As the new Chair of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC), I am eager and excited about the opportunity to serve and make a difference in our community. The new Executive Committee has embarked on an aggressive yet manageable set of goals that, along with the enthusiasm of the current and newly appointed members, is sure to make this term a very exciting one that hopefully yields positive results for the community. Our theme for this year is "Re-energize and Re-engage with the community" and it is the goal of WUDAC to play a larger and more substantive role in achieving its mission to promote and support activities in and around the Wheaton Urban District. With the help of the leadership and committee members, I am confident that WUDAC will make big gains in achieving our goals for this year with the cooperation and support of the community and business owners.
The following are three ways that WUDAC intends to meet its goal to re-energize and re-engage with the community:
1. Be proactive in addressing issues in our community. Last term, WUDAC was successful in lending its voice to issues pertaining to Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) and Wheaton redevelopment. We plan to continue addressing similar topics while more importantly driving and leading the conversation on topics that may not get as much attention but are nevertheless just as significant.
2. Create stronger ties with and engage the community in the conversation. We look to achieve this by opening WUDAC meetings to community concerns and allowing anyone to share their thoughts on issues regarding the Urban District. WUDAC also plans to increase its presence in the community by reaching out to local organizations and community groups and gaining their input.
3. Energize the business community. We want to help push and support efforts that benefit the promotion of Wheaton and highlight its many unique small-business characteristics. WUDAC will look for ways to support efforts that strengthen and promote the small-business community, especially during times when redevelopment is under way.
Amazingly, our work is netting positive results. If you are reading this, you are doing so on our newly revamped blog site. I invite you to share the address, http://wudacblog.blogspot.com with your friends and neighbors since we will be updating the site with news and updates on WUDAC on a regular basis. I also invite you to visit the redesigned official Wheaton website at http://www.wheatonmd.org/ and to stay connected with community events and lists of where to shop and dine in and around the Urban District. You can also access the WUDAC blog site from the Wheaton community website.
WUDAC meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month at 6pm and all meetings are open to the community. Feel free to sit in at our meetings and even sign up to speak during our community concerns portion of the agenda. WUDAC’s success is driven not only by our members but by voices from the community, both residents and small business owners alike. Your voice is important and I encourage you to attend our meetings and participate.
Once again, I am excited about our prospects this year. Our new members are a motivated and ambitious group and it has carried over to the current members. As Chair, I look forward to working with our executive team to help support the enthusiasm of our committee and working with the community to support and promote Wheaton and the Urban District. Please continue to visit our site for updates on our work and I encourage you as a community to lend your voice to help in our work.
Henriot St. Gerard
Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee