Archive for the ‘Board Meeting’ Category

Montgomery Square Citizens Association Board Meeting:  Minutes from July 25, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm on July 25, 2019 at the home of President and CEO, Bob Gross, and was attended by Steve Schuck (Vice President), David Grossman (Treasurer), Jane Acri (Secretary), and new Social Chair, Patrice Ju. 

Much of the meeting was spent informing Patrice about past social events, block parties, ice cream socials, and the many activities of the MSCA, and learning about some of her professional, personal, and civic activities.  One highlight is that she moderates a Facebook group of 7500 members who are local mothers in the Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville area, and she has many contacts, including a magazine editor (Potomac Living), who may be willing to feature a story on our successful tree planting campaign.  Her contacts, expertise, activities, and enthusiasm will clearly be assets to the association.

The issue of an increase in dues was discussed.  Reading from Article II of the MSCA Constitution, Bob said that any change in dues must be fixed on or before October 1 and approved by six members of the board.  There followed a vote of the five members present and one in absentia (Michael Leshner) to raise the dues from $50/household to $75/household.  This has also been discussed at the annual meeting on May 20, and at that time, the question was put to a vote with 25 members in favor of raising dues and two opposed.

The National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 6 was discussed, but it was concluded that there is not enough time to organize anything. 

The Block Party is usually held in October, and the two dates discussed that would avoid both religious and secular holidays were October 6 and October 27.  Patrice agreed to meet with Vasilia Contos who has extensive experience in planning and organizing the MSCA block parties to select a date and begin planning.  Patrice had several creative ideas on how to increase participation through promoting the block party and including some additional features, including the establishment of a MSCA Facebook group.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.  Follow up action items were:

1. Patrice will connect with Vasilia to begin planning the October block party

2. Patrice will create and moderate a public Facebook group for MSCA

3. Patrice will contact Potomac Living magazine to assess their interest publishing a piece about the tree planting program that MSCA participates in

4.  Dues invoices to be prepared and sent in December will be for $75.00/household

5.  MSCA volunteers will publish more information about the expenses that the dues cover

Minutes from the May 20, 2019

MSCA ANNUAL MEETING with Guest Speakers from the Maryland Department of Transportation I-495 & I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program & Managed Lane Project.

Ritchie Park Elementary School All Purpose Room 7:00pm-9:00pm

At 7:00, President Bob Gross began the MSCA meeting by introducing the guest speakers:  P3 Project Director Lisa Choplin, Deputy Director Jeff Folden, and Principal/Senior Environmental Specialist Caryn Brookman.

The presentations included discussion of the statistics on congestion and the process by which the plans have been made to relieve congestion and transportation barriers in part by altering traffic patterns on 495 and 270.  There are currently seven roadway design alternatives under consideration, which include a mix of high-occupancy toll lanes (HOT), express toll lanes (ETL), and reversible lanes.  The presenters assured the audience that the designs are being made with the goal of minimizing the footprint and associated impacts.  This could be accomplished in part by eliminating the “local” lanes and by removing the jersey wall barriers currently in place between the main lanes and the local lanes.  The project will be a public-private partnership with a private developer that will be responsible for the construction and management of toll lanes, although the State of Maryland will maintain control of the Maryland portion of the project.  In December 2019, the preferred alternative will be decided and presented to the public and only then the project will go out for bids.

Our speakers were truly outstanding, and they illustrated their presentations on a large screen using graphs, charts, photos, and maps.  They also provided handouts showing each design alternative under consideration.  There was a question and answer session and everyone in the room had an opportunity to ask questions, ask follow-up questions, and provide their thoughts, concerns, and any other input.  All came away from the meeting feeling that they were heard and well informed.  Given the intimate nature of the all-purpose-room, a microphone was not necessary (although available), and everyone got to meet to the speakers in person and view their materials up close.  Because the project is huge and will affect us all in one way or the other, all agreed that we should invite back the speakers to our next annual meeting in May 2020 for another update on the project’s progress.

At 8:20, after thanking Ms. Choplin, Mr. Folden and Ms. Brookman for their insightful and informative presentations, President Bob Gross provided an update on the utility projects in the neighborhood and began the regular business portion of the meeting.

