June 22, 2020 Minutes

River Hill Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes

June 22, 2020


Opening (Agenda 1):

Tony Miceli, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. The meeting was held virtually via conference call using Zoom and was being recorded. The following members were in attendance: Matthew Levine, Jian Ni, John Wan, and Adam White. Jeff Du, Student Member, and Susan Smith, Village Manager, were present. The following members of the community were in attendance during the meeting Trinity Cheng, a member of the TAC and a resident, Aaron Cheskis (Old Romance Row), Jennifer Diamond (Rising Waves Way), Jack Guarneri, Michelle McGeough (River Run), Robyn Miller (Grateful Heart Gate), Gary Sauers (Morning Light Trail), and Craig Zaller (Morning Light Trail). Mr. Ni left the meeting at 8:58 p.m. Renee DuBois, Columbia Council Representative, joined the meeting at approximately 9 p.m. Mr. Du and the meeting attendees left the meeting at 9:27 p.m.


Approval of the Agenda (Agenda 3):

Mr. Levine made a motion to approve the agenda with removal of items 4B and 8C. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed. (5-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor.


Administrative Items (Agenda 4):

Mr. White made a motion to approve the June 1, 2020 Minutes as presented. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor.


Resident Speak Out (Agenda 5):



Development Advisory Committee (Agenda 6Ai):

Mr. Levine reported that the Cedar Creek developer has begun to remove trees around the Quiet Night Ride traffic circle and expressed concern regarding the Pointers Run Sign. He also noted he has not heard from anyone regarding the Robinson Overlook project. Ms. Smith noted that it had been determined the neighborhood sign was in the county right-of-way and will need to be relocated.


Teen Advisory Committee (Agenda 6Aii):

Mr. Du reported that the TAC and Student Member Committee applications are due June 30, 2020. He will attend Duke University in the fall. The Board congratulated him on his accomplishments and thanked him for his service to the community.


Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda 6Aiii):

Mr. Miceli reported that Ms. Smith will set up a meeting with the appropriate parties to discuss the MD 108/Great Star Drive intersection. He noted that the intersections with Linden Linthicum Lane and AutoPark Drive will also be discussed.


Watershed Committee (Agenda 6Aiv):

Mr. White had no updates from the committee. He noted the silt fences installed for the Cedar Creek development and expressed concern about the impact of the development on the Middle Patuxent River. He also expressed concern about the impact of Erickson’s plans for underground parking on the environment.


Manager’s Report (Agenda 6B):

Ms. Smith reminded the Board that the Zoning Board hearing for the Erickson Living project was extended and will be held virtually on July 15. The association’s written testimony was submitted in advance of the hearing on June 17.


Ms. Smith reviewed the plans for celebrating Independence Day. Mr. Levine and Mr. Wan will participate in the association’s car parade on July 4. She informed the Board that Leslie McDermott, Events Coordinator, is planning two movie nights to be held at the River Hill Meeting Room parking lot. Permission from CA is needed. Mr. Levine noted that he had spoken with several food truck operators and they are willing to not require a minimum purchase amount.


Board Chairperson Report (Agenda 6D):

Mr. Miceli gave an overview of the June 17th Zoning Board meeting about the Erickson Living project. He discussed concerns raised by the Howard County Citizens Association and questions that arose regarding the DPZ Technical Staff Report. Concerns were raised regarding Erickson’s agreement with the Howard County Housing Commission. Concerns were also raised about the developers’ campaign contributions to members elected to the County Council which also serves as the Zoning Board.


Mr. Miceli noted that there are rumors circulating that the River Hill Community Association is altering its relationship with the Columbia Association (CA) and “buying the pool.” He acknowledged that there are members of the Board who question whether CA is providing what is best for the community. Mr. Miceli suggested that, if this is something the association wants to pursue, a committee should be formed to examine the possibility of changing the relationship. He reminded the Board that, as with other committees e.g., Master Plan Committee, Traffic & Safety Committee, a committee charter needs to be developed first. He recommended that, at a minimum, two (2) Board Members should develop a draft charter for review by the Board. Michelle McGeough, a resident in attendance at the meeting, questioned the need for changing the relationship. She noted that she is pleased with the services that her family gets from CA and is troubled by the discussion. She volunteered to participate on the committee and stressed the need for the Board to share its concerns with residents.


FY20 4th Quarter Financials & Variance Analysis (Agenda 7A):

Ms. Smith gave an overview of the association’s 4th quarter financial statements. Mr. Miceli made a motion to approve the 4th Quarter Financial Statements and Variance Analysis. Mr. Wan seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).



Management Contract Changes (Agenda 8A):

Mr. Miceli informed the Board that he attended a virtual meeting of the Board Chairs on June 2 and a letter has been sent requesting a meeting with CA to discuss the Management Contract. Ms. Smith recommended the Board submit written input to CA.


Mr. Levine made a motion to submit the following input to CA:

  • The village associations should be permitted to retain excess cash reserves for all years remaining in the Management Contract, not just FY20.
  • Agreeing to the $1,000 increase in village association facility repairs & maintenance expenses for FY21 only, and that this increase should exclude any COVID-related expenses.
  • In response to COVID-19 and CA’s responsibilities per the Management contract for the HVAC systems, request the systems at Claret Hall and the Meeting Room be evaluated and upgraded to include a requirements analysis, design and purchasing of equipment, and installation.

Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor.


FY21 Budget (Agenda 8B):

Ms. Smith shared a revised FY21 Budget to address the additional $5,345 reduction in the FY21 annual charge share approved by the CA Board on June 4, 2020. Mr. Levine made a motion to approve the revised budget as presented. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor.


Council Representative Report (Agenda 6C):

Ms. DuBois noted she is disappointed with CA’s continued expenditures and noted that for FY21 the Sports & Fitness Division is planning a $10M loss. Mr. White inquired about the future of Merriweather Post Pavilion. She encouraged everyone to vote in the village elections on June 27.


Executive Session (Agenda 9):

At 9:27 p.m. Mr. Miceli made a motion to move into Executive Session for discussion of legal matters and consultation with legal counsel. Mr. Wan seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0).


At 9:36 p.m. Mr. Levine made a motion to end the Executive Session. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0).


Board Speak Out (Agenda 10):

Mr. Levine inquired about the status of Ms. Robyn Miller’s application to remove dead trees. The question will be referred to the Covenant Advisor. Mr. Wan asked what to do about a tree that had fallen in his backyard. Ms. Smith advised that he should contact the Covenant Advisor via email.


Adjournment (Agenda 11):

Mr. Levine made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:39 p.m. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0).


Submitted: Susan M. Smith, Village Manager


Minutes Approved:  July 13, 2020

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