There's no McDonald's adjacent to Tabco Towers and The Ridgely high-rise apartments.

Residents of Schwartz Avenue don't have glare from ball field lights across the street, because the fields aren't lighted.

There's no subsidized housing where Towson University's Marriott Conference Center now stands.

And if and when the Towson Circle III project comes to pass, it won't include an apartment-dorm building housing 600 Towson University students.

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On those types of issues and more, elected officials have learned to pay attention to what the GTCCA thinks, said 42nd District Del. Bill Frank.

"The organization has built up a creditable track record over the years of acting in the best interest of the community," he said.

Presidents and delegates

There was a time when GTCCA president David Kosak thought he was losing weight.

Indeed, he's had to skip lunch hours to handle demands of a group representing some 10,000 Towson households.

The Fellowship Forest resident was elected Dec. 15 to a second term to head the GTCCA. He ran unopposed.

Redistricting has been a big issue over the past year, he said, but on any given day the hot topic might be school overcrowding, zoning, code enforcement, legislation and public policy, lighting, speeding … or the impact of college students who live in Towson neighborhoods.

The latter of those is ironic, given that Kosak graduated from Towson University — just in 2009.

He is, in fact, the youngest president GTCCA has ever had. Kosak was 23 when he was first elected. He made an unsuccessful run for the House of Delegates, and GTCCA members say they were impressed by his work ethic and his dedication to resolving issues.

Since he ran his first GTCCA meeting in January 2010, he has learned to appreciate the time and effort GTCCA volunteers put in, especially when they are up against people who are being paid good money to be at the table — development attorneys, traffic engineers and the like.

Kosak said he has learned small issues can be significant to neighbors; and bigger issues can turn out to be "not a big deal."

And he has learned how to "set expectations in the attainable range."

GTCCA meetings are the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Pickersgill Retirement Community. That's where delegates from each community association meet, as well as guests.

The delegate system is effective, said 5th District County Council member David Marks.

"What's unique about Towson is it's very neighborhood oriented," said Marks.

GTCCA is effective, Marks said, because instead of trying to span an entire area, it works through delegates to address not only broad issues, but issues unique to specific neighborhoods.