Midtown Community Benefits District Announces New President

Nan Rohrer, Midtown Community Benefits District President

The Midtown Community Benefits District (MCBD) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nan Rohrer has been named President of MCBD.  A proven leader in community and economic development, Rohrer brings 20 years of experience of city and project management, program implementation, and consensus building to MCBD as it seeks to sustain and grow its impact and ensure the continued success of the Midtown communities it serves.

Board Chair Adrian Harpool stated, “Midtown is a community with a ‘can do’ spirit, and Nan embodies that mentality.  Her expansive work with individuals of diverse backgrounds is key to MCBD’s goal of providing the highest level of service to benefit all of our neighborhoods.”

An ardent advocate of the urban experience, Nan Rohrer has been actively involved in improving Baltimore for the 17 years she has called the city home. During her tenure as the Vice President of Economic Development and Planning at Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Rohrer spearheaded the Pratt Street Redesign, Downtown Strategic Plan, Preston Gardens Renovation, and Downtown Open Space Plan.  She was the founding director of the Office of Partnerships in the Department of Recreation and Parks, and a neighborhood liaison in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods.

Rohrer is on the boards of the Baltimore Museum of Industry and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. She is also an active member of the Enoch Pratt Free Library Advisory Council, and the Friends of Patterson Park. She mentors participants in Urban Land Institute’s Young Leaders and Johns Hopkins University’s Social Innovation Lab programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University.

“We know the stability and prosperity of our neighborhoods depends upon our diligence and ability to forge collaborations that leverage our hard work with others.  As the new President of Midtown Community Benefits District, I aim to maximize those partnerships, and foster new ones as we strive to be more equitable and impactful across the communities we serve.  Midtown reflects the best of Baltimore, and I believe we can be a model for the type of leadership and collaboration that improves the health and economic vitality of our city.”

The Midtown Community Benefits District is a neighborhood advocacy and improvement group authorized by law in 1996 to strengthen its four communities: Bolton Hill, Charles North, Madison Park and Mount Vernon/Belvedere.  The purpose of MCBD is to promote and market the District by providing supplemental security and maintenance services, as well as administer amenities in public areas, and facilitate park and recreational programs and functions.  MCBD’s efforts are funded by a taxpayer-approved property tax surcharge.

Artscape 2018: Important Information & Traffic Advisories

It’s that time of year! Artscape 2018 is set to take place in Midtown from July 20th – 22th. Here’s an important note so that you can plan accordingly:

ARTSCAPE HOURS OF OPERATION
Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 from 11am-9pm
Sunday, July 22 from 11am-7pm (note, new closing time on Sunday)
(Artscape After Hours is open Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 from 9pm-11pm; Charles Street from Preston Street to North Avenue)

ARTSCAPE STREET CLOSURES AT A GLANCE

Mt. Royal Avenue from North Avenue to Saint Paul Street:
— Closed Monday, July 16 at 7am through Tuesday, July 24 at 4pm.
Preston Street from Cathedral Street to Howard Street:
— Closed Monday, July 16 at 7am through Tuesday, July 24 at 4pm.
Preston St. from Charles St. to Cathedral St. remains open for access to Cathedral St. Garage only (1311 Cathedral St.).
Charles Street from Preston Street to North Avenue:
— Closed Thursday, July 19 at 10am through Monday, July 23 at 6am.
Maryland Avenue from Preston Street to North Avenue:
— Closed Friday, July 20 at 9am through Monday, July 23 at 6am.
— Maryland Ave. becomes temporary two-way traffic for access to the Fitzgerald Gar-age; northbound traffic must turn right at North Ave. to leave the festival site.
— The I-83 ramp to Maryland Ave. will be closed.

VEHICLE ACCESS PASSES

For neighbors who require vehicle access on the festival site—during non-festival hours, when the street closures are in effect—passes will be issued on a limited basis and should only be requested if vehicle access is absolutely necessary for your business to operate.