From left to right:  Ms. Choplin, Mr. Folden, and Ms. Brookman

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Project:  Main water line replacement is ongoing on the north side of Montgomery Square (i.e., north of Montrose Road), with periodic updates posted on the MSCA website.  On the south side of Montgomery Square (i.e., south of Montrose Road), WSSC is planning to dig up the roads for new water lines on stretches of Devilwood, Whites Ford, and Jubal Early including laying a line under Montrose Road, which will connect the north side to the south side. 

A color-coded map of what WSSC calls the “Devilwood Drive Watermain Replacement Project” can be found on this MSCA website

The red lines on the map show where new waterlines will be installed on the south side; the purple lines show where they are now being installed on the north side; and the blue lines show where WSSC already installed new lines on the south side (this was done several years ago and these lines will not need replacement).   

When the north side waterline project is completed, those streets will be repaved, but the contractor will not repave the streets that were not disturbed.  MSCA has made contact with the county and is advocating for the complete repaving on the non-disturbed streets, with the hope that the entire north side will be repaved.  The north side project is being done by sections, but none of the repaving will occur until the entire project is complete.  WSSC will begin digging up the south side for the same project (see the red lines on the project map noted above) in about two years.  The delay is necessary because the roads were repaved by Washington Gas at the end of its recent gas line installation work, and the County forbids streets to be dug up for a new project for at least two years after they have been repaved as a result of a previous project.  It’s a shame the two companies could not have better coordinated their work.

WGL Project:  South side gas lines and meters were replaced on all the streets; whereas, on the north side, gas lines and meters were replaced only on case-by-case basis.  Repaving on the south side was done after the gas company completed their work and a beautiful job was done.  Unfortunately, the smell of gas was reported in some areas despite the installation of new lines.  This resulted in some redigging and repaving but all seems good as of this date.  

Streets:  It is a goal for MSCA to help keep the neighborhood as beautiful as possible, including landscaping of our main entranceways, tree planting, street repaving, and repair of potholes unrelated to the utility projects.  Please call 311 to report potholes – the county will usually repair them within a few days.  Also, please call 311 to report dead or unhealthy trees located on the County’s right-of-way.  The spray paint used on the streets by the utility companies is unsightly and annoying, but unfortunately, we must wait for it to wear off, which can take a year or more.

Website:  The MSCA board is looking for someone to take on the role of webmaster –  Steve Schuck is doing a great job maintaining and updating our website but would appreciate some help.  Please contact Steve if you are interested. 

Membership Chair:  A membership chair is needed.  Please contact Bob Gross if interested.

Financial report:  Each year, we collect about $50 in dues from about 220 houses, giving us about $11,000/year.  Expenses include landscaping of the entrances, including planting flowers, mulching, pruning, watering, weeding, mowing, and raking leaves; block parties and other social activities; liability insurance; the website; community yard sale; minor wall repairs, and the Tetragon newsletter.  In 2018, these expenses consumed almost the entire amount collected in dues and left only $400 in reserve to pay for any additional activities or unexpected costs. 

Dues have not been raised for over 10 years, yet the costs of landscaping and other services continue to rise.  Dues notices are sent in the mail, and non-responders get a second mailing, because more participation would help.  For the most part, the dues payers are the same ones, year after year.  The idea that the block captains might reach out to the non-responders in the future was briefly discussed. 

The issue of a dues increase to $75 or even $100 a household was raised.  It was mentioned that, because we do not have an HOA, our neighborhood organization is a bargain.  Board members spend a lot of hours to make our association a success, and they are all volunteers.  To get a sense of the community, Bob asked the meeting participants to vote on raising the dues to $75, and the group overwhelmingly voted in favor of such an increase, with 25 voting in favor and only 2 opposed.

Tree planting:  This program, coordinated by the board, has been very successful, with over 200 trees planted so far.  Early in the spring, many of the new trees were already flowering.  This is a long-term investment in the beauty of the neighborhood and is free of charge to residents.  Anyone interested in having trees planted in the front yard can make a request by filling out a form.  Bob was pleased to report that approximately 20 households have submitted a form to MSCA for the upcoming fall plantings.  See our website at for more information.

Social Calendar:  MSCA has a new social chairperson, Patrice Ju.  There will be a block party in the fall, as usual.  Patrice is looking forward to adding other social events and seeks your ideas.  Her email address can be found on our website.  In the 1960s, when the neighborhood was new, there were many social events as documented in a large box of materials provided to Bob Gross by former president, Lisa Hall.  Please see our Secretary, Jane Acri, if you are interested in seeing the materials.

