River Hill Board of Directors
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
Announcement of Executive Session Held/to be Held (Agenda Item 4A)
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.
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
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.
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)
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)
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.