Sunday, March 12, 2006

CA gets it right...barely...

Yes, CA board members, people lose faith in public institutions that, on "freedom of speech" grounds, insist on having closed meetings.

The Columbia Association board voted Thursday night against a proposal by Miles Coff- man, the board's representative for Hickory Ridge. The amendment, which failed in a tie vote, would have allowed association staffers to continue discussions in the partnership meetings but would have required them to routinely present updated reports to the board and the public.

Columbia's downtown partnership meetings are brainstorming sessions among county officials, association staff and General Growth Properties Inc. about the redevelopment of Town Center.

Coffman said that one reason he proposed the amendment last month was to ensure that officials in the sessions have the freedom to speak at will. His concern was that residents and the media might take comments out of context.

It's a shame that a technicality (a tie vote) was required to squash this stupid proposal. To board members: haven't you done enough in the past couple of years to discredit yourselves? Why even consider doing this after the massive flap created when you had semi-closed door discussions about a new headquarters building just a few months ago?

If for nothing other than again calling out those who fail to understand that their constituents -- those that actually "own" the Columbia Association (for god's sake) -- want to know what is being done with their money, here is Howard County Blog #2's list of the CA members who voted for more behind the scenes dealing.

And remember, Columbia elections are just a few weeks away...

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