Vehicle Access Passes are NOT parking passes. Email Tess Cooper (tcooper@promotionandarts.org) to discuss your needs by Wednesday, July 11.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTSCAPE 2018 NOTE TO THE COMMUNITY

2017 DPW Christmas Tree Mulching/Recycling And Curbside Collection Info

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) has announced their 2017 Christmas tree mulching/recycling and curbside collection plans. Read the full release below:

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) today announced that residents will be able to recycle their Christmas tree by turning it into mulch beginning January 6.   DPW will offer tree mulching services for Baltimore City residents from Monday through Saturday through January 31 (except for City holidays).  Mulching services will be offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northwest Citizens’ Convenience Center located at 2840 Sisson Street in west Baltimore.

Residents may bring bags or containers to collect mulch for their own use. Community groups are also encouraged to bring bags or containers and collect free mulch for neighborhood gardens, while supplies last.

Please make sure that all ornaments and tinsel have been removed from your tree prior to mulching.

Curbside Tree Collection

For residents who cannot bring their trees in for mulching, DPW will offer curbside tree collection beginning Tuesday, January 9through Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Residents should set out trees on their regularly scheduled trash collection day, at the same location where their trash is collected. All tinsel and ornaments must be removed from trees before they are set out for curbside collection, or brought in for mulching.

Recycle Christmas paper
In addition, citizens are reminded to continue to recycle wrapping paper and recyclable packaging from gifts.  This should be set out on your normal recycling collection day.  For more information about recycling please visit the Recycling Services section at publicworks.baltimorecity.gov.

Holiday schedule
New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, and Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15 are city holidays. The Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ (DPW) offices and yards will be closed. There will be no mechanical street sweeping; trash and recycling collections do not occur on Mondays.

To have Midtown Baltimore remove your artificial Christmas trees, please submit a bulk trash removal request here. Please do not put out the tree until you receive your collection date from our team. Thank you!

Midtown Safety Tips from Deployment Coordinator, Lieutenant Rob Morris

With the holidays approaching in a few short days, we know everyone’s top priority is the safety of their family, friends and loved ones. Midtown Baltimore’s Deployment Coordinator, BPD Lieutenant Rob Morris, has come up with a list of safety tips that you can use now and in the future to feel more safe and empowered this holiday season:

  • Put your phone away – don’t be distracted while walking and don’t give a thief the opportunity to snatch your phone.
  • Travel in groups if possible – especially at night
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and those around you – stay alert!
  • Secure your home – lock the doors and close your curtains if going out for the evening–but leave your lights on!
  • Always tell somebody where you’re going and when you plan on being back – especially at night
  • Park in well-lit areas, and be sure to lock the car doors and windows.  If you have valuables in the car, hide them in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Carry your purse close to your body and put your wallet in an inside pocket or front pants pocket.
  • Have your keys ready to enter your vehicle when you approach it.  Use your “panic button” on your key fob if you become nervous or think you are being followed.
  • Lock your doors immediately upon entering your vehicle

Additional holiday specific tips:

  • Do not open the door if you are not expecting anyone. Use your peephole to confirm visitors (especially helpful during this time of year when strangers could claim to be UPS or FEDEx to gain entry to your home)
  • Avoid leaving packages out on your stairs. Ask a neighbor to accept packages. Require signatures on all deliveries when possible. Have packages delivered to drop-off locations.

For more holiday specific tips, click here to read the Baltimore Police Department’s holiday handout.

Pass on these tips to help your family and friends stay alert and safe!

A Message from Interim Executive Director, Peggy Smallwood

A symbolic passing of the torch–or trash grabber in this case–from former Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq. to Interim Executive Director, Peggy Smallwood

I want to extend a warm greeting to the Midtown Board of Directors, staff, residents, city partners, and the many other constituents who support the mission, vision and goals of the Midtown Community Benefits District.

On Friday, December 8, 2017, we wished our Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq., good luck as she left to embark on a new career path with the Baltimore City Police Department. Prior to her leaving, Michelle along with the Board of Directors conveyed their full confidence in my ability to lead the organization in the interim as the search begins for a permanent Executive Director. It was indeed an honor when Michelle passed the “torch” on Friday to lead such a highly energized organization. It is my goal to ensure the continuation of the work that has been accomplished in 2017 as well as covering new ground in 2018.