Yard Sale:  June 1-2 is the community yard sale in conjunction with Regency Estates and Potomac Woods.  The event will be advertised in the Washington Post, Craig’s List, and Next Door.  

Election of officers:  The current officers agreed to remain on the Governing Board for another term of one year or until successors are elected.  A vote was taken and it was unanimously decided that they should remain.  Many, including Bob Gross (president). Steve Schuck (vice president), and David Grossman (treasurer) have been serving the community for many years (Bob, for over 20 years, and Steve and David for almost that amount).  We encourage all residents to participate in Board meetings and other events so a succession plan can be put in place.  Rudy Oswald (a long-time resident), on behalf of the meeting’s participants, thanked Bob, Steve and the rest of the board for their exemplary dedication and service. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:45.

Montgomery Square Citizens Association

Board Meeting, 10/30/18

Attended by:  Bob Gross, President, Steve Schuck, Vice President, Jane Acri, Secretary

The meeting as advertised on the MSCA website and in e-announcements was called to order by Bob Gross at 8:00 pm at Jane’s house.  The following topics were discussed.

Real estate development projects:  There are four nearby development projects with the potential to affect the Montgomery Square community.  The first is the development of Cabin John Center.  Bob Gross provided comments on behalf of the community, with a main concern regarding increased traffic.  Residents who attended a meeting earlier in the year and signed up have received a copy of the plans, which include elimination of the gas station, many parking spaces, and the addition of new buildings and townhomes.  Regardless of the impact on the community and our use of the Cabin John Center, it appears that the Montgomery County planning commission intends to move forward.  The second project, Park Potomac, plans to add more buildings in the near future, and the third, where Lifetime Fitness center is located, will eliminate the gym in favor of additional retail and housing.  Lifetime will instead become part of another development project planned for Montgomery Mall that also includes additional retail and housing.

Speeding on Postoak:   MSCA has received several complaints from residents regarding drivers on Postoak exceeding the speed limit of 25 mph.  This occurs in both directions and creates a hazard for pedestrians.  We are looking into options to reduce this hazard such as speed humps and other “traffic calming” devices.

Block Party:  The party was a huge success despite the unusually windy weather.  About 175 to 200 residents attended the event, which included a DJ, games, a sports station, pizza, beer, soda and other drinks.  Options for next year include another block party on the south side and an ice cream social or some other event on the north side.  If someone steps up to become MSCA’s social chair, then even more activities would be possible. 

Yard Sale:  This was intended to be a large, multi-neighborhood event including Montgomery Square, Potomac Woods, and Regency, but was unfortunately rained out.  The three groups split the cost of an advertisement in the Washington Post and created maps to show the location of sales.  We will try again next year.

Trees:  Per our requests, made jointly with individual homeowners, the County has planted over 200 new trees in Montgomery Square.  The form for requesting trees for the coming year will be available in December.  It is our hope that additional homeowners will join in and fill the gaps that remain on our streets. 

Repaving:  Many residents on the south side had expressed dismay that the newly paved streets have been damaged by more digging.  MSCA sent numerous photos and emails to Washington Gas, which has agreed to repave the nine areas that were excavated after the most recent repaving. 

Gaslights:  The gaslights at the entrance to the community at Inspection House and Seven Locks are again illuminated, but Washington Gas has installed meters and will be billing us.  It seems that we can afford the additional expense, thanks to our dues paying members, but will reevaluate it on a yearly basis. 

Water Project:  WSSC is currently replacing watermains on the north side of the community.  In three years, WSSC plans to replace several lines on the south side.  We will be posting a map of the affected areas on the MSCA website and eventually set up a meeting with WSSC to answer questions from affected residents.

Pedestrian Cut Throughs:  A resident wanted to know if any of the subdivision plats showed paths between some of the houses located on cul-de-sacs.  We obtained the plats for our area and did not see anything in them that would indicate easements of this nature.  It is our understanding that pedestrian may not cut through other people’s yards without the permission of the homeowners. 

