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.
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.
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.