Community Use of Public Facilities Newsletter

September 14, 2018  |  Community Use of Public Facilities Newsletter

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After-Hours Help Line: 240-490-CUPF (2873)

A Tribute to Dr. Henry Lee: Longtime CUPF’s Benefactor, Retiring ICB Member

Dr. Lee

Dr. Lee has one of the most infectious laughs to be had.  CUPF’s Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Rodrigue Vital, discovered that when he sat down with Dr. Lee earlier this summer in his dental office in Olney, MD.  This September 2018, as we wrap up the summer-long celebration of our 40th anniversary, we wanted to hear one last time the thoughts of the current longest serving member and outgoing Vice-Chair of the Interagency Coordinating Board (ICB) who stepped down earlier this week after 15 years of service. The ICB is the entity responsible for setting policy and fiscal guidelines for CUPF.  We invite you to read an excerpt of our interview with Dr. Lee to find out what’s next for him. But first, we have two announcements followed by our director’s message.  

Attention Users: Abide by the Payment and Cancellation Policy

When is your Payment Due? Payment is due immediately, once the permit request is approved. Requests for adjustments must be received at least 10 business days prior to date of use. All requests for cancellation and to amend a permit must be made in writing. All adjustments and cancellations must be submitted to CUPF using the Reservation Amendment Form on the CUPF website. Please note once a permit request has been submitted and CUPF has approved the request, even while your event may be cancelled for non-payment, the requestor or organization will still be responsible for costs associated with the approved request even if the space was not used. If you are not sure about the status of your permit, check your ActiveMontgomery account, or contact us. We generally approve permits in 2-3 days. For more information see entire cancellation policy.


October 15: Opening Day for Public Library Reservations

General reservation requests for use of community rooms in public libraries for dates of use January 1 through June 30 will be accepted online via the customer e-portal at on Monday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m. 

The Director’s Corner


We are working through our 40th year of operations and going strong!  The landscape of CUPF looks very different from earlier years.  For example, we are no longer Community Use of Schools (CUS) because we are so much more than just schools, with over 1700 different facilities including fields that are under our management.

This year was my first experience with “Go-Live”, which is our internal lingo for opening day for the general public to begin submitting their facility reservation requests. I proudly witnessed how “well-oiled” the CUPF reservation process is.  It was also eye opening as to how much skill and effort goes into making this operation function seamlessly.  I witnessed our Core Services Team successfully working in tandem to meet needs and demands of the public as the MCPS facilities came on line for first reservations for the 2018-2019 school year.  This usually big day of operations, due to number of requests and system glitches, went on with few, if any, hiccups and with, where necessary, the ability of CUPF staff to adapt ActiveMontgomery to meet the needs of permits requestors. 

This was the third year of ActiveMontgomery and walk-ins during “Go-Live” were down considerably from year one, and were consistent with year two of ActiveMontgomery.  That decrease in walk-ins is a testament to the work of CUPF Staff which made the ActiveMontgomery system more accommodating to meet Community needs. 

Meanwhile, it is with much regrets that I say goodbye to Dr. Lee, who has been a stable ICB presence long before I joined the ICB in 2011, representing my former boss Tim Firestine, the County’s Chief Administrative Officer. Dr. Lee’s special tribute in this issue has been devotedly planned by CUPF staff Dr. Lee was presented a beautiful plaque at our quarterly meeting this week.  But this has only scratched the surface of our respect and appreciation for Dr. Lee’s contributions to ICB-CUPF.

Finally, as the school year starts we look forward to working closely once again with our partners at MCPS.  A major focus for MCPS and CUPF this year is the increasing need for security to keep the students safe before, during, and after school.  Of equal importance is keeping the Community users safe during their periods of school facility use.  We will be working with the MCPS Facilities security committee to reinforce existing and to develop new guidelines and rules for school facilities.  After all, everyone deserves to be safe when using a public facility.   


Who is Dr. Lee?