Succession Planning:  Bob Gross, who was previously recognized for his twenty years of leading the MSCA Board, pointed out that David Grossman has served on the Board for more than 15 hears and Steve Schuck for more than 10 years.  It is very difficult to interest people in serving on the board.   A possible solution is to dissolve Montgomery Square and instead merge with Potomac Woods on the north side, and Regency on the south side.  These are both much larger organizations, and might offer advantages, but we would lose our voice as a civic neighborhood organization.  When issues arise, like the proposal to eliminate the ride-on bus service, being able to represent the views of an organization offers more influence than speaking as individuals.  In additional, it is unlikely that Regency Estates or Potomac Woods would be as responsive to our individual needs or be interested in paying for a professional landscape company to maintain and plant seasonal flowers at our main entranceways, as MSCA has been doing for the past 18 years.  The preference is to work on a succession plan rather than dissolve MSCA or attempt to merge it with other associations.  With more community participation, MSCA should be able to continue well into the future and also thrive while doing it. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Acri, Secretary


MSCA Annual Membership Meeting, May 14, 2018, Beverly Farms Elementary School

The annual membership meeting was held as announced on the website and by email and was called to order at 7:30 PM by Bob Gross, President and CEO of MSCA, Inc. 

There were five individuals in attendance, the four officers of the Governing Board (Bob Gross, President; Steve Schuck, Vice President; David Grossman, Treasurer; Jane Acri, Secretary), and one neighbor.  There were severe thunderstorms and heavy rain occurring throughout the evening, which may have accounted for the unusually low turnout.

District 15 Legislative Update:  Brian Feldman, our State Senator from Maryland Legislative District 15 and neighbor on Little Creek Drive provided a legislative update.  Brian is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, chairing its Health Subcommittee and, most recently, was appointed as the Senate Chair of the newly formed Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission.  This commission will address issues related to the Affordable Care Act, healthcare policy in general, opioid addiction, medical marijuana, and prescription drug prices.  He discussed several legislative successes, including a bill to terminate the parental rights of rapists, and most importantly, a bill to insure future Metro funding of 500M per year in capital improvements, with $167M from Maryland, $178M from DC, and $154M from Virginia.  This bill was supported by the three jurisdictions, and was signed by Governor Hogan at Strathmore, near the proposed site of a new Amazon Headquarters on April 25, 2018.  Brian noted the support and accomplishments of the District 15 delegates, Kathleen Dumais, David Fraser-Hildago, and Aruna Miller and described some of the bills they have proposed.  Senator Feldman also discussed many bills that did not pass, and ended with stressing the critical importance of the upcoming elections where county residents will be voting for a new county executive, new county council members, as well as state senators and delegates, half of whom are up for election.  He is anticipating that half of the state Senate is likely to turn over because all the four-year terms expire at the same time.   Brian reiterated the importance of local and state governments which continues to introduce and consider hundreds of bills despite Congressional gridlock.  Bob Gross urged Brian to promote extending Montrose Parkway to the Intercounty Connector and the construction of a Marc Train Station near the White Flint Metro.  (A Montgomery College Metro Station should also be considered.)

Treasurer’s Report:  David Grossman, the MSCA Treasurer, reported that the amount of money in the association’s bank account (over $11,000) is on par with last year, following dues collection from 223 of the over 400 households in Montgomery Square.  Planned expenses are also consistent with last year, despite changing landscaper companies (now Allentuck), and include billing, postage, website, directories, insurance, and the block party.  We may need to hire painters for our community entrance signage.  It would be appreciated if those families who have not yet paid their 2018 dues would go ahead and do so.  A dues form can be found on line at

Street Repaving:  Re-paving of community streets will occur after the work on the gas (south side) and water (north side) lines.  For the south side of Montgomery Square, it is likely that this will occur in the summer.  Bob Gross has discussed the problems with cracks forming in the Streets on the south side almost immediately after the previous re-paving, which took place several years ago, and has suggested to the County that it require the contractor to use a deeper bed and higher quality mix of materials.

Elections:  The current officers agreed to remain on the Governing Board for another term of one year or until successors are elected.  Steve Schuck is currently doing double duty as vice president and webmaster.

Yard Sale:  The annual community yard sale will be held on June 2 and 3 and will include Regency Estates and Potomac Woods as well as Montgomery Square.  It will be advertised in the Washington Post, Nextdoor Regency, and elsewhere, and maps of participating houses will be posted on each association’s website.  Signs will be placed throughout the neighborhood.

Trees:  About 15 households signed up with MSCA for free flowering trees to be planted by the Country in the Fall.  This will bring the total number of new trees in Montgomery Square to well over 200. 

