River Hill Board of Directors
April 5, 2021
Opening (Agenda 2):
Adam White, Vice Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 7:13 p.m. The meeting was held virtually via conference call using Zoom. The following members were in attendance: Matt Levine, and Jian Ni. Alex Oh and Shyam Pillai, Student Members, Renee DuBois, Columbia Council Representative, and Susan Smith, Village Manager, were present. Nina Basu, CEO and President, Inner Arbor Trust, Inc., was also present. Residents in attendance were Janet Munro (Morning Time Lane), Gary Sauers (Morning Light Trail), Barbara Wertman (Waking Dreams Knoll) and Dipper Wettstein (Gentle Call). Eric Greenberg (Empty Song Road) arrived at 7:30 p.m. Harry Dunbar arrived at 7:23 p.m. Dipper Wettstein arrived at 7:30 p.m. Mary Beth Steil arrived later.
Approval of the Agenda (Agenda 3):
Mr. White made a motion to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded by Matt Levine. Ms. Smith asked for Agenda Item 4B.- March 15, 2021 Minutes be deleted. Mr. White accepted this amendment. The agenda was approved (3-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
Announcement of Executive Session Meetings Held/To Be Held (Agenda 4A):
Ms. Smith announced the Board had held Executive Sessions on March 15, March 25, and April 5:
- Virtual Executive Session on March 15, 2021 – Participants were Adam White, Harjeet Jandu, Matt Levine, Tony Miceli, and Jian Ni. Also present was Susan Smith, Village Manager.
Mr. Levine made a motion to move into Executive Session at 9:31 p.m. for the purpose of discussing legal matters and potential litigation Mr. Miceli seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Mr. Miceli made a motion to adjourn the Executive Session at 9:49 p.m. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
- Virtual Executive Session on March 25, 2021 – Participants were Adam White, Harjeet Jandu, Matt Levine, Tony Miceli, and Jian Ni. Also present were Michael Cornell, Election Committee Chairperson, Sara Arthur, Esq., and Susan Smith, Village Manager. Mr. Jandu left the meeting at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Levine made a motion to move into Executive Session at 7:03 p.m. for the purpose of legal matters and potential litigation. Mr. Miceli seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Mr. Levine made a motion to adjourn the Executive Session at 8:59 p.m. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0).
- Virtual Executive Session on April 5, 2021. Participants were Adam White, Matt Levine, and Jian Ni. Also present were Renee DuBois, Columbia Council Representative, and Susan M. Smith, Village Manager.
At 6:55 p.m., Mr. Levine made a motion that the Board of Directors move into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-0-0).
Mr. Levine made a motion to adjourn the Executive Session at 7:09 p.m. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-0-0).
Nina Basu, CEO & President, Inner Arbor Trust, Inc. (Agenda 5):
Ms. Basu gave an overview of the Inner Arbor Trust, a 501c (3), responsible for managing, concurrently with the Columbia Association, the area known as Symphony Woods as well as additional acreage transferred in the vicinity of Merriweather Post Pavilion MPP). A copy of Ms. Basu’s presentation is on file with the original minutes.
The area managed by the trust is envisioned as a “Central Park” for Columbia/Howard County. The trust seeks to create a sense of place and to make the area accessible 365 days/year for people of all ages. The trust currently controls Phase 1 open space and a limited part of the Phase 2 open space and 24 acres are preserved in conservation easements. The trust also owns the Chrysalis and is responsible for its programming which is geared toward community events. Ms. Basu explained that the development plan has evolved from the “McCall” Plan with guidance from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The trust is working on drainage issues, amendments to strengthen the soil, and reforestation. A colonnade separating MPP and Symphony Woods is planned as are pavilions and gazebos. 15 picnic tables will be delivered in mid-April and the trust is soliciting artists to decorate the tables.
