January 23, 2024, Board Minutes

River Hill Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes

January 23, 2024

 

Opening (Agenda Item 2):

Mr. Bruening called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. The meeting was held remotely via Zoom. The following members attended: Kevin Bruening, Mark Combs, Moe Imran, Balbir Lakhanpal, and Rob Mekelburg. Eric Greenberg (Columbia Association Board Member) and Renee DuBois (Village Manager) were present. The following guests attended the meeting: Delegate Terri Hill, Leslie Barnett (CA Liaison), Sarah Rohbin, Kelly Cao, Shravan Ranger, Tim Hilton, Ron Briggs, Alex Tran, and Joel Hurewitz.

 

Approval of the (Agenda Item 3):

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the agenda. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 5-0

 

Administrative Items

Announcement of Executive Session Held/to be Held (Agenda Item 4A)

A closed meeting of the Board of Directors was held on December 27, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. at Claret Hall, pursuant to Maryland Code Section 11B-111(4) (i) discussions of matters pertaining to employees and personnel. The vote to close the meeting was 5-0.

 

December 12, 2023, Minutes Approval (Agenda Item 4B)

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to table the December 12, 2023, Minutes. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Delegate Terri Hill Presentation (Agenda Item 4C)

 

Delegate Hill presented Ho.Co. 4-24 Columbia Association Annual Charge-Lease Requirements, Governing Documents, and Income Tax Subtraction Modification.

 

CA Liaison Leslie Barnett (Agenda Item 4D)

 

Ms. Barnett shared several items related to CA programming opportunities for residents and encouraged participation in the Strategic Planning process.

 

Free Use of Claret Hall (Agenda Item 4E)

The Village in Howard and the Community Health Initiative have each requested a free use of Claret Hall.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve one free use of Claret Hall for each organization due to their support of recent Village activities. Each organization would be responsible for the set up and breakdown costs. Mr. Combs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Resident Speak Out (Agenda Item 5)

None

 

Old Business

 

New Business

Maryland Pre-Filed Legislation (Agenda Item 7A)

 

Discussion of Delegate Ho.Co. 4-24.

 

RHCA Ballot Questions (Agenda Item 7B)

 

Discussion.

 

Pre-Filed Legislation (Agenda Item 7C)

 

Discussion.

 

 

Reports

 

Committee/Liaison Reports

Development Advisory Committee (Agenda Item 8Ai)

Reported tour of Erickson Community and survey advertised in The Villager.

 

Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda Item 8Aii)

 

None.

 

Village Manager (Agenda Item 8B)

Encouraged Board Members to participate in the survey. Also discussed snow removal.

 

Council Representative (Agenda Item 8C)

None.

 

Board Chairperson (Agenda Item 8D)

 

Board Speak Out (Agenda Item 9)

None.

 

Adjournment (Agenda Item 10)

At 9:03 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.

December 12, 2024, Board Minutes

River Hill Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2023

 

 

Opening (Agenda Item 2):

Mr. Bruening called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. The meeting was held remotely via Zoom. The following members attended: Kevin Bruening, Moe Imran, Balbir Lakhanpal, and Rob Mekelburg. Elinor Tu (Student Member) and Renee DuBois (Village Manager) were present. The following guests attended the meeting: Leslie Barnett (CA Liaison), one anonymous resident (14103), and Jennifer Lynott (Communications & Events Coordinator).

 

Approval of the (Agenda Item 3):

Mr. Bruening and Ms. DuBois requested to amend the agenda to make Item 7C the Student Member Report for the Teen Advisory Committee with the other listed Administrative Items to follow.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Administrative Items

Announcement of Executive Session Held/to be Held (Agenda Item 4A)

None.

