TIME: 6:00 pm

In attendance:  Ed Unger, Dottie Crider, Al Crider, Mike Drury, Debbie Carmel, Tom Carmel, Jo Robertson, Greg Vaitekunas, Caitlin Kizielewicz, and John Falls

Special THANK YOU to Stacy Stacks for her donation to purchase the appetizers.

Common Area Progress and Remaining Projects:

The common area Rt 50 gardens are complete, with the exception of the crape myrtle and solar lighting installation.  We are waiting the grower to deliver 3 tall crape myrtle specimens before having Merrifield Gardens install them. The solar lights will be attached to the telephone pole which will light the sign; we’ll need volunteers for that part of the project. Other than that only on going maintenance would be required.

The flag pole garden will be revamped and this needs to be done sooner than later due to the stipulation in the grant that all projects must be complete before a final payment can be made.  What’s left to do is take out all plants from the garden, kill all grass and weeds in the garden, wait recommended time before replanting, add top soil and mulch, replant plants and add evergreens to complement the Rt 50 gardens. Hoist up the old bench and install the new bench, install solar lighting on the flag pole and retrieve the halyard from the pulley at the top of the pole and replace both halyards. Move cleat up the flag pole to discourage vandals.

Volunteers are need for the Flagpole garden, removal and replacement of the bench and light installation.  Anyone interested in volunteering please contact tremontgardensca@gmail.com.  These volunteer efforts will not be scheduled due to the heat.  I will send out emails as the weather breaks in hopes that others will joinYour help is really needed, so please come if you can.

Volunteer Hours in total 193, we have met our required volunteer hours.  For all those who volunteer there will be a celebration at the completion of the projects. Stay tuned!

Status on the By-laws – No update available.  A brief discussion occurred regarding the existing by-laws and what we might use as new.  There were statement in the old by-laws that we just shouldn’t use and there was a level of agreement on that issue. In addition to by-laws the idea of covenants document was mentioned. This would be a document regarding county compliance and regulations, dues, etc. This document would be used to cover gaps where the by-laws do not mention these types of concerns.

Follow –Up on last meetings concerns:  Regarding Shining Star Church: All concerns were managed by meeting with the Pastor of Shining Star Church and he and his parishioners have been very accommodating and met all request we mentioned. The church has moved or will soon move the playground to another location, planted trees, made the street passable by parking on only one side of the street.  Will continue to ask parishioners to drive slowly.

Compliant Program:  In efforts to educate our neighbors, a pilot process has been launched. For any zoning violation you are encouraged to send your issue or complaint to the TGCA email box. It will be researched and if found valid a letter will first be sent to the offending individual to correct the problem. This method will be the first step in efforts to correct the issue without having to lodge a formal complaint. If nothing results from the letter, a formal complaint will be registered with the County or Police.  Individuals who emailed the complaint will be notified of all results during this process. This process is piloted as a way to speak as one voice with complaints within Tremont Gardens.  It will also help us as a community to have a database of complaints which may assist when processing a formal complaint. You are also encouraged to follow the normal Fairfax County process if you prefer but please email the TGCA email for all complaints weather you want to take action yourself or not.

Update on West Falls Church Shopping Center – The shopping center is planned to be complete early fall. Delays have been due to building permits.  New tenants thus are: Verizon, Brugger Bagels and The Original Pancake House. Updates on the center will be emailed and posted as they come in

Traffic Calming (Parking/Speeding) – If stops signs and no parking signs are what our neighborhood would like as I’ve been hearing for some time now.  There is now a plan in place.  In efforts to easy speeders and illegal parking the first steps are to sign a petition. This petition will be emailed separately.  The petition will then be submitted to the District Supervisor for review. The Supervisor then submits the request to Fairfax County and or VDOT to conduct a study. Once the study is complete they offer recommendation. So, the fist step is to review the petition and sign it if you agree. A wet signature is not required, to e-sign the petition you can reply by email. A reply is required only if you agree with the petition. Watch for an email marked “Petition”.