The trust has earned income as well as an annual grant from the Maryland Arts Council. Funding also comes from Columbia Association and Howard County e.g., pathway construction, and from gifts. Ms. Basu explained that the trust differs from the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission (Ian Kennedy, Executive Director) which now owns Merriweather Post Pavilion with programming handled by Live Nation. She noted Howard Hughes Corporation owns all the parking in the downtown area.
Resident Speak Out (Agenda 6):
Ms. Wertman (Waking Dreams Knoll), Independence Day Parade Coordinator, spoke about the importance of holding the parade and noted that the Police Department has okayed the parade provided COVID-19 precautions are in place. She noted it is unclear where the parade will stage, possibly along South Trotter Road. Due to COVID-19 there will be no reception in 2021.
Mr. Levine made a motion to approve the parade for 2021 provided all necessary precautions are taken and permits are obtained. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-0-0).
Mr. White asked that an effort be made to limit disposable plastic products.
Ballot Questions (Agenda 7A):
Mr. Levine made a motion to accept and file the email vote to remove the previously approved ballot questions from the ballot. Ms. DuBois seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-0-0). The email votes are on file with the original Minutes.
FY22 Operating Budget (Agenda 7B):
Ms. DuBois noted that the CA Board is considering reinstating some of the original FY21 Annual Charge Share funding as well as making the third and final payment from the Contingency Fund to the village associations. The purpose is to provide the village associations with funds to assist with cash flow and a return to more normal operations in FY22.The village associations payment of excess cash reserves for FY21 is also being considered.
Ms. Smith will coordinate with Mr. Levine on updating the budget for the next Board Meeting.
A tentative budget work session was planned for April 19.
Education Committee (Agenda 8A):
The members discussed forming an Education Committee with a goal to connect with the schools that students in the village attend and to interact with the Board of Education. The members present discussed having representatives from each of the schools on the committee. Mr. Ni may be willing to chair the committee. The next step will be to develop a Charter for the committee. Mr. Ni, Mr. Levine, Mr. Oh, Mr. Pillai, and Ms. DuBois agreed to work on drafting a Charter for discussion at the June meeting.
Development Advisory Committee (9Ai)
Mr. Levine noted there has been a price increase for the homes in Cedar Creek and that the apartments in Robinson Overlook are about 30% leased.
Ms. Smith added that a pre-submission meeting for the Scott Property (South Trotter Road) will be held on Wednesday, April 28. The Zoning Board hearing for the Erickson Living project will continue Wednesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. and the Planning Board will hear Erickson’s request to extend the General Plan Amendment for water and sewer on Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
Teen Advisory Committee (Agenda 9Aii):
Mr. Oh will write an article about the TAC for the May newsletter.
Watershed Committee (Agenda 9Aiii):
Mr. White expressed concern regarding the use of the Chesapeake Bay Trust grant funds to reimburse the Columbia Association and stated he would prefer the funds be used in another manner in the village.
Village Manager (Agenda 9B):
Ms. Smith reported the Claret Hall sprinkler system’s compressor had failed and a temporary compressor installed until the permanent part arrives. Due to pressure issues, water was leaking in the sprinkler closet and an emergency maintenance call made. CA and association staff are monitoring the pressure to avoid a recurrence.
Ms. Smith informed the Board that Mohammad Saleem, a longtime resident in Pointers Run, former Resident Architectural Committee Member and Chair, former Board Member and Vice Chair, and current Chair of the Architectural Committee had submitted his resignation.
Columbia Council Representative (Agenda 9C):
Ms. DuBois reported that Columbia Association’s new President, Lakey Boyd, will start on May 1. She expects Ms. Boyd will meet with the Village Boards once she is settled.
Board Chairperson (Agenda 10):
Board Speak Out (Agenda 11):
Adjournment (Agenda 12):
At 9:04 p.m., Mr. White made a motion adjourn the meeting. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2-0-0).
Submitted: Susan M. Smith, Village Manager
Minutes Approved: April 26, 2021 (as amended)