 

November 14, 2023, Minutes Approval (Agenda Item 4B)

 

Mr. Imran made a motion to approve the November 14, 2023, Minutes. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Student Member Report (Agenda Item 4C)

 

Ms. Tu reported on the success of the Snacks with Santa/Snow Much FunFest combined event that was held on December 9. The Teen Advisory Committee members continue to either serve on various RHCA committees this year such as the Development Advisory Committee and the Architectural Committee or are writing a “Teen Talk” article for The Villager. The next upcoming event where the Teen Advisory Committee members will support is the Half-Day BINGO event in March.

 

Update from CA Liaison Leslie Barnett (Agenda Item 4D)

 

Ms. Barnett shared several items related to CA programming opportunities for residents to be aware of such as the Singular Sensations Art Show, Walk with a Doc program, World Language Café, Supreme Sports KidSpace New Year’s Eve Celebration. Ms. Barnett also discussed the CA lifeguard hiring process, the Strategic Planning Survey for resident input and the Tot Lot/Play Areas Reimagined workgroup and meeting schedule.

 

Appointment of John James to the Architectural Committee (Agenda Item 4E)

The background experience of Mr. James was shared.

 

Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to appoint Mr. John James to the Architectural Committee for a 2-year term ending 1/1/2026. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Resident Speak Out (Agenda Item 5)

An anonymous resident inquired about who to contact if they want to find out about exterior alterations occurring on a neighbor’s property and the complaint/site inspection process. The resident was advised to contact the Covenant Advisor, Eva Lambright.

 

Old Business

CA Budget Priorities Letter (Agenda Item 6A)

The final draft of the letter to be sent to CA is included in the Board Package and was reviewed by all members.

 

Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to approve the letter. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

CA Management Contract Extension – update

This item was tabled during the November Board of Directors Meeting. It continues to be tabled until after the next meeting of the Village Managers with Jackie Tuma (CA’s Director of Audit and Advisory Services), which will not occur until January 2024.

 

New Business

FY24 Q1 Financial Statements (Agenda Item 7A)

 

Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to accept and approve the financial statements as presented. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously 4-0.

 

FY24 Q2 Financial Statements (Agenda Item 7B)

Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to accept and approve the financial statements as presented. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Pre-Filed Legislation (Agenda Item 7C)

Discussion.

 

Ballot Questions (Agenda Item 7D)

Discussion. If there are to be any ballot questions for this year’s Village Elections in April, they must be decided upon in January so that they may then be sent to the attorney for review. Following that, the questions will then be sent to the Board of Directors for approval.

 

Reports

 

Committee/Liaison Reports

Development Advisory Committee (Agenda Item 8Ai)

An opinion survey is in the works for the committee to “get the pulse of the community” regarding the Clarksville Commons Phase 2 development plans. It will be reviewed by Ms. DuBois and fine-tuned before it is sent out in February. The survey may also appear in The Villager and be advertised on signs in the community.

 

Tour of Erickson (Agenda Item 8Aia) A tour of the Erickson Living community at Charlestown (in Catonsville) is being coordinated with their sales manager for the members of the Board to better understand the services Erickson Living offers to the local community. The agreed upon date is January 11 at 3:00 p.m.

 

Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda Item 8Aii)

Mr. Lakhanpal discussed the possibility of utilizing speed cameras in and around the Village of River Hill. Additionally, the committee will be reaching out to the Howard County Council, specifically Deb Jung, Liz Walsh, and Opel Jones, to continue the push for sound barriers. Mr. Lakhanpal will draft a letter in January.

 

Village Manager (Agenda Item 8B)

Discussion of survey ideas are in the works and the Development Advisory Committee will participate. Ms. DuBois will be looking into the current laws about speed cameras.

 

Council Representative (Agenda Item 8C)

None.

 

Board Chairperson (Agenda Item 8D)

Mr. Bruening discussed plans for the Board to meet at Claret Hall on 12/21 for a small reception. He mentioned that it is at the same time as the Planning Board meeting regarding the Trotter Road property.

 

Board Speak Out (Agenda Item 9)

None.

 

Adjournment (Agenda Item 10)

At 9:31 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.

