Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes Tuesday September 11, 2012
Mid-County Regional Center 2424 Reedie drive, Wheaton MD 20902
Members Present: Jim Onder, William Moore, Janet Yu, Henriot St. Gerard, Marian Fryer,
Jeannette Feldner, Devala Janardan
Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center
Pete McGinnity, Manager, Business development
Joe Callaway, Wheaton Urban District Operations Manager
Sidney Cooper, Manager, Marketing and events
Guests: Sgt. Currie and Lt. Sullivan 4th District police dept.
Bertha Flores, assistant to Councilmember Navarro
Esther French, Wheaton Patch
Call to Order: Chair Henriot St. Gerard called the meeting to order at 5:32 pm
Henriot St. Gerard introduced himself as the new Chairman of WUDAC and presented the minutes of the July meeting for review. Motion to approve, Devala 1st, Marian 2nd, Minutes approved. St. Gerard expressed appreciation for police in reflection on 9-11.
4th District Report: Sgt. Currie reported 6 robberies in CBD with all but one closed with arrest, 4 residential burglary attempts with one successful due to unlocked window. Sgt. Currie reminded everyone to lock windows and doors. There were also 6 thefts from autos and one auto theft.
Directors Report: Ana Lopez van Balen thanked Janet and Henriot for their help in filling WUDAC positions. She reported on a series of Small Business Meetings, with Devala representing WUDAC at a recent meeting. Future meetings will be the 1st Thursday of every month at the Mid-County center. She mentioned MCCAB will host County Executive Ike Leggett on Sept. 20, and a meeting in Rockville on 9-22 for proposed Ride-On bus changes. Also advised that a hearing on accessory apts was scheduled today, 9-11. She briefly touched on a Berliner/Ervin initiative for Bike Sharing.
Urban District Operations: Joe Callaway commented on the FY 2014 budget and the need to include funding to maintain streetscape while funding other projects such as the Dark Sky initiative and new light pole banners. Also noted need for funding now for a vehicle shortage. He reported that the Wheaton Gateway signs need upgrading. Joe believes WUDAC can help with support letters when needed in the budget process.
Sidney Cooper, Marketing report: New logo is still not ready but is close. She agrees with Joe and looks forward to new light pole banners. She is also planning meetings with vendors for new Gateway Signs. She noted that the Night Hawks was the most popular summer concert but other concert attendance was not up to expectations. She said World of Montgomery Festival is Oct. 21 and will feature an International Village. The Farmers Market is looking for more farmers and a firm that specializes in these events is being brought in. She stressed the need for support or the money will go elsewhere. They will promote October 28th market.
Henriot St. Gerard, Chair, stated that the priority for last term was redevelopment. This term’s theme will be Re-energize and Re-engage. He called for: 1.Find activities for arts and entertainment 2. Engage the community 3. Energize business ties.
Luis Bonilla, MCCAB representative, stated that small business thinks they are alone after they open and that MCCAB has same goals as WUDAC but serves a larger area. Stated MCCAB meets 9-20 and then every 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Mid-County Regional Center.
Jim Onder, Chamber of Commerce representative handed out the new community guide and a list of Chamber members. He talked about their monthly mixers and other member benefits.
Redevelopment Report: Pete McGinnity briefly reviewed recent council actions with regard to redevelopment and steps being taken to ascertain needs for that development. He reported Costco was reviewing its plans for gas station in light of council actions and Safeway hopes to have outer shell completed by December. Also, Lowe Enterprise’s Site review goes to Planning Board on Sept. 20 and Washington Properties has demolished the former Wheaton Baptist Church in preparation for their apt. project. Pete also submitted a written report.
Report from Council: Bertha Flores, assistant to Councilmember Navarro presented news of a Proclamation by Navarro to students and administrators from the Berman Hebrew Academy and Harmony Hills Elementary School to honor the Chesed Ambassadors program, a cultural exchange program that strengthens the Aspen Hill community.
Devala Janardan commented that the WUDAC Bylaws are outdated and there is a need to review. Marian Fryer agreed to assist with the review.
Ana Lopez van Balen presented Jeannette Feldner with a Proclamation from County Executive Ike Leggett, recognizing her for her work with WUDAC.