The County has been awarded the All America City/County Award for the first time since 1950. The County Executive, as part of his commitment to the redevelopment of Wheaton, plans to hold a full-blown celebration of the award in Wheaton similar to Wheaton Sparkles on the 4th including fireworks. The tentative date is Sunday, 10/15/00.
The Wheaton Urban District Fall Music Festival scheduled for 9/17/00 has been moved to spring due to time constraints. The Redevelopment Office staff are looking for support from the community and welcome input or suggestions including performers/participants.
A hand-out showing the dates of the Main Street Focus Groups and Linkage Meetings was provided. It was noted that the 9/20/00 WRSC regularly scheduled meeting would be a Main Street Focus Group Meeting. Members were asked to help encourage participation in the focus groups. In response to a question, Wrenn explained that the linkage meetings generally encompassed a subset of the Main Street process dealing with how we connect physically, psychologically and economically between Westfield Shopping Town and the rest of Wheaton.
Members were advised to submit their suggestions over the next couple of months for items to be included in the FY02 Budget request which is submitted to the County Executive in December. In response to a question, Cantor explained that items Members wish included should be submitted without regard to which funding source would ultimately pay for them. Ideas can be specific or conceptual and should include items for the operating budget which could be started by 7/01.
The Administrative Assistant for the Wheaton Redevelopment Program, Ms. Sandi Smith, was introduced and the temporary phone number for the WRP, 301-503-3972, was announced. A list of the future meeting dates for the WRSC meetings was handed out. The dates were checked and corrected at the meeting.
Fryer announced that the Wheaton Citizens Coalition would hold their semi-annual meeting on 10/25/00 at 7 p.m. with a community forum covered by WTTG morning news. She indicated the forum would be an excellent opportunity to publicize to a large number of people what is happening in Wheaton right now and how the community will benefit from revitalization. Flyers will be distributed at a later date.
In response to a question, Morrison explained that if a Member is unable to attend a meeting, the Member's representative is welcome to participate (all meetings are open to the public) but the representative would not be able to vote in the Member's stead.
Silver Spring Redevelopment Steering Committee's Experience.
Cynthia Rubenstein, a former Member of the Silver Spring Redevelopment Steering Committee, described the two-year process leading to the release of the SSRSC Summary Report and the implementation of its recommendations. In response to questions and discussion, she advised:
- Committee issues and business items
that many unfinished business items were passed on to the SSCAB, Urban District and Traffic Management Group after the Steering Committee was disbanded; that the Steering Committee dealt with issues like master planning and special capital improvements concurrent with developing its summary report;
- Membership process
that there was some attrition and members who did not attend meetings basically removed themselves from the Steering Committee but were not replaced; the subcommittee structure was strong and the subcommittees decided on their own meeting schedule; chairs of the subcommittees met together periodically;
- Community participation
it was very difficult to incorporate members of the minority community into the process which lead to the establishment of the Silver Spring Leadership Institute; there is a window of opportunity to enroll in the Leadership Institute new class until September 1; they were successful in getting the rental housing community involved in the process; such community participation takes a lot of outreach effort.
- Role in development projects
although the development of Strosniders and Fresh Fields in Silver Spring was largely attributable to Foulger-Pratt and market economics, the SSRSC closely monitored proposed development and provided suggestions for public amenities such as the Civic Building, and recommendations as to the types of development desired; much of the land in Silver Spring is owned by the County versus Wheaton where much of the land is in private ownership;
- Member biases
the SSRSC was formed after many other redevelopment committees had been formed and disbanded over the years and, therefore, had many preconceived biases whereas Wheaton does not have the same history;
- Evaluation of recommendations
there is no tool in place to evaluate the work that is taking place against the recommendations of the Steering Committee.
Subcommittee co-chairs had been appointed and the list of the subcommittees and co-chairs was handed out to all members.
In response to a question, it was stated that the role of the subcommittees is advisory in nature and that a subcommittee member could vote on matters that come out of their group before it is sent to the Steering Committee. The issue comes through the entire Steering Committee before the recommendation is forwarded to the County Executive.
The Steering Committee broke down into smaller groups to identify items as starting points and/or priorities for each subcommittee.
After discussion, the full Steering Committee reconvened to review their recommendations. A summary of each group's recommendations is attached. These recommendations will be synthesized and provided to the members as a starting point for discussions.
The Co-chair also advised that the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee had been addressing transportation issues in Wheaton for the past six years and offered to provide copies of the replies that WUDAC had received from the Police Department, the State Highway Administration and Montgomery County Department of Transportation in response to the 22 areas which the Committee felt needed to be revamped.
The next meeting of the WRSC is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, 2000. Staff will provide a reminder notice prior to the meeting.