasurer Barry Blumberg presented the 3rd quarter financial report.
Bill Cole, candidate for the City Council seat to be vacated by Keiffer Mitchell, was the first of the candidates to speak to the MRIA Board.  All candidates will be invited to meet with  MRIA.

President David Rocah adjourned the meeting at 9:55 p.m

April 3

Officers and Board members present: David Rocah, John Kyle, Polly Duke, Richard Rosenthal, Barry Blumberg, Betsy Boykin, Carrie Cass, Darryl Lemons, Michael Rynd, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Karen Helm, Tim Ingles, Julie McArthur, Yolanda Takeysian, Patsy Andrews, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Wesley Wood.

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

The minutes of the March MRIA Board meeting were accepted as presented.

Sgt. Hess reported that burglaries and car thefts are decreasing in Bolton Hill.  He said assaults and robberies of individuals might be prevented if people didn’t walk alone late at night.

Pat and Qayum Karzai, owners of B Bistro, proposed creating a café in the rear of their property.  They requested a letter of support from MRIA to the City Health Department, which will need to approve a license for the new outdoor seating.  There was lengthy discussion, with some Board members supporting the request and others voicing concerns about potential problems, specifically with trash, noise, and parking.  A motion that MRIA write a letter to the Health Department in support of b’s request for additional seating passed 13-7.  The motion was subsequently tabled until the May meeting.  John Kyle moved that the Karzais meet with the immediate neighbors and come to the May meeting to provide more information about the project. There was no objection to this motion.

Mike Gaffney, Bolton Hill resident, asked for volunteers to work with Friends of Druid Hill Park.  On May 17, a Board of Directors will be elected at an event at the Conservatory in Druid Hill Park.

Polly Duke presented the proposed 2008 budget for the Midtown Community Benefits District.  David Rocah has appointed Carlo Van Grieken  MRIA designee on the MCBD Board.  Polly Duke is also an MRIA designee, and Julie Thorne is the elected representative from Bolton Hill.

Treasurer Barry Blumberg presented the 2008 MRIA proposed budget.  Polly Duke moved to accept; Tim Ingles seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

The Nomination Committee proposed the following slate of candidates for the Board elections to be held at the May meeting:  Officers--John Kyle. President, Polly Duke, 1st Vice President, Tim Ingles, 2nd Vice President; Barry Blumberg, Treasurer; Richard Rosenthal, General Counsel.  Board Members for term ending in 2010: Omar Calderon, Charlie Duff, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Ira Maine, Darryl Lemons, Joan Garlow, Vanessa Billings, Tod Meyers, Carrie Cass, Susan Henson-Haun.  Board Member for term ending in 2008 (replacing Tim Ingles, slated for 2nd VP): Paul Silvestrie.  The Nominating Committee was chaired by Sarah Cross and included Julie McArthur, Dahlia Woody, Andrew Lacovara, and Jennifer Goldszmidt.

The following criteria for MRIA Board members were suggested by the Nominating Committee.  John Kyle moved to accept the criteria.  The motion passed unanimously.
1. Maintain dues paying membership throughout the term of office
2. Attend and participate in 9 board meetings which are ordinarily on the first Tuesday of June, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, and April and understand that 3 [unexcused] absences in a row may mean a member might have to give up their seat/office
3. Attend and participate in the annual meeting that is ordinarily on the first Tuesday of May
4. Attend and participate in the annual retreat / orientation which is held in May
5. Chair or participate actively in at least one MRIA committee or project
6. Promote the neighborhood and assist in looking out for its overall well-being
7. Be familiar with the Bolton Hill plan and support carrying out its recommendations
8. "The Board of Directors shall have charge and general control of the affairs and funds of the Association ..." (excerpt from the bylaws)
9. "The Board of Directors shall inform the membership of all major proposals and programs presented and the action taken by the Board of Directors." (excerpt from the bylaws
10. Participate in planning, attend and participate in the annual Crab Feast (in August) in recognition of public safety officers
11. Participate in planning, attend and participate in the annual welcome reception (in the spring) for new residents to the Neighborhood

Fred Mason, III, resident of Reservoir Hill and candidate for City Council 11th District,  presented his views of the office and answered questions, following the established format for MRIA Candidates Forum.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Improvement Association
Annual Membership Meeting -- May 1, 2007

The meeting began with a reception. After socializing, the meeting was called to order by David Rocah, President.