Community Service Award:  In commemoration of Bob Gross and his 20 years of service as president of MSCA, the Board presented Bob with a plaque to express the appreciation of the community for his sustained and exemplary efforts on behalf of the association.  Bob is the longest serving president and began at a time when it was extremely difficult to find volunteers willing to be involved.  He has worked tirelessly (despite his full-time job) to improve the community through beautification, maintenance, and improvements, and to speak for the association in public meetings regarding issues of concern like education, transportation, and proposed development.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Minutes of the MSCA Annual Membership Meeting
May 23, 2017 7:30-8:30PM, Beverly Farms Elementary School

The meeting was called to order by Bob Gross, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSCA, Inc. Notices of the meeting were posted on the MSCA website, in The Tetragon, and in e-announcements.

The last issue of the newsletter, The Tetragon, was dedicated to former president and secretary of the MSCA, Tom Hall, who recently passed away. The tribute to Tom written by Bob Gross was very well received and appreciated. Bob received several positive comments from Montgomery Square residents.

Street Names
Some street names in the Montgomery Square community are named after confederate generals. Should Montgomery Square ask the County to change the street names of Jubal Early Court and Jeb Stuart Road, given trends in other parts of our region and the potential of such names to be misinterpreted as honoring those who defended slavery? There were no opinions expressed, but the board would be open to supporting name changes if it becomes an issue.

The treasurer, David Grossman reported in absentia through Bob Gross that we have about $10,000.00 in the treasury, consistent with our finances in previous years. One of our principal expenses is the landscaping contract, which includes mowing, weeding, pruning, summer and fall flower-bed plantings, and leaf removal. Additional landscaping costs include the use of a water truck when needed in the hotter months. A little more than half of the households in Montgomery Square have made a voluntary dues payment of $50.00 for 2017. If there were more participation, the Board could consider additional improvements to the neighborhood. The Board is very grateful to those families that have supported the community association by paying dues and participating in board meetings, social events, county hearings on issues affecting our community, and other functions.

Tree Planting
MSCA’s free tree-planting initiative is going well. Since its inception a few years ago, the County Arborist has planted approximately 185 flowering trees in Montgomery Square with more plantings in the works for the fall of this year. The tree die-off and replacement in another neighborhood may reduce the number of trees available to us this year. It was mentioned that the arborists are very careful to map out the location of pipes before planting so concern over pipes is not a reason to forego getting a tree. The trees are looking great and those homeowners who have yet to fill out the tree request form found on the MSCA Website at are highly encouraged to do so to fill in the gaps along their streets.
Gas Line and Water Line Projects
The gas line and meter replacement project of Washington Gas on the south side of Montgomery Square has not resumed following the acquisition of Washington Gas by Canadian firm, AltaGas in January 2017. We do not know when and if the project will be completed. Likewise, the water meter replacement project of WSSC on the north side of Montgomery Square has not yet begun. Some of the streets on the south side are unsightly from the “temporary” repairs that were done when the gas project was put on hold. County Permitting Inspector Brian Earp was in the neighborhood inspecting a driveway, and discussed with Bob Gross the repair of streets following the gas and water improvement projects. Mr. Earp indicated that on the south side, the location of the work in the middle of the street will necessitate complete repaving of the street when the gas project is over. Mr. Earp also mentioned how hard is for the County to coordinate the work of the water and gas companies so that newly repaved streets don’t get torn up again.

The community yard sale is scheduled for June 3 and 4, and will be coordinated with adjoining neighborhoods of Regency Park and Potomac Woods. The MSCA, RECA, and PWCA will advertise the event and provide signage. There will be no ice cream social this year. The annual block party has not been scheduled and we need to pick an October date. Vasilia Contos will investigate the possibility of getting community service credit hours to kids who want to volunteer to help with the block party.

We need to find a new webmaster to keep our website up to date. Steve Schuck agreed to upload any items that we may have in PDF format. Bob Gross is hoping to post some of the materials from the boxes of “memory lane” materials he received from Lisa Hall.

Tax Breaks for Seniors
Rudy Oswald, who participated in the Annual Meeting, reported that Bill 42-16 was passed to grant veterans and seniors breaks on property tax. At Rudy’s urging, MSCA had submitted a letter to the County in support of the proposed legislation, which has now become law. Military retirees over age 65 with homes valued by the County at $500,000 or less are eligible, and seniors 65 and older with homes valued by the County at $650,000 or less and have lived in their home for at least 40 years can apply for a 20% reduction in county property taxes for five years. Application information is located at

Yard Waste Pickup
The county is having issues with the contractor that collects yard waste, and for several weeks, collections have been delayed in Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Potomac. A new contractor will begin the week of Memorial Day. Residents should call 311 when there is a collection problem.

