August 10, 2007
Bob Whitcomb

This Membership Committee was formed in the fall 2006 with the primary goal to re-invigorate membership of community associations in the Severn River Association.   Board members who volunteered to serve on this committee included Scott Hymes, Charlotte Lubbert, Pat Lynch, and Bob Whitcomb, the latter of whom agreed to act as Chair. 

The Committee embarked on an effort to identify the non-member community associations (CA’s), and initially concentrated on those CA’s that were recent members but had not joined in 2006, as identified by the Treasurer.  All fifteen of these were contacted by telephone call to the contact name on file, and they apparently agreed to rejoin.    

The next step was to identify CA’s in the Severn Watershed who had not been a recent member.  The County was contacted to help identify these, and was also requested on multiple occasions to identify contacts in particular CA’s.  This was not a productive method to make contacts with these non-members.  Articles were also written for the SRA Log to encourage these communities that are still on the mailing list to rejoin. 

The Chair then compared the current membership list with an ADC map of the watershed, identifying over 60 neighborhoods adjacent or near the River, that might be candidates for membership.  A list was produced and allocated to each Membership Committee member to research contacts and status of each community. 

With six months effort to research community contacts, another ten CA’s have received phone call and written invitations to join.  Many of the 60 communities are in fact only informal neighborhoods, often with historical names, that do not have an official community association or do not collect dues from residents.  These do not have the means to become typical CA members of SRA. 

Of those that are “proper” CA’s, it often required visiting the neighborhood, finding someone who could identity the current President, and making several telephone calls to determine to whom to mail the invitation.  The invitation has continued to be the December 2006 request to members to “renew their membership”, along with a handwritten note of invitation from the Chairman.   

While at least half this list has yet to be researched (the County has no contact information on them), it is probably time to redirect these resources to other efforts.  The invitation materials need updating and it’s presently more important to increase membership involvement in meetings and other volunteer activities.  This total effort led to 25 additional communities joining in 2007! 


(Revised August 2007)