As leader prepares to leave, NHCA’s future uncertain
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 12:37

Ayres’ last meeting will be on Monday

by Ben Boehl

    Leaders of the Norwood Holabird Community Association (NHCA) are expressing worry that its December meeting on Monday may be the group’s  last.
    NHCA president John Ayres has moved out of the area and stated that the Dec. 16 meeting will be his last at the head of the group.
    As of now, Ayres said, no one has stepped forward to take his spot.
    “I can’t do this after Jan. 1. Because of the law, I have to step down, and who wants to step up?” Ayres said at the November NHCA meeting.
    “There comes a time in every generation to pass the baton.”
    After the NHCA lost its charter in the mid 2000s because the previous leadership failed to pay property taxes, Ayres teamed with Roy Moreland, Ron Schaefer, Byron Harris and Terry Godwin to recover the group’s charter as a non-profit corporation in the fall of 2012.
    Ayres said that one idea to keep the organization alive is to talk to Harbor View Neighborhood Association president Georgia Bartrum about the possibility of merging her group with the NHCA.
    However, Ayres said he wants to keep the NHCA active on its own and is still hoping for new leadership to emerge by Monday’s meeting, which starts at 7:15 p.m. and will be held at the new Dundalk High-Sollers Point Tech campus. [See “Meetings,” page 22.]
    “If I don’t have a board by the end of that meeting, I will sign the papers that night and shut this organization down,” Ayres said. “It is time for people to step up.”

Past NHCA president Terry Godwin said he would like to take over as NHCA president again, but said he is busy with family and said that others in the community need to take over that position.
    Godwin explained that many residents in the community might complain, but said they do not have a vision.
    Godwin also opined that there are some community leaders who do not look out for the best interests of the community
    “When are all the communities going to come together? Nobody wants to work together,” Godwin said.
    Ayres said he too is critical of community leaders who he says are only looking out for their personal interests.
    “You have got crybabies in the community. You have grown adults acting like children,” he said, referring to the fight over the Government Center and other issues.
    Some have pointed to the opposition group Dundalk United as the future for a voice in the Dundalk.
    The group consists of members from Eastfield-Stanbrook, Gray Manor  and North Point Village associations and other residents of Dundalk, but Ayres says the group is very limited on what it can do.
    “They are not organized, they are not incorporated and [they] have no money,” Ayres said.
    “It’s seven people whining about the future. They are whining about a building (North Point Government Center). Buildings come and go.”
    Godwin said he is more critical of community organizations and Dundalk residents for electing the same members of the Democratic Party.
    “You always hear that the [Democratic] Party says it is for the children, but they don’t do enough for the kids,” Godwin said. “The party has left us. The party has no ideas.”
    Although he credits Dundalk High School principal Tom Shouldice for helping his school get a new building, Godwin said he is upset that 85 percent of the schools in Baltimore County have buildings that are at least 50 years or older, and he wants to see more done for children.
    “Why do we allow the county to dictate to us?” he asked. “If they can’t put something together to help the children, they don’t need to do anything.”