North Potomac Civic Association on the verge of dissolution -- Gazette.Net


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The North Potomac Citizens Association — the eyes, ears and voice of the community for more than 25 years — could be nearing dissolution.

The three current board members announced their retirement at the end of 2013. No one has come forward to carry on the organization’s work.

“The whole board is stepping down either because they are moving on to other things or retiring,” said Dan Drazan, the association’s current president.

Drazan said it was an honor to serve the community, but it is time to move on to other projects.

The other two board members are Rick Terselic, the vice president, and Julie Krieger, the secretary. Both have said they want to spend more time with family and on other priorities, according to Drazan.

Drazan has led the organization for six years and has volunteered with the organization for almost a decade.

Normally, new officers would be chosen when, at a board meeting, someone volunteered to serve, but no one has stepped forward.

Without new leaders, Drazan said, the only option would be to “officially close” the association’s door on Dec. 31, dissolving the corporate charter, terminating the website and canceling insurance and all other activities.

“The board has done all they can for the community and for the organization ... and we were pretty successful on building a sense of community,” Drazan said.

The organization was formed in 1987 and has a few hundred members, he said. The membership fee is $25 per year.

The association has been an advocate on many projects in the community, such as the building of the Quince Orchard Library, widening and repaving roads, constructing walking and biking paths, and building Travilah Fire Station 32, which is due to open in January 2014.

Drazan said the organization held North Potomac Apreciation Day and hosted hikes throughout Muddy Branch to build a “sense of community.”

“We don’t have a town center or rural village that can bring people together ... [so] we conduct activities to build community spirit,” Drazan said.

The organization also worked with Johns Hopkins University on its plans for Belward Farm. It advocated to cut development and move the proposed new Johns Hopkins University Science City research and laboratory space construction away from homes in North Potomac, Westleigh, Mission Hills and Washingtonian Woods.

The association secured funding for the construction of the North Potomac Community Recreation Center. The $37 million construction project is a 33,000-square-foot recreation center that will include an exercise room, a social hall, a kitchen, a community lounge and conference rooms.

But according to Montgomery County’s Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2013-2018, the project’s design is completed, but construction has been delayed due to fiscal constraints. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall or winter of 2013.

“There is such a value in having a group of people that are monitoring issues in the community,” said Sandy Vogelgesang, public relations officer at the Montgomery County Civic Federation, a countywide group that promotes cooperation between neighborhood associations.

Vogelgesang said a civic association speaks up for the community and looks out for changes in the area.

“There is no substitution to have such representation,” Vogelgesang said.



abarros@gazette.net