Elections of Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer)
Our MSCA constitution specifies that officers of the Association shall serve a term of one year or until a successor is elected. The current officers volunteered to remain on the Governing Board since no MSCA resident expressed an interest in becoming an officer. A motion was made to keep the current officers and the motion was seconded.
Speaker for Next General Meeting
Suggestions of future speakers in addition to Brian Feldman were suggested, including Aruna Miller, an arborist, and an urban wildlife/deer specialist.

The meeting adjourned about 8:30 pm.

Minutes of MSCA Board Meeting
September 13, 2016

The MSCA Board met on September 13, 2016 at the home of the President, Bob Gross at 7:00
pm. The president, vice president, treasurer, and chairpersons (web, roads and safety),
committee chair (block parties) and a block captain were present.

Tom Hall’s departure from the Board: The first item of business introduced by president Bob
Gross was discussion of the retirement from the board of Secretary Tom Hall due to a serious
illness. Given Tom’s many years of service to the board and the association, several events
including a luncheon with the presentation of an official certificate by state senator Brian
Feldman, and the placement of an engraved garden stone commemorating Tom’s service were
discussed and approved. Tom and his wife Lisa are longstanding residents of Montgomery
Square and Tom has filled several posts on the board over a period of more than 20 years. He
was responsible for preparing many of the founding documents and principles of the
association and will be sorely missed by the board. Jane Acri (Henry Fleet Drive block captain),
who was present at the meeting, volunteered to fill the secretary position, and the Board
appointed her to fill that post.

Treasurer’s report: Approximately 240 households paid voluntary dues of $50 each for a total
of $12,000. Expenses for 2016 include landscaping, masonry work; lamppost replacement;
printing the directory; insurance, spring ice cream social, fall street party, website, and printing
of the Tetragon.

Annual October Street Party: The party will be held at the intersection of Devilwood Drive and
Smoketree Road on October 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. A permit was obtained from the county
by Bob Gross, and Vasilia Contos has negotiated with the World of Sports to provide personnel
and equipment to include an inflatable sports pavilion, facepainting, cotton candy, music and a
DJ. Pizza and drinks will be ordered by Bob Gross. Volunteers will supply ice and provide much
needed help at the event. It is anticipated that this will be another great event.


  • Fall planting will be underway soon to maintain the entrances to Montgomery Square.
  • The need for liaisons with the local schools was briefly discussed, but there are no pressing issues requiring communication at this time. The board does have an education chair should issues arise.
  • Due to our efforts, approximately 50 more households in Montgomery Square will be getting free trees in November.
  • Montgomery Square will be part of the annual Santa Claus visits during daylight hours in December.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Minutes of MSCA Annual Membership Meeting
May 23, 7:30-9:00PM
Beverly Farms Elementary School

The Annual Meeting was held as announced in the Tetragon and was called to order by Bob
Gross, president of the MSCA. The guest speaker was Brian Feldman, our neighbor and state
senator who gave a detailed and insightful update on legislative issues from the state capitol
that impact Montgomery County. Tree planting by Montgomery County, the annual yard sale,
and the ice cream social were also discussed.

All of the current Board members volunteered to serve another term, except for Secretary Tom
Hall, who had been diagnosed with a serious illness. An election took place and all of the
remaining Board members were unanimously elected.

Advocacy Efforts: All agreed that one of MSCA’s greatest accomplishments for 2016 was to
successfully lobby the County to save Ride-On Bus Route 42 from being eliminated. Another
major accomplishment was our working with the County to plant additional trees, at no cost to
the homeowner, along the County right-of- way in our neighborhood.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM.


MSCA May 20, 2013


Minutes of MSCA Annual Meeting


The annual membership meeting of MSCA was held as announced in advance on May 20, 2013 at Ritchie Park Elementary School.  All Officers were present, along with several Board Members and Chairs of Committees.

Thanks to neighbor Rudy Oswald, we were fortunate to have a speaker panel discussing programs that focus on:  Neighbors Assisting Neighbors.  Speakers were Miriam Kelty, who heads the Bannockburn Neighbors Assisting Neighbors (NAN) group, and Nelly Urbach, one of the organizers for the Potomac Community Village.  These leaders shared their rather different experiences and pathways to becoming advocates for programs that mobilize volunteers in neighborhoods to support their neighbors being able to stay in their homes longer, rather than having to move into dedicated retirement or managed care facilities.  These volunteer associations go by various names, including “Villages” or Neighbor-to-Neighbor programs.

