Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's a crazy world we're living in…

I have a ton of stuff about the One Homeowner's Association to Rule Them All, Columbia Association.

First, if you haven't seen Bill's post on the Lakefront issues, go there now. Seriously, it's good stuff.

Second, breaking news: I've been told that long-time Columbia Council representative and one-time Ian Kennedy opponent Barbara Russell has opted not to run again for her post.

Really? She couldn't have made that decision last year?

Actually, I'm glad she didn't. Yeah, I went there: I'm a loser and proud of it. 

Anyway, who's going to run for the seat? Leave suggestions – or pleas to your candidate of choice – in the comments. I know who I'm rooting for.

Finally, Evan Coren and I have deep, fundamental disagreements about a bunch of things, particularly stuff related to Downtown Columbia. For instance, he thinks the Plaza Tower is a "middle finger" to all that Jim Rouse stood for. Me, I think it's a kind of boring tall building with expensive condos that probably, at this point, won't even get built.

See? Totally different.

These disagreements have at times caused tension among us, but that's cool. I like tense, awkward situations.

But, now, I have to hand it to the guy. He's been doing good things. First, I hear he went to bat for Oakland Mills revitalization, supporting in the face of considerable opposition an appropriation of funding for the community organizer position currently occupied by Ben Hunter. This position is vital to the success of OM's continuing revitalization effort, and Evan, unlike many of his colleagues, understood this from the get go. 

Also, he's questioned a proposal to lower CA's assessment cap, a move that could be damaging to CA's financial position, which seems a bit tenuous already.

Overall, he's got perspective on things where others seem to lack it -- in addition to what's mentioned above, see his comments about the deteriorating structures at the lakefront in Bill's post (seriously, check it out.)

So without hesitation, I'm giving Evan the CA Board Member of the Year Award. And while we're at it, I'm giving Barbara a lifetime achievement award -- after eight years on the board, she deserves it.

And lastly, about this decision to end CA meetings at 11 pm: While I applaud the realization that public meetings aren't really public if they're held past midnight, board members seem to be trying to solve a symptom rather than the problem. There are very real concerns about how the board operates, concerns that aren't going to be addressed by simply letting everyone go to bed at a reasonable hour. Jessie shares some similar thoughts here.

Come on, Evan, try taking this one on. 


B. Santos said...


Great post. I completely agree with you on CA Board member Evan Coren. He and I have differences on downtown development, but he has done an admirable job on many Columbia issues.

With respect to Barbara Russell, I'm floored. She has been a hard worker for many years and even if I didn't agree with all of her positions, she will be missed.

With respect to who could succeed her, I believe there are some talented bloggers that live in Oakland Mills who would represent well. If this does not work out, may I suggest someone from the Tolson family. They were featured in the Washington Post Magazine last week.

Anonymous said...

how about mary kate murray!!??

jim adams said...

Too often we critize only the bad, not mentioning the good.

B.Santos and HD have shown real character in this posting.

Reference P.M.Forni's " Choosing
Civility" rules #8 & 10 come to mind.

Anonymous said...

Why does the 'recent comments' section have the news links?

Hayduke said...

sorry for the less than timely response...

I'm not sure what's causing the problems you're having with the site, but it comes up fine on mine. Sometimes just doing a hard refresh corrects problems.

Kathy O. said...

I too like tense, awkward situations. ha ha.

I would LOVE to design more fliers!!

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