The Perry Hall Improvement Association's monthly meetings tend to be fairly quiet—they also generally don't include food or beverages.
"We realize that the traditional town hall meeting is not for everybody," said PHIA president Dennis M. Robinson, Jr. This was part of the reason, he said, why the organization sponsored its first-ever last week at restaurant in Perry Hall.
"We're looking for new ways to help people connect with their neighbors," Robinson said.
The crowded event, organized by PHIA volunteers Audrey Burns and Chris Defeo, included new and older members alike. Many spoke about their hopes for the organization and visions for the Perry Hall community.
Kelly Sanford, a lifelong Perry Hall resident, said she appreciates "how they put a cap in development in some neighborhoods."
"There is a lot of open space in Perry Hall and we need to protect it," Sanford added.
Ellen Capecci, a five-year resident, said she hopes to become more involved and enjoys the "close-knit community."
"If I had to choose something, I think we need to focus on crime a little more," Capecci said.
"I'm just getting my feet wet," said Linda Thomas, who moved to Perry Hall a year ago. "The only issues I've had have been with traffic on Honeygo, but I love the area."
Tom and Kathy Benisch, longtime residents who operate , said they hope for increased membership in the PHIA.
"Members help preserve the fundamental things we love about Perry Hall. They build up the community," Tom Benisch said.
Robinson added, "My vision is for us to do everything we can to maintain a small town feel, despite the changes that have happened and are going to continue happening."
What would you improve about the community? What do you believe are the Perry Hall Improvement Association's most important roles? Tell us in the comments.