We had a brief but lively meeting at the NCPCA last night.

Other than the officers’ reports and announcements, two major issues that dominated the meeting were: (1) a brief presentation by the UMD for Clean Energy and (2) a long but vibrant discussion on a proposed membership rule change at the NCPCA.

First, my thanks to Matt and Flora for taking their time to come and made a presentation on their vision to make College Park a sustainable greener city. I think as residents, we can do a lot in terms of encouraging our residents becoming more aware of environmentally friendly.  I hope the NCPCA and the UMD for Clean Energy spend more time in future in exploring collaborative programs to make our neighborhoods a greener and healthier place to live.

The other item we discussed was a set of proposed membership rule changes at the NCPCA. According to the Section 3 of the current NCPCA by-laws, dues are paid per family, not per individual. The proposals, in a few variations, seek to change that per individual.

If I understood correctly, the reason for such changes was mainly driven by the fact that it was difficult to identify family members in a household. However the downside of such changes would require large families pay a hefty membership fees per year. For example, I know a family on the 51st Avenue who has a total of 7 members in their families, mom, dad and 5 high school / college going children, all 18+ in age. They currently pay $10 per year; with the proposed changes, they will have to pay $70 per year. With NCPCA’s membership not being a huge attraction, I’m afraid such changes will discourage large families like these renewing their memberships or attract new members to the NCPCA.

I do, however, understand the importance of identifying individual members living in a household. This identifying business should be as simple as having a periodic review of the membership list by the officers. To do that even better, we should work harder to strengthen our community based programs such as Neighborhood Watch. Programs like these will not only make the neighbors feel safe about their neighborhoods, but will definitely allow the neighbors know each other better.

The voting on this issue was postponed due to the lack of enough attendance.