Dr. Lee

           Henry Lee was born at Malstrom AFB, Great Falls, Montana, and grew up in Pendleton, Oregon.  He is a 6:2 generation (6 male/2 female) Chinese American. The first male members of his family arrived in the U.S before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Female members arrived 2 generations ago. That infamous Act restricted Chinese immigration in the U.S until it was repealed and replaced in 1943 by the Magnuson Act, which allowed Chinese women to immigrate to the U.S. Fast forward to 1967, the young Henry Lee moved to D.C. with his parents and attended Western High School.  In 1969, his parents relocated to Montgomery County.  After high school, Henry attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied Biology. He was awarded a Public Health Service grant to the University of Notre Dame to pursue his Master’s in Parasitology/ Immunology. From the NIH and Notre Dame, Henry Lee returned to the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and enrolled in the dental school. Dr. Lee’s been practicing dentistry for 39 years.  

Q: Dr. Lee, in what year did you join the ICB – Do you remember the occasion that led you to get on the Board?

A: It all began after I had served as chair of the Mid-County Advisory board for 2 years.  In 1999, the CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) who attended our meetings learned I was leaving the board because of term limits. He told me of an opening on the ICB. And I’ve been a member since except when I served on the School Board in 2004- 2005.  

Q:  In CUPF and ICB’s forty years that we celebrate this late summer, can you share with our readers and users how has the ICB-CUPF changed over the years?

A:  In the 60s and 70s all the facilities and fields were permitted by Principals or the school business managers. If an individual was well connected, they would have easier access to facilities. County Councilmembers came to realize there needed to be a more equitable and fair system to allow County residents to use school facilities.  Members such as Marilyn Praisner and Mike Subin helped shape and legislate what the ICB and CUPF is today. In those early days the CAO, the MCPS Board of Education President, MCPS Superintendent, Park and Planning Chair, and Chief Staff Administrator for the County Council came to every meeting.  There were many heated discussions of how and why facilities needed to be open to the public. I recall one meeting the principals were vocalizing their opposition to the ICB’s viewpoint on universal access.  Superintendent Jerry Weast arrived late to the meeting.  After listening for a few minutes, he interjected calmly and resolutely by siding with the Board, stating the county’s facilities must be made available to all residents. Opposition dissipated after his pronouncement.

Q: What major differences are there, if any, between serving on the Board nowadays and let’s say 20 years ago- and what’s the most challenging part of the job of the Board?

A: Many of the most controversial issues regarding access have been settled.  The most challenging issue is the “process of access.” We don’t have many large controversial issues, except for the child care program. The controversies surrounding the “who gets first use of a gym,” have all been settled because they have been adjudicated.  Our biggest responsibility is balancing the wants of user groups with what the schools and essential users have available.  This balancing act is our responsibility.

Q: You are stepping down from the ICB, what’s next for you after CUPF?

A: Yes, (chuckle) this is it. The ICB needs new blood and new perspectives.  The ICB needs to recruit my replacement.  The ICB should not become complacent and should let new ideas come from new generations such as the millennials.  I have always had a passion for teaching, some of my friends at the University of Maryland Dental school have asked me to teach. It is something I am seriously considering.  

 Q:  What advice do you have for other folks interested in serving on the board, and for the ongoing interaction between the Board and CUPF?

A: The ICB members should not go “into the trenches” of CUPF’s tasks on a daily basis.  The ICB should and can define the goals for CUPF. The ICB should let CUPF management and staff do their job(s) to obtain those goals.  

Historic users are very important for the future of CUPF. They were the users who opened the doors. The Board should publish and communicate their policies in lay terms. 

I would encourage the user of our facilities to apply and work on the ICB by volunteering to be on the different committees of the Board.

The next generation of users must take ownership of our facilities and how their use is regulated. We need more “ground-level” users on the ICB.  We need to recruit millennials and X-gens to the ICB   We need them to participate, to learn the system, and to understand the process.  With their help the ICB can make things better, make the operations of CUPF more efficient, and continue to make the process as fair and transparent as possible.