A financial report from Treasurer Barry Blumberg was accepted.

Total Income
FY07 Budget FY07 Actual FY08 Budget
$16,450.00 $18,236.21 (est.) $17,400.00
Total Expenses
FY07 Budget FY07 Actual FY08 Budget
$19,950.00 $17,263.29 (est.) $17,400.00

The Nominating Committee (which consisted of Board members Sarah Cross Ramirez (chair), Julie McArthur, and Dahlia Woody, and neighbors Andrew Lacovara, and Jennifer Goldszmidt) proposed a slate of Officers and Board Members. The Association members voted to elect the entire slate.

The newly elected Officers are:
John Kyle, President
Polly Duke, 1st VP
Tim Ingles, 2nd VP
Treasurer, Barry Blumberg (re-elected)
General Counsel, Richard Rosenthal (re-elected)
Past President, David Rocah

Board members elected with a term ending in 2010 are
Omar Calderon
Charlie Duff (re-elected)
Donna Beth Joy Shapiro
Ira Maine
Darryl Lemons (re-elected)
Joan Garlow
Vanessa Billings
Tod Meyer
Carrie Cass (re-elected)
Susan Henson-Haun

Paul Silvestrie was elected for a term ending in 2008 to replace Tim Ingles who was elected 2nd VP.

President Rocah gave a State of the Neighborhood address and also presented service awards to those who had provided leadership and assistance to Bolton Hill during the past year.

June 5

President John Kyle called the meeting to order at 8:07 p.m.

The minutes of the April Board meeting were approved as corrected.

Gayle Guilford was elected to fill a one-year term on the Board.

The Treasurer’s report with final end-of-year numbers was distributed.

Peter Merles of the Midtown Community Benefits District reported on the following changes in city law:
> Baltimore City has changed the law dealing with citations for sanitation violations. Previously, citations went to the property owner.  Under the new law, if a resident is identified as the source of improper trash disposal, the tenant receives the first two citations.  On the third offense, both the tenant and landlord are cited.
> The city has also changed the requirements for gating an alley and creating a private space.  Property owners no longer need 100% of the owners on the alley to approve such a plan. That has been reduced to 80%
> Midtown Community Benefits District no longer cleans streets on a fixed day each week.  Sidewalks are being cleaned at least three times per week on a continual basis.  Curbs are being cleaned at least two times a week.  Alleys are cleaned at least once a month, more often on request as needed.

Jon Kaplan reported on plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hugh Newell Jacabsen homes September 8.  In response to a request by the organizers, the Board voted to support the activity with $500 sponsorship and help as marketing partners.

David Rocah moved to endorse the mission of the Historic Districts Council and to appoint a representative of MRIA.  The motion passed.

The Board voted affirmatively to President John Kyle’s request that the Board authorize a letter to CHAP asking that resident input be included in CHAP’s review of procedures.

Polly Duke moved and Penny Catzen seconded the motion to change the November Board meeting to November 13 and the January meeting to January 8.  The motion passed unanimously.

City legislation regarding eviction of tenants was discussed.  David Rocah moved to endorse the bill.  The motion was seconded and passed with a vote of 12-4 and 2 abstentions.

President John Kyle noted the need for volunteers for the Band Concert on June 27 and for the Crab Feast on August 15.  He also thanked the Bolton Hill Garden Club for the Garden Walk and the Plant Sale.

David Rocah moderated the City Council Candidate Forum with Candidate Adam Meister.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Sept 4

Officers and Board members attending: John Kyle, Polly Duke Tim Ingles, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, David Rocah, Sarah Cross, Julie McArthur, Yolanda Takesian, Patsy Andrews, Lee Bowers, Penny Catzen, Ashley Chertkof, Johns Hopkins, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Vanessa Billings, Carrie Cass, Joan Garlow, Susan Henson-Haun, Ira Maine, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro.

President John Kyle called the meeting to order at 8:07.

The minutes of the June MRIA Board meeting were approved although it was pointed out that Board members’ attendance was not reported.

Police Sgt. Charlie Hess reported on criminal incidents in the neighborhood and increased police presence.

Treasurer Barry Blumberg gave the first quarter financial report, noting that 2007-2008 dues and donations are not reflected in the report.