I believe in our mission and values wholeheartedly and am excited to have this opportunity. For the past 13 years, I have served the organization in roles from Office Manager to HR Director to Deputy Director. This knowledge and experience will be invaluable to me as we work to advance our mission in the short term that will undoubtedly have a long-term impact.

Midtown is fortunate to have an array of talented and resourceful staff ready to assist in moving the organization forward. We are thrilled to have:

Curtis Ritz, Field Operations Manager, who has a long history of hospitality management and has brought a renewed energy to the organization.
Angela Akes, the Administrative Assistant is ready to assist with service requests as well as general service questions.
Stacey Johnson, Community Relations Specialist, will continue to represent Midtown at community meetings and also work behind the scene as our social media “guru.”
Caleb DeMario, Community Greening Coordinator, will continue growing the greening component of Midtown. As a side note, Caleb and his team are diligently working on leaf collection throughout the district. If you have not seen the team on your block, please be patient.
Gerald FauntLeroy, Street Sweeping Team Lead, who has a wealth of knowledge about the district will continue to oversee the manual cleaning team.
Wayne Brooks, Fleet Manager, will continue to play a pivotal role with selecting and maintaining vehicles for optimum service.

Finally, I am looking forward to working with Lieutenant Rob Morris, Safety Deployment Coordinator, to develop proactive measures that will assist in supporting collaborative efforts for a safer district.

We have a great deal of work ahead of us, however, I have every confidence in this talented team! The staff of the Midtown Community Benefits District look forward to working with all of you as we continue the stewardship of transparency, good fiscal management and using your taxpayer dollars wisely.

Thank you for your support,

Peggy Smallwood

A Goodbye Letter from Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq.

Dear Midtown property owners, residents, partners and friends:

I’m writing today to say goodbye…and thank you. So here goes:

Goodbye
As of Friday, December 8th, I will be leaving the Midtown Community Benefits District to start a new position with the Baltimore City Police Department. While I will miss Midtown, I am excited to continue my career of public service and to join a great team of folks who are committed to making Baltimore City a safe place to live, work and visit.

Peggy Smallwood will serve as the Interim Executive Director as the Board conducts a search for a replacement. She has worked with Midtown for the past 13 years and has served as the Deputy Director for the last 3 years. I am fully confident that you all will be in great hands with her. No one knows the inner workings of Midtown better than Peggy!

THANK YOU to the RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS
Over the last 3+ years that I have led Midtown, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you. We have worked closely to solve problems and to determine the most efficient, cost effective and sustainable ways of keeping the District Clean, Green and Safe. I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together.

THANK YOU to the MIDTOWN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Thank you for believing in me and my leadership ability. With your support and encouragement, we have moved the organization forward and made it more efficient, more effective and more professional.

THANK YOU to the MIDTOWN STAFF
Last but certainly not least, I have to say thank you to the Midtown staff for their hard work, commitment to the organization and their willingness to try new and different ways of accomplishing our tasks.

A lot of residents rely very heavily upon Midtown. They expect us to keep their streets clear of debris and leaves. They expect us to help plant, maintain and water over 100 new trees a year. They expect us to service 160 corner trash cans 7 days a week. They expect us to provide 64 safety patrol hours a week. They expect us to remove bulk items as swiftly as possible.

NONE of that work would be accomplished without the hard working and the occasionally underappreciated staff of Midtown. From the folks who walk the streets cleaning the gutters, the littervac drivers, the trash truck drivers, the folks who maintain the parks, the administrative staff who make sure everything runs smoothly and our safety patrol officers who travel down every block of the District to keep us all safe-these individuals are the life blood of this organization and I am eternally grateful for their service and their assistance during my tenure.

I am sure this is not goodbye forever. I will not be far away from any of you as we all continue to work to make Baltimore the city we believe it can be.

Warmly,

Michelle Wirzberger, Esq.