Ms. Kelty’s neighborhood association, NAN, is a mature example of a well-defined, neighborhood, Bannockburn, which also has a functioning Citizen’s Association with whom NAN co-exists and co-operates.  The elder population nationally, and in Montgomery County is the fastest growing segment, active in politics, economically significant, and able to speak up in general.  The graying population when asked expresses a preference to age-in-place, i.e. stay at home with minimal, individually focused care, but the insurance and medical industries are leading us to large, profitable, centrally managed care.  NAN tries to fill that gap by matching volunteers who can provide some minimal assistance to neighbors with residents who only need minimal help – social activities, medical appointments, grocery shopping, small household chores, loans of equipment, etc.  A system of Block Coordinators (not “Captains” – too militaristic for Bannockburn) is used to know the residents and their needs.  NAN is fortunate to have more volunteers than needy recipients most of the time and is able to run as an all-volunteer organization, whereas some others use collected dues and even professional staff.  Support for volunteers comes in the form of training and knowing when a person needs more than volunteers can provide.  Young people are also encouraged to volunteer and can get school credit for Community Service with a bit of effort.

Ms. Urbach’s organization is much newer and still a work in progress, with a different scope – covering all of the Potomac Zipcode area (20854).   A fourteen member Steering Committee is working on the options and approaches they think will assist this geographically-defined community and is not yet up to matching volunteers with recipients.  Things people seem interested in include referrals to trusted vendors, contractors, or other resources.  Organizational and discussion meetings take place in the Potomac Community Center, were teams are formed (not “committees”) to work on areas of interest, and speakers on various subjects are invited.  People with interest in the subject of aging-in-place, or who have skills that might be useful, are welcome.  The web site is, which has meeting times, agendas, and discussion topics or speakers.

In response to questions, the speakers talked about issues that many volunteer organizations share, including MSCA, such as liability.  Various protections are available, including Good Samaritan laws, signed agreements or waivers from recipients of help, and liability insurance.  Training of volunteers is highly recommended and can avoid many problems.

The President thanked the presenters very much for their educational and motivational presentation.

Moving on to the business portion of the meeting, Dave Barr, Improvements Chair updated the members present about the tree planting initiative being worked with the Montgomery County Arborist.  Dave did a survey of neighbors interested and got a positive response, and the project appears to be moving forward.  The fact that the community was doing it as a group helped the County make a favorable decision.  The Arborist will look for good places for trees, recommend types of trees and contact interested homeowners for details as the time gets closer.  The schedule would appear to be for November, 2013.  Dave will solicit for other interested neighbors because the County is flexible on adding to the list.

Landscaping of the corners and the summer planting was delayed a bit by weather, but will occur within a week of the meeting.

The Treasurer reported a normal year for dues collection, perhaps just a bit slow but reminders should pick up the numbers to about our annual average of $12,000. The budget is sound with that amount and the current bank balance is $19,000.

Planned social activities were announced, including the Ice Cream Social with our resident tribute artist performing if possible, and a night at Big Train Baseball, in the Cabin John Park on June 17th.   A volunteer to take over the Social Committee was requested.

The required annual election of officers was introduced by the Secretary.  No new candidates came forward ahead of the meeting in response to the notification of the meeting, which solicited for candidates.  The Secretary asked for any new nominations from the floor.  Receiving none, the current slate of officers had stated that they would stand for re-election.  Their election was moved and seconded.   On a voice vote, the Ayes had it unanimously.  The current Officers will serve for the coming year.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM.

MSCA April 22, 2013


Minutes of MSCA Board Meeting


The board of MSCA met April 22, 2013 at the home of the Vice President, Steve Schuck at 7:30PM.  The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and the Chairs of the following committees were in attendance:   Social and Communication.  One volunteer was present.

The President, Bob Gross, gave an update on the Seven Locks Road projects.  The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is now working on the sidewalk replacement project for which we had lobbied.  Bob reported lots of positive feedback from neighbors.  MSCA requested street repaving is also scheduled but will not start until July.  It will include milling of the existing asphalt, repaving, and restriping.