The President gave thanks to the following lead volunteers: Jeremy Walston and George Lavdas for hosting the new neighbors' party; Ellen Joyce, Mary Consugar, Fred Shoken, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, and the Strawbridge Church for their work at the Big Band Concert; Tim Ingles for organizing volunteers at the crab feast.

Peter Merles, the Midtown Benefits District Executive Director and Steve Shen, MCBD Board member, presented possibilities for spending funds set aside to increase safety.   Discussion among the attendees included the effectiveness of cameras as a crime deterrent, the need for more policing, and the advantages of citizen watch groups.  Polly Duke, Carlo Van Grieken, and Julie Thorne represent MRIA/Bolton Hill at MCBD.

Susan Henson-Haun, MRIA Board member and co-chair with her husband Jonathan Haun of a committee to revitalize COP in Bolton Hill.  Susan reported on the COP forum they attended in the summer. To help with the effort to get residents to watch and call police when they observe crimes or potential problems, contact

Ellen Joyce requested funds and a letter from MRIA in support of fountain installation in the 1800 block of Eutaw Pl.  Johns Hopkins moved to support the project with a letter and a donation. The motion passed unanimously.

Polly Duke requested that MRIA authorize the installation of 4-6 heavy-duty trash cans to be distributed appropriately.  At the May MRIA Board retreat, this was an action item generally supported by those present.  David Rocah moved the purchase of 10 trash cans  and allocation of necessary funds.  The vote was 10-10, with the President casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of the motion.

Doug Kelso moved that MRIA give $100 as a memorial contribution for Barney Farnham, Rector of Memorial Presbyterian Church.

President Kyle called for volunteers for the community yard sale October 6 and for Festival on the Hill October 13.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

Oct 2

Officers and Board Members attending: John Kyle, Polly Duke, Tim Ingles, Barry Blumberg, Richard Rosenthal, David Rocah, Suzanne Brockman, Sarah Cross, Gayle Guilford, Joe Libercci, Julie McArthur, Dahlia Woody, Patsy Andrews, Doug Kelso, Keiffer Mitchell,  Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Joan Garlow, Susan Henson-Haun, Ira Maine, Rod Myers, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro.

President John Kyle called the meeting to order at 8:05.

The minutes of the September 4 were approved.  The Board approved the addition of the Board Members in attendance at the June Meeting.  This information was inadvertently omitted from the September minutes.

Sgt. Hess reported on crime in Bolton Hill, including a robbery at the video store and five stolen cars.  He also said that a police car is assigned full time in Bolton Hill as well as overtime officers from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.  He announced that problems of the homeless will be the topic of the police/community meeting on October 24.

The Midtown Community Benefits District will hold its fall Town Meeting October 17.  Among items on the agenda is election of  at-large members of the MCBD Board.  Julie Thorne, current representative of Bolton Hill, has decided not to run for a new term.  Joe Polumbo of Spicer’s Run intends to run for the seat.

A public hearing on the first draft of revised standards and procedures for CHAP is scheduled for November 13 at 1 p.m.  With Board approval, the MRIA Executive committee will consult with Board members individually before November 13 to determine MRIA action. 

Mayor Dixon published a report in July outlining procedures for residents to initiate requests for traffic calming.  Bolton Hill residents in the 1600 block of Park Avenue and  in the 1700 block of Park Avenue near Laurens St. and in the 1600 block of Brevard  have indicated an interest in traffic calming.  When neighbors develop ideas and follow the petition procedures, they will come to MRIA with their plans.

There was some discussion of alley gating, which proved irrelevant, as the area referenced is not city property.

A representative of the owner of Bolton North, the high rise at the corner of Mt. Royal and McMechen, asked MRIA for a letter supporting housing tax credits for renovation of the property.  Information will be made available to the full Board for comments. It was moved and seconded to have the Executive Committee act on the basis of the comments. The motion passed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Nov 13

Officers and Board Members attending: John Kyle, Tim Ingles, Richard
Rosenthal, David Rocah, Gayle Guilford, Joe Libercci, Julie McArthur,
Yolanda Takesian, Barbara White, Dahlia Woody, Penny Catzen, Johns
Hopkins, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Omar Calderon, Carrie Cass,
Susan Henson-Haun, Darryl Lemons, Ira Maine, Tod Myers, Donna Beth Joy

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

The September minutes were approved as read.

Officer Charlie Hess gave the police report.