November 14, 2023, Board Minutes

River Hill Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes

November 14, 2023

 

Opening (Agenda Item 2):

Mr. Bruening called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. The meeting was held remotely via Zoom. The following members attended: Kevin Bruening, Moe Imran, Mark Combs and Rob Mekelburg. Eric Greenberg (CA Representative), Elinor Tu (Student Member) and Renee DuBois (Village Manager) were present. The following guests attended the meeting: Leslie Barnett (CA Liaison), Dennis Kenez, Kelly Cao, Ron Briggs, Roger Caplan and Jennifer Lynott (Communications & Events Coordinator).

 

Approval of the (Agenda Item 3):

Mr. Bruening requested to amend the agenda to make Item 7D (Recharter Boy Scout Troop #618) the first item under New Business and to make Item 4C the Student Member report and to add Item 4D (Update from Leslie Barnett, CA Liaison to the Village)

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Mr.Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Administrative Items

Announcement of Executive Session Held/to be Held (Agenda Item 4A)

None.

 

October 9, 2023, Minutes Approval (Agenda Item 4B)

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the October 9, 2023, Minutes. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Student Member Report (Agenda Item 4C)

 

Ms. Tu reported on the success of the Haunted Hallow’s Eve event and discussed the plans for the upcoming Snacks with Santa and Snow Much FunFest events on December 9. The Teen Advisory Committee members have committed to either serving on various RHCA committees this year such as the Development Advisory Committee and the Architectural Committee, or they will write a “Teen Talk” article for The Villager.

 

Update from CA Liaison Leslie Barnett (Agenda Item 4D)

 

Ms. Barnett shared several items related to CA programming for residents to consider such as the Afterschool program, CA Art Center events, Walk with a Doc program, Fairway Hills Annual Turkey Shoot, Youth & Teen Center Thanksgiving basket distribution, the Festive Fridays events at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront this December, and a Solar information session on Dec. 5.

 

Resident Speak Out (Agenda Item 5)

None

 

Old Business

CA Budget Priorities Letter (Agenda Item 6A)

Items discussed for consideration are funding a staff position at RHCA to resume the Property Standards Evaluation Program initially begun in 2013, improvements to the Tot Lot System, and the installation of more trash cans along pathways throughout the Village. Ms. DuBois stated that she will continue to work on a draft of the letter and will send it to all RHCA Board members for approval for it to be submitted prior to the next CA Board Meeting on December 14. Mr. Greenberg mentioned that the CA Tot Lot Survey currently open for public input ends on November 26.

 

CA Management Contract Extension (Agenda Item 6B)

Two other Villages (Owen Brown and Hickory Ridge) have not signed the extension agreement due to the issue of the funding formula used by CA to determine each Village’s share of the assessment monies as well as the lack of an adjustment for inflation. Discussion was held about whether to wait to sign the contract extension until after hearing from Jackie Tuma, CA’s Director of Audit and Advisory Services, at the scheduled meeting of the Village Managers on December 13. Ms. DuBois will draft a letter to CA with questions and concerns related to the management contract extension and send it to the RHCA Board of Directors.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to table this item until after the Village Managers’ meeting on December 13. There was no second to the motion, however, all members agreed to table the item.

 

New Business

Recharter Boy Scout Troop #618 (Agenda Item 7D)

Ms. Kelly Cao, parent volunteer, reported on the many ways Boy Scout Troop 618 supports the community such as by serving as Traffic Marshals during the annual Independence Day Parade and participating in Pull & Plant events with RHCA and CA. Additionally, the troop is planning to plant trees at the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA). The troop has 35 regular scouts, and 8 scouts have earned the Eagle rank.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to recharter Boy Scout Troop #618 for 1 year as is customary. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously 4-0.