Community Yard Sale Planned for July 24th 8-2 Fliers were printed and available for distribution. Both Greg and Jo volunteered to distribute the fliers shortly after July 4th. Yard sale will follow last year’s motto: your stuff- your yard. Debbie will Post on websites and our Facebook page. Will post signs to prepare for the day and then post signs on Rt 29 entry and Rt 50 on the  actual yard sale day.

Ice Cream Social – Planned for September 11th. 1-3:30 PM volunteers needed for:

• Fliers:  Design & Distribute, Caitlin offer to help design.  We still need volunteers to distribute
• Purchase supplies (funds provided), volunteers needed!!!
• Conduct fund raiser at social – Caitlin said she would come up with some ideas in addition to the new stores at the West Falls Church being contacted to possibly provide a donation.
• Contact musician to play, Debbie volunteered to contact same musician as our last Ice Cream Social
• VOLUNTEERS needed for preparation for the event and the day of the event for set up. Anyone wanting to volunteer will be needed the Friday before the event and the day.  Day of volunteers should plan on arriving at noon.

2011 NEPP Grant ideas: We are looking for more ideas to submit for the 2011 NEPP grant. The grant submission date is expected in early Oct, so send your ideas in now. Keep in mind they must fall within the parameters of the grant which are: Promote healthier, safer & cleaner neighborhoods, Enhance neighborhood appearance, Encourage and crate a culture of engagement, including facilitating communication and connections in neighborhoods between individuals, youth and families. Build or nurture community leadership within a neighborhood

Some ideas that have been mentioned in the past as well as at the meeting were:

1) Rt 29 entry sign, smaller than the Rt 50.

2) Grass improvement/treatment for the Common areas

3) Website

4) Community Outreach – Neighbors helping neighbors program

5) Community Social event

6) Neighborhood Watch


Project Celebration for volunteers.  Once our projects are complete there will be a volunteer appreciation celebration.  Date to be set once the projects are complete.

Neighborhood Watch – Anyone interested in leading this effort, please contact tremontgardensca@gmail.com

Recycling/Litter Program – Anyone interested in leading this effort, please contact TGCA via email

Community College: It’s free education, how can you pass that up? A few more folks volunteer to sign up, so it looks as if we might have about 7 people interested in the Community College. I will again send the sample curriculum to all on the email distribution in hopes to get more interest as we need at least 10 to hold a program tailored to our immediate area (neighborhoods).  The program is an award-winning community leadership opportunity open to residents interested in learning about Fairfax County, and how to work with neighbors, community organizations and local government to strengthen neighborhoods, build community capacity and promote a strong sense of community. Debbie has volunteered to hold the sessions at her  house (pot luck dinners) each week for 5 or 6 consecutive weeks depending on the curriculum. We can work around peoples schedules so don’t let that hold you back from participating.

These sessions focused on providing current and emerging community leaders with:

• A greater understanding of Fairfax County government.

• An increased awareness of resources, services and ways to get involved.

• New skills training on effective participation in the county and community.

• Network connections that build a sense of community.

To see more about this program go to: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2008/057.htm by participating you will be able to gain on understanding of issue you’ve raised at our meeting and how to manage them and work through them.

Halloween Parade/Contest – Church has had this event in the past, we can inquire again if anyone is interested.  Please send an email to tremontgardensca@gmail.com

Holiday house decorating contest – volunteers needed

Community Meeting Schedule:

Please email with location and day of the week, time preferences (possible location options: the Church, the Library, El Tio, other)

Sept 11th, Ice Cream Social, brief comments and updates.

Dec 2010 – no meeting planned.  Unless someone would like to volunteer to lead the Dec meeting there will not be one due to the rush of the holidays. In lieu of meeting communication will be sent via email, FB and web page.

March 2011 Community meeting – Agenda to come

To volunteer, comment, address issues or concerns please send an email to tremontgardensca@gmail.com