Susan Henson-Haun and Jonathan Haun, co-chairs of a committee to
revive the walking version of Citizens on Patrol in Bolton Hill,
reported that they are continuing to recruit volunteers. The goal is
to have 75 volunteers - 25 in each of 3 segments of the neighborhood.

Justin McArthur, representing the trashcan committee, presented the
proposed placement of trashcans. After some discussion, it was moved
and seconded to approve the proposed plan with two minor changes: 1.
the can at Wilson and Mason will be placed on the Rite-Aid side of the
street and 2. Change the Jordan Street-Mosher Court site to place the
can at the Mason Street end of Mosher Court. The motion passed

A proposed safety initiative of the Midtown Community Benefits
District (MCBD), specifically the placement of security cameras in the
neighborhood, was discussed. Both the idea of cameras and the process
of how such a decision gets made when one of the 4 neighborhoods is
not supportive were discussed. It was decided to place this topic on
the December agenda so that Polly Duke, MRIA's first vice president
and one of MRIA's representatives on the MCBD Board, could report more
fully on the intentions of MCBD to implement this initiative.

Two residents of Bolton House, an apartment building on Dolphin Street
across from Bolton Street, asked the Board to help in any way it can
to have the position of front desk security attendant restored. Crime
has risen since the on-site attendant position has been
eliminated. Bolton House is not within the boundaries of MRIA, but
crime at Bolton House can potentially affect Bolton Hill. Penny
Catzen moved that the President write a letter to the owners of Bolton
House with copies sent to City Council members asking that the
position of 24-hour security attendant be reinstated. The motion

The meeting was adjourned at 9:47.

Dec 4

Mount Royal Improvement Association
Board of Directors Meeting
December 4, 2007

Officers and Board Members present: John Kyle, Polly Duke, Tim Ingles, Barry Blumberg, David Rocah, Sarah Cross, Gayle Guilford, Barbara White, Lee Bowers, Penny Catzen, Doug Kelso, Mike Molla, Ellen Richardson, Charlie Duff, Joan Garlow, Susan Henson-Haun, Ira Maine, Tod Myers, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro

President John Kyle called the meeting to order at 8:07 p.m.

The November minutes were approved.

Sgt. Hess gave the police report, noting that the addition of extra police presence seems to be effective in preventing crime because there were fewer robberies in this 30-day report than in the previous 30 days.

Treasurer Barry Blumberg presented the quarterly financial report. He explained the “restricted funds” category.

Polly Duke, MRIA representative to Midtown Benefits District, spoke about the Midtown safety initiative that was presented at the September MRIA meeting and discussed At the October meeting and briefly at the November meeting. It appeared in those discussions that there was little support for cameras in the neighborhood. Polly reported that she asked the Midtown Board if a neighborhood could opt out of the plan to install cameras. The answer was no, and furthermore, Bolton Hill’s share of the allocated funds would be used for cameras in the other Midtown neighborhoods rather than allowing Bolton Hill to use the money for a different safety plan, such as improved lighting. After much discussion, Tod Myers moved that MRIA ask Midtown to show us a plan that includes the cost of camera surveillance systems. David Rocah offered an amendment that Midtown also devise a plan for allocating money for other safety schemes. JOHN, I WASN’T CLEAR IF THAT 9-8 VOTE ACTUALLY GOT BACK TO THE MOTION OR IF IT WAS A VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT. MY FEELING IS THAT THE MOTION WAS TRASHED.
A straw vote by the board members present on the issue of approving cameras in the neighborhood was 9 in favor, 8 against.

Stevie-----, representing residents in the 1600 block of Park Avenue (east side), asked the MRIA board for a letter supporting the installation of speed bumps in Brevard Alley behind their houses. The process for requesting speed bumps requires a petition by 70 percent of the affected neighbors, endorsement of the neighborhood association, and application to city hall. The petition did not meet the 70 percent requirement of signatures. Tim Ingles moved that the Executive Committee act for the Board in sending the letter of endorsement when the additional signatures are collected. The motion carried.

Rebecca Nagle, a student at MICA, has proposed a combined block party for the Upton, Madison Park and Bolton Hill neighborhoods. The purpose of this event is to bring the three unique communities together. She proposed holding the party in the median of Eutaw Place. She hopes that the shape of the party will evolve from the ideas and participation of the residents of the three neighborhoods.

The January MRIA board meeting will be on the second Tuesday (January 8) because the first Tuesday is New Year’s Day.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55.

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