Committee members, chairs reaffirmed at MVF Board meeting

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by Mike Conroy
At the April 26 Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors meeting, members of MVF’s volunteer committees, as well as chairs for most of those committees, were reaffirmed to continue their service to the community.

As submitted, all current members of MVF committees were reaffirmed for continued service on their respective committees. The following committee chairs and vice chairs were appointed: Architectural Review Board (ARB) - Lisa Lewis, Chair and Gary Miller, Vice Chair; Audit Committee - Pat Seery, Chair and Keith Silliman, Vice Chair; Committee on the Environment - Claudette Lease, Chair; Recreation Committee – Karen Neilson, Chair; Investment Committee – Glenn Gargan, Chair.

For those interested in volunteering on a committee, full committee descriptions, meeting schedules and meeting packets are available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com. A committee member application is also available. For questions regarding a particular committee’s activities, please contact the MVF staff liaison associated with that committee.

Other Agenda Items
The Board approved changes to the MVF Swimming Pool Use Policy, putting the policy in line with Maryland Youth Camp Standards. This policy was last updated in 2010 and did not meet current regulations. In other pool-related items, a sole source contract for pool chemicals was awarded to Amato Industries for the 2018 pool season. Amato has been MVF’s chemical provided for many years and continues to be awarded bids when bid out to multiple vendors; they provide great service at a competitive price.

A bid for replacement computers for MVF staff was approved as well. Office technology is replaced on a rolling basis, and each year items are reserved for during the budget process. Ten workstations and two laptops will be replaced this year, at a cost not to exceed $16,495.30, from MVF’s IT Contractor, The Dresner Group.

Information Items
The Board reviewed a number of Information Items, which required no action at this time. Per standard practice before filing, the 990 and 990-T tax forms were presented. The 2019 Budget Schedule, including the date for the MVF Board Retreat (Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Creek Community Center, 20125 Arrowhead Road) were looked over. It was noted that Montgomery Village received its 30th consecutive Tree City Award, and a tree planting just prior to the meeting had taken place at Lake Whetstone. Finally, the Board reviewed some potential locations for an electronic marquee sign to be placed on MVF property. Board feedback suggested staff investigate a third location further south, closer to the entrance of the Village, along Montgomery Village Avenue.

EVP Report
Executive Vice President (EVP) Dave Humpton reported that he had been at the Montgomery County Planning Board hearing regarding the Village Center Site Plan earlier that afternoon. The Planning Board approved the Preliminary Plan, Sketch Plan and Site Plan, noting the developer’s willingness to work with the community to bring life back to this important commercial center. Humpton hoped there would be movement at the center by the end of the year.

He also thanked General Counsel Christopher Hitchens and Director of Community Management Karen Kodjanian for their work and research regarding all the potential legislation presented during this year’s session. Fortunately, no bills that affect Village HOAs or condominium associations passed this year.

Treasurer’s Report
MVF Treasurer Bob Carey noted that 45% of its total assets are in Cash and Investments, continuing its strong financial position. Carey said that even though overall numbers are similar to last year at this time, Cash was ahead of last year by $370,000.

Revenue for the month was reported as slightly unfavorable to the budget mostly due to the volatility of the market/investment income and the continued decline of Village News advertising. Net Income for March was also $44,076 behind the budget, though Revenue year-to-date was $170,000 favorable to the budget, mainly from the Capital Contribution Fee. Carey said that the Delinquency Rate remains below 8% for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Next Meeting
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.

Senator Nancy King, Delegate Kirill Reznik provide legislative update
Before the start of the April 26 Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors meeting, Senator Nancy King and District 39 Delegate Kirill Reznik updated the Board and residents about the recent legislative session. Both thanked MVF for their input and testimony, when needed, for legislation that could affect Village residents and HOA or condominium associations.

Senator King remarked that this year’s session was very bipartisan. Legislators on both sides worked to pass a $44.6 billion budget that fully funds all of the state’s major priorities, including education, higher education, public safety and social services. Included in the state budget are a General Fund balance of $100 million, a Rainy Day Fund of $880 million and a $4.622 billion Capital Improvements program.

King was happy to report that over $60 million was set for school construction in Montgomery County, as well as the establishment of a Healthy Schools Facility Fund for the entire state. This fund will help repair and replace items such as faulty HVAC systems in schools across the state. Additionally, $62 million will be put into school safety; this includes funding for a School Resource Officer in every high school in the state, with the goal to have one in each middle school and elementary school in future years.

The senator also noted that the Child Care subsidy funding levels were increased, giving parents and guardians the ability to find and pay for child care. She was instrumental in establishing a flexible 5-day end-of-school year to give school boards flexibility in settling their calendars because of holidays, breaks and weather events.

Stemming from the 2013 bill that went into effect last year requiring smoke detectors to have sealed batteries, a new bill was passed that bans the sale of the old styles (replaceable battery models) in stores. King also thanked MVF for information and testimony on HOA bills that could have affected Village residents and other associations in the state. She noted that no new legislation in this area was passed.

Senator King said she is currently working on the Kirwan Commission, a group that looks at school systems in the United States and other countries and helps establish funding and education for the future (curriculums, engagement, etc.). The Commission is working to see that Maryland counties receive the correct amount of school funding.

Delegate Kirill Reznik, Chair of the Health and Social Services Subcommittee, gave updates on a number of health related initiatives, noting that healthcare is the single largest part of state budget—$19 billion of the $44 billion budget. He said the subcommittee worked to sure-up insurance coverage rates, reinstituting a plan similar to the Maryland Health Insurance Program; the changes will accept pre-existing conditions at the same costs in the insurance pool through state subsidies.

Reznik also said that a lot of money was dedicated to opioid and mental health treatment this year, as well as rate increases for variety of Medicaid services. Rates were increased by about 6% for services including nursing home stays, medical adult daycare, home care programs, developmental and mental health programs and substance abuse.

It was reported that the Metro Funding Bill will contribute $167 million annually (with additional contributed funds from Virginia and Washington, D.C.) to repair and improve the metro system without raising fares.

Reznik also noted a few bills relating to treatment of animals. One states that research facilities using animals must make reasonable efforts to adopt the animals after research is completed, rather than euthanizing them. The second bans the sale of companion animals from retail stores, noting that many of these animals come from mills and unacceptable living conditions.

Lastly, he discussed firearm legislation that received much bipartisan praise. Reznik said that three bills were passed: one restricting ownership of weapons for convicted domestic abusers; the “Red Flag Law” which can remove weapons from a home of someone identified as danger to themselves or others for 7 days; and finally, a ban of the sale and ownership of bump stocks and other accessories that convert semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic weapons.

Before the Senator and Delegate left, Reznik also made note of two items that would appear on Maryland ballots this year: the legislature set up a lockbox for taxes from casino revenue to go directly to education— approximately $500 million each year—over and above the budgeted amount for education; and Election Day voter registration, which would allow citizens to register and vote on the same day in general elections.

Both District 39 representatives thanked MVF and the Board for the time to present these updates and the dedication to working together for the betterment of the community.