There was discussion of the neighborhood landscaping contract and ideas for making the plantings more prominent and in general getting more value out of the contract.  Landscaping, cutting, and maintenance activities represent about $8,000 in the budget.  The Board will explore whether County services are available to clean up the corners at entrances from Seven Locks Road and from Montrose Road.

The Treasurer reported that dues collection numbers were good, and that we have about $19,000 in the bank going into the year.

The opportunity to have the County plan trees in the neighborhood was discussed.  The Improvements Chair, Dave Barr, did a survey of neighbors interested and got a positive response.  The County arborist with whom we had been dealing left, but the new Arborist will be contacting interested homeowners.  The schedule is now  for November 2013; and there is still time to get more homes on the list.

The Board reviewed drafts of items for the next newsletter and dues call.  The newsletter will publicize upcoming social events, including our Night at Bethesda Big Train Baseball.  Also discussed was distribution of the announcement of the Community Yard Sale in May, and the annual meeting.  Combining activities with Potomac Woods and/or Regency Estates was also considered.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM

MSCA November 26, 2012

Minutes of MSCA Board Meeting


The board of MSCA met November 26, 2012 at the home of the Secretary, at 8PM.   The President, Vice President, Secretary and the Chairs of the following committees were in attendance:   Social, Roads, Improvements, Communication, and Membership.  A volunteer was also present.

President Bob Gross discussed several long standing issues in which the Association has or may take advocacy positions.

Tree Planting

First discussion was on the Montgomery County program for tree planting.  David Barr has collected 30 responses from interested residents, and he sent a letter to the program coordinator, Mr. Linkletter asking for a survey visit by the County Arborist.  No response has yet been received and the Board agreed with Mr. Barr to wait until after New Year and re-contact the County if nothing has happened by then.  If other residents come forward with interest in tree planting, we will wait until the survey and try to add to the list at that time rather than resubmitting different lists to the County each time we contact them.

Seven Locks Road

Second topic was the Seven Locks Road Sidewalk & Bikeway Project.  Bob Gross handed out current budget information for this project, indicating that it had been delayed until at least fiscal year 2018 and,  at that, just for more planning work.   He discussed the fact that the County had deferred on doing any other work to fix up the road or the sidewalks, given that the larger project for the sidewalk/bikeway was on the books.  His calls to the County’s Chief of Pavement Management indicated that there was some possibility of doing a more near term project.  The question for the Board was whether to lobby the County to move on the road and/or sidewalk improvements given the delays in the long term project’s schedule.   While the members agreed that improvements were needed, it would take effort from other communities and the churches and synagogues on the route to exert significant pressure on the county.  There was a question as to whether this project was the highest priority for our time, attention, and political capital with the County.  A volunteer to try to get interest from Regency Estates and the religious institutions will pursue this angle, and the Board agreed on doing an online survey to ask for priorities from community members.


The Board discussed the renewal of the landscaping contract.  Renewal would be at the same prices as last year.  David Barr has volunteered to manage that contract and after discussion will get some other estimates and be sure we are getting appropriate value.  The Board discussed the possibility of getting landscaping done on the circles in the courts throughout the community.  Most felt that this could be costly, but perhaps some burden sharing arrangement with the adjoining homeowners could be pursued.  David will consider the possibilities and report back to the Board.

Social Activities

Socal Chair Vasalia Contos reported plans for social activities.   No firehouse has been found willing to provide a firetruck for a visit from Santa this year, but Vasalia is continuing to look for a way to hold this popular event.  Potomac Woods has a volunteer, but transportation is still needed.   As discussed at the previous meeting, there was interest in some springtime event at Big Train baseball in Cabin John Park.  We will invite participation from Potomac Woods as well.  Some repeat of the Ice Cream Social and Block Party events was recommended as well, and the Board agreed to continue these events.  A volunteer is needed to run the July 4th bike parade event, which was very well received last year, and Vasalia will continue to look for such a volunteer.

Annual Dues

The Board discussed the subject of raising annual dues to do more social events, improvement projects, or other purposes.  After some discussion, the President asked for a vote on the advisability of raising the dues from $50 to $60 per year.   A majority voted against the idea and it will be dropped for this coming year’s due, which remain at $50.

Other Business

A newsletter with the social event announcements and the notice of dues will go out together in December.

Next meeting date will be in February, tentatively at the Barr residence on the first Monday.  Details will be announced.