 

FY23 Audited Financial Statements (Agenda Item 7A)

An audit occurs once every three years. There were no adjustments to be made. Any other changes needed were considered to be immaterial. Once the Board reviews and accepts the financial statements, Ms. DuBois will notify CA.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to accept and approve the financial statements as presented. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Police Liaison Letter (Agenda Item 7B)

The police liaison program was canceled for all Villages without notice. The draft of a letter was shared with all RHCA Board members that requests the reinstatement of the program.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the letter as written to be sent to Chief Der, HCPD. Mr. Combs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

HoCo Funding Letter (Agenda Item 7C)

Funding priorities for Howard County are requested and sent in once each year. RHCA will request sound barriers to block out the noise from the over 50,000 vehicles per day traveling along Route 32. Additional requests are to add more speed enforcement and community policing.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the letter with minor changes as discussed. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

 

Reports

 

Committee/Liaison Reports

Development Advisory Committee (Agenda Item 8Ai)

Mr. Kenez spoke about Clarksville Commons and the proposed Phase 2 for that shopping center. He spoke to a representative from HoCo’s Department of Planning & Zoning (DPZ) and was told that the owners of the property haven’t yet submitted a formal file. They have one year from the date of the public meeting held on 7/6/23 to do so. DPZ agreed to notify Mr. Kenez of any changes.

 

Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda Item 8Aii)

No report.

 

Village Manager (Agenda Item 8B)

Ms. DuBois reported that the association is advertising for Election Committee members to have them in place at the next Board meeting. Mr. Ron Briggs, Ms. April Battle and Mr. Eric Greenberg have already agreed to serve. Mr. Bruening and Mr. Lakhanpal have expiring terms as of April 30, 2023. Ms. DuBois reminded the Board members without expiring terms to be impartial (no signs in their yards, etc.). Additionally, Ms. DuBois stated that ballot questions (if any) will need to be shared by the next meeting date. She also provided an update on technology changes at Claret Hall in order to improve the capability to hold hybrid meetings beginning in January. She also stated that there are 2 pieces of legislation introduced by Terri Hill regarding Columbia Villages and possible changes to the covenants for voting. Ms. DuBois will invite her to come to an upcoming RHCA meeting. Ms. DuBois stated that she plans to begin using surveys monthly and would like the Board to suggest ideas for topics. Also mentioned were the Tree for Veterans lighting in front of Kendall Hardware and the Board of Education meeting where an update on Policy 5200 will occur. Mr. Bruening offered to put together talking points for Mr. Imran to present.

 

Council Representative (Agenda Item 8C)

Mr. Greenberg reviewed Delegate Terri Hill’s bill and discussed the upcoming vote by CA Board Members on the budget and rate cap to occur in February.

 

Board Chairperson (Agenda Item 8D)

None.

 

Board Speak Out (Agenda Item 9)

None.

 

Adjournment (Agenda Item 10)

At 9:44 p.m., Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:44 p.m. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

October 9, 2023, Board Minutes

River Hill Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes

October 9, 2023

 

Opening (Agenda Item 2):

Mr. Bruening called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. The meeting was held remotely via Zoom. The following members attended: Kevin Bruening, Moe Imran, Balbir Lakhanpal, and Rob Mekelburg. Eric Greenberg (CA Representative) and Renee DuBois (Village Manager) were present. The following guests attended the meeting: Steve Sass, Hansen Zhang, and Jennifer Lynott (Communications & Events Coordinator).

 

Approval of the (Agenda Item 3):

Mr. Bruening requested to amend the agenda to add an Item 4D: Approval of Testimony for the September 20 County Council Public Hearing.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Administrative Items

Announcement of Executive Session Held/to be Held (Agenda Item 4A)

None.

 

August 22, 2023, Minutes Approval (Agenda Item 4B)

 

Mr. Mekelburg made a motion to approve the August 22, 2023, Minutes. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 4-0

 

Appointment of Balbir Lakhanpal to Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda Item 4C)

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to appoint Mr. Lakhanpal to head the Traffic & Safety Committee. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 3-0-1

 

Approval of Testimony Presented at the September 20, 2023, County Council Meeting (Agenda Item 4D)

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve the testimony as presented. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously 4-0.

