River Hill Board of Directors
March 15, 2021
Opening (Agenda 2):
Adam White, Vice Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. The meeting was held virtually via conference call using Zoom. The following members were in attendance: Harjeet Jandu, Matt Levine, Jian Ni, and Tony Miceli. Alex Oh, Student Member, Renee DuBois, Council Representative, and Susan Smith, Village Manager, were present. Martin Oltmanns, Columbia Association Aquatics Director, was also present. Residents in attendance were Trinity Cheng (Pure Sky Place), Michael Cornell (Morning Time Lane), and Micaela Crooks (Sunlit Water Way), Janet Munro (Morning Time Lane), and Dipper Wettstein (Gentle Call). Shyam Pillai, Student Member arrived at 7:20 p.m. Eric Greenberg (Empty Song Road) arrived at 8:17 p.m.
Approval of the Agenda (Agenda 3):
Mr. Levine made a motion to approve the agenda with the addition of 9C. to develop a response to the Asian hate bias expressed at a recent Howard County Racial Equity Task Force Meeting on March 4, 2021. The motion was seconded by passed (4-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor (1).
Announcement of Executive Session Meetings Held/To Be Held (Agenda 4A):
Mr. Levine made a motion to hold an Executive Session immediately following the Board Meeting for the purpose of legal matters and potential litigation. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor.
February 1, 2021 Minutes (Agenda 4B):
Mr. White made a motion to approve the February 1, 2021 Minutes. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-1). Mr. Jandu abstained. Student Advisory Vote – in favor (1).
March 1, 2021 (Agenda 4C):
Ms. DuBois made a motion to approve the March 1, 2021 Minutes. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor (1).
Martin Oltmanns, Columbia Association, Aquatics Director (Agenda 5):
Mr. Oltmanns announced that the Columbia Association (CA) will be opening 15 outdoor pools for the summer swim season. Both River Hill swim teams will practice at the River Hill and Hobbit’s Glen Pools and will rotate using the pools for swim meets. Swim meets will be held virtually to keep the team separate. The pools will be accessible to residents who pre-register for 90 minutes swim blocks. Swim registration will open 10 days in advance and can be done online or by calling the CA Aquatics Office. The River Hill pool can accommodate 125 people/block. CA staff will clean all touchpoints between each block. Visitors must bring own chairs and towels. The policies and procedures are expected to change as COVID-19 requirements change. Mr. Oltmanns noted the biggest challenge this year has been hiring enough lifeguards. Mr. Levine inquired about hiring international guards and per Mr. Oltmanns, CA has never hired guards from out of the country and typically draws locally. Mr. Levine inquired about the condition of the pools given that they were not used in 2020. Mr. Oltmanns explained the pools are still being maintained and that covers are being purchased.
Resident Speak Out (Agenda 6):
Mr. Wettstein (Gentle Call) noted that since 2018 none of CA’s Aquatics Committee’s meeting agendas and minutes have been posted online and asked that they be posted. Mr. Wettstein also suggested that CA reach out to the County and the State to obtain funding to open the pools that are scheduled to remain closed for summer 2021.
Mr. Wettstein (Gentle Call) expressed concern regarding village elections and staff safety.
Election Committee – Chairperson Interviews (Agenda 7):
The Board interviewed Michael Cornell for the position of Election Committee Chairperson.
Election Committee (Agenda 8A):
Mr. Levine made a motion to appoint Mr. Cornell as the Election Committee Chairperson. Mr. Jandu seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
Ballot Questions (Agenda 8B):
Ms. Smith reviewed the materials provided regarding ballot questions pertaining to online voting. Ms. Smith recommended that question be limited to a yes/no response to whether the member supports online/electronic voting. Mr. Levine made a motion to include the recommended question on the ballot. Ms. DuBois seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
FY21 3rd Quarter Financials & Variance Analysis (Agenda 9A):
Ms. Smith reviewed the 3rd quarter financials and variance analysis and responded to questions from the Board. Mr. Levine made a motion to approve the FY21 3rd Quarter Financials and Variance Analysis. Mr. Ni seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (5-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
FY22 Operating Budget (Agenda 8C):
Ms. Smith reviewed the draft budget and the assumptions. Mr. Levine made a motion authorizing Ms. Smith to publish the draft budget as presented. Ms. DuBois seconded the motion. Discussion.
The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
Education Committee (Agenda 9B):
Mr. Levine made a motion to postpone the discussion of forming an Education Committee to the next meeting. Ms. DuBois seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
Feedback to Howard County’s Racial Equity Task Force (Agenda 9C):
Mr. Levine made a motion to send the letter circulated by email on behalf of the Board condemning the hate bias exhibited towards Asians during the March 4, 2021 Task Force meeting and requesting the removal of Mr. Harris. The letter should be sent to County Council Member Opel Jones, the members of the Racial Equity Task Force, and copies to the County Council, Ms. DuBois seconded the motion. Discussion. The motion passed (3-1-1). Mr. Miceli was opposed. Mr. Jandu abstained. Student Advisory Votes – in favor (2).
Development Advisory Committee (10Ai)
Mr. Levine noted the Cedar Creek models have their lights on and appear ready. He also reported that the Five Guys restaurant had opened in the River Hill Square center.
Teen Advisory Committee (Agenda 10Aii):
Mr. Oh and Mr. Pillai reported that the virtual Bingo event had gone well, approximately 25 families participated with a total of about 70 participants. $300 was raised in donations for Columbia Community Care. The TAC is scheduled to meet to do a re-cap of the event.
Traffic & Safety Committee (Agenda 10Aiii):
Mr. Miceli reported that he had been contacted by Steve Breeden, Security Development, the developer of the River Hill Square retail center. Mr. Breeden is interested in pursuing a pathway connection from the rear to the existing CA pathway. It does not appear that ADA compliant way access can be provided from the front of the site.
Watershed Committee (Agenda 10Aiv):
Mr. White reported the Watershed Committee will meet next on March 18 at 6 p.m. and that he has signed up for the Weed Warrior training program.
Village Manager (Agenda 10B):
Ms. Smith reported that the Master Gardener program had 73 people signed up, 53 attended, and of the number in attendance 14 were people who had not attended previous sessions. Ms. Smith reported on a presentation by Howard County’s Bee City program and recommended that the Watershed, Resident Architectural, and Architectural Committees meet with them to learn more about the program. Ms. Smith informed the Board that Howard County had begun its budget process and the County Executive will present his proposed operating and capital budgets in April. The County Council will then hold a series of work sessions and hearings with approval scheduled in June. It was the consensus of the Board to submit written input.
Columbia Council Representative (Agenda 10C):
Ms. DuBois reported CA’s FY22 budget was approved, and 15 outdoor pools will be open during the 2021 swim season. She noted that at the CA Board’s next meeting they will be reviewing CA’s 3rd quarter financials to determine if CA expects to have any excess cash at the end of FY2021. Ms. DuBois noted that it is important to her that if there is excess cash, that some funding be provided to the village associations to enable them to ramp up a return to more normal post-COVID operations while their ability to generate revenue in the early part of FY22 is constrained.
Board Chairperson (Agenda 10D):
Board Speak Out (Agenda 11):
Adjournment (Agenda 12):
At 9:30 p.m., Mr. Levine made a motion to adjourn the meeting and to move into Executive Session for the purposes of legal matters and potential litigation. Mr. Levine seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Student Advisory Vote – in favor (2-0-0).
Submitted: Susan M. Smith, Village Manager
Minutes Approved: April 26, 2021 (as amended)