Sunday, December 25, 2005

Opening Statement at OM Candidates Forum

Good evening. My name is Ian Kennedy and I am running to serve as the Oakland Mills representative to the Columbia Council. These are exciting times for our village and our city, and I am seeking the opportunity to work with you in addressing the important issues we face.
To be sure, excitement about our future must be tempered by an understanding of the challenges that lie ahead, including revitalization of our village center, maintenance of our community amenities, open space and high quality of life, and effective leadership at the Columbia Association, among others.

But the challenges before us are not insurmountable – especially in a community as strong as ours, where residents consistently demonstrate their exceptional energy, talents, ingenuity and devotion. Indeed, these attributes and the level of involvement I have seen in Oakland Mills are what initially inspired me to run for Columbia Council.

In order to accomplish our goals, however, we must be able to create partnerships, to build consensus among stakeholders, and to tell the story of our community to a broader audience. While resourceful residents can accomplish much of this on their own, success ultimately requires leaders who share these goals and who are committed, above all else, to seeing them realized.

I promise that if elected I will work to meet the needs of Oakland Mills. As an active member of the community, I have a proven track record of getting things done. For instance, I founded Save Merriweather and prevented one of our community’s landmarks from being demolished. I have chaired the Columbia Association’s Environmental Matters Subcommittee for the last three years, implementing programs to increase environmental awareness among residents and creating a partnership between CA and the master gardeners to remove invasive species from our open space. My environmental work extended to the county level recently, when county executive Ken Ulman appointed me to his commission on the Environment and Sustainability.

And, in order to pay the mortgage, I work for Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization founded by Jim and Patty Rouse to help revitalize communities around the country. Enterprise has also been a key partner in the Oakland Mills revitalization effort.

I am confident that my knowledge, experience and dedication will allow me to perform well as a member of the Columbia Council and I am asking tonight for your vote.


Anonymous said...

Is this dated Dec 2005 in an effort to bury it?

I disagree with commenters who claim this race is only about the Columbia Council. As the west county commenters can attest, we care about who we're letting past the incumbency gate.

Sorry, Columbians. It's not just about Oakland Mills, or Harper's Choice. It's about our county, your and ours.

Whether or not this is the year bloggers (and the younger gens) can stake a claim remains to be seen. But in future elections, if you care about HoCo, be aware of the connection between who is elected to CA and who ends up a HoCo Council rep. Contribute to campaigns accordingly.

Hayduke said...

Kind of.

It's buried because it's part of my campaign and not part of the blog -- yes, there's a distinction. A commenter asked for more information from Candidate Ian Kennedy and Blogger Hayduke obliged. Maybe it seems unnecessary to most, but there's a reason -- even after all this time begin out in the open -- I still go by Hayduke.

The incumbency gate, huh? A wise person once told me that the Columbia Council is where political careers go to die.

I stand by my belief that to residents of Oakland Mills -- those determining the outcome -- this election is about our village. I guess we'll see on Saturday if I'm right.

Hayduke said...

By the way, here's the link to the comment explaining more why I put this back here.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I think Hayduke is right that CA is where political careers go to die. I don't think any of the current Howard County Council or previous council were ever on the CA board. If I am wrong, please let me know, but it seems you are just throwing things out there without have any information to back it up. By the way there is no election for Harpers Choice this year.