 

Resident Speak Out (Agenda Item 5)

Mr. Hansen Zhang spoke on behalf of the Clarksville Middle School Academic Bowl Team and requested financial support from River Hill Community Association to help offset tournament fees, travel, and other expenses that are incurred as part of the group’s participation and competition in various contests/tournaments.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to approve a $100 donation to the Clarksville Middle School Academic Bowl Team. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. The motion passes 4-0.

 

Mr. Steve Sass spoke on behalf of the Community Foundation of Howard County to update the Board on the organization and previous history of the partnership that existed between that organization and Columbia Association (CA) prior to COVID. Since 2020, the Community Foundation has not received any funding from CA and requests the assistance of each Village’s Board of Directors to request that CA reinstate the partnership now that their budget is healthier. The Community Foundation of Howard County would use the funds to award scholarships, grants, etc.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to have Ms. DuBois draft a letter to be approved by the Board at their next meeting which states the Board’s support for the Community Foundation of Howard County to receive funds from CA. Mr. Imran seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.

 

Old Business

HoCo By Design (Agenda Item 6A)

Ms. DuBois explained that there were 2 drafts of comments for the Board to provide to the County Council regarding HoCo By Design which should be consolidated into one letter. Ms. DuBois provided a sample of the body of the letter focusing on Village Centers, New Town Zoning, and APFO.

 

Mr. Bruening made a motion to authorize the Village Manager to consolidate the information and draft a letter to send to the County Council regarding HoCo By Design prior to their meeting to vote on the proposed General Plan (HoCo By Design) on October 11. Mr. Mekelburg seconded the motion. 4-0

 

New Business

Property Standards Evaluation Request (Agenda Item 7A)

The Chair of the Architectural Committee has requested that River Hill Community Association resume regular site visits of properties rather than just operating on a complaint-driven basis. CA had previously funded the Property Standards Evaluation Program, but it is no longer being funded. Discussion of needed training, process, protocol and safeguards occurred. Mr. Greenberg explained that it would be important for CA to be on board with this and that now is the appropriate time to make the request for funding to be put into CA’s budget. This item will be a rolling conversation and also added to the November agenda for the RHCA Board of Directors meeting.

 

Extension of CA Management Agreement (Agenda Item 7B)

CA has requested a one-year extension of the current Management Contract which ends on 4/30/24. The current CEO & President Dennis Mattey would like his successor to negotiate the terms of the next management contract. Mr. Greenberg stated that the Village needs to determine a set of “Asks” of CA. It was agreed that listing priorities will be put on the November agenda for the RHCA Board of Directors meeting.

 

Additionally, Ms. DuBois will send a copy of the current management contract to the Board of Directors.

 

Reports

Committee/Liaison Reports

Development Advisory Committee (Agenda Item 8Ai)

The Development Advisory Committee passed a plan to draft a letter on HoCo By Design, and Mr. Bruening testified. The Clarksville Commons Phase 2 project will be put on the agenda for the next meeting of the Development Advisory Committee.

 

Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda Item 8Aii)

No report.

 

Village Manager (Agenda Item 8B)

Ms. DuBois reported that things are moving along with the audit and no adjustments are required.

 

Council Representative (Agenda Item 8C)

Mr. Greenberg requested that the Board submit their budget priorities to CA soon and that there has been no change to the Resident Speak Out portion of their meetings.

 

Board Chairperson (Agenda Item 8D)

None.

Board Speak Out (Agenda Item 9)

Mr. Lakhanpal inquired about whether the Board will be moving back to holding meetings on Tuesdays rather than Mondays and also whether the meetings will be in person. Discussion occurred about holding an interim meeting to discuss CA budget priorities, Clarksville Commons, and pre-filed legislation at the state level that could impact River Hill.

 

Adjournment (Agenda Item 6)

At 9:05 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.