Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Meeting December 10, 2020

Columbia Association Board of Directors Virtual Meeting

December 10, 2020

NANCY’S NOTES (Click here for the agenda and meeting packet.)

As Covid-19 continues to spread, the CA Board continues to meet remotely.

Resident Speakout

Dave Simmons, Robert Neal Marshall, and Mary Kay Sigaty spoke about the Columbia Festival of the Arts.  Mary Kay Sigaty also spoke about her new RV.  It took two years to get into the RV park.  She said the person that ran the park did a wonderful job helping the public at the park.

Mary Kay Sigaty spoke about the festival and what the organization has been doing during the pandemic.

Bob Marshall spoke about the projects that the CFA has been working on during the pandemic.  There is a local arts channel where members of the community can present various modes of the arts, music, poetry, song writing competition.

For 2021, he said CFA hopes that Lakefest will return.  The festival is continuing to build programs.  The hope is that CA will be able to donate to the program again.  Dave Simmons said he understands how difficult it is to continue to support programs outside of CA with the budget crunch.

Consent Agenda – Approval of Easement Requests

The Board approved easement requests, including pedestrian water main in Wilde Lake, Stonebrook public sewer in Kings Contrivance. Please see the link for the agenda and packet on the CA website for further information.

Board Votes – Independent Auditors for FY2021

For FY2021, the Audit Committee recommends the Board approve the outside auditors.  The Board approved CLA for FY2021.  This is the fifth year of this auditor.  Next year will be a new company per the rules.

Board Discussion – Easement Requests

The Board discussed easements.  It has become a concern that CA needs to be assured that any easement that is given to another party be written in such a way to protect the interests of CA and the community.

Roslyn Rise development has asked for an easement for access around the entire perimeter of the development.  It would provide an access path for the fire department to get to the backside of the buildings.

Wetlands Solutions is providing the needed work to improve the stream valley and wetlands issues in Columbia.   The company will do this at no cost to CA.  CA gets the value of the work done which should amount to nearly $10 million.  This will help prevent such frequent lake dredging.  Dennis Mattey, CA, Director of Construction and Facility Services, brought this together.  It is a great way to help the community and save a bundle of money at the same time.

Board Discussion – Inner Arbor Trust Revised Concept Plan

Nina Basu, President/CEO of the Inner Arbor Trust, spoke about the new plans for Symphony Woods.  She demonstrated how the community surrounding the park and the wider community can benefit from this space.  The IAT can raise money via donations from governments and private funds.

HHC, DAACC and other groups also met with Nina to see how to connect the new Merriweather District to the park.   Board members seem to like the new plans for the park.

Board Discussion – Board Member Ideas re: Format/Structure for the Virtual Town Hall on January 21, 2021

CA is planning a remote community meeting to hear from the community and how the meeting will be conducted.  I spoke about listening to the community and having the appropriate people leading the presentation.  It is critical that CA communicates with the community.

The community wide meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2021 to discuss issues that concern the community members.  The Board also wants to share information such as the CA budget and other relevant items.

Board Discussion – Most Recent Development Tracker

The Board reviewed a couple things on the development tracker.  Members also discussed rules for additions to houses.  There are stream buffer setbacks.  If there is a stream buffer area adjacent to the property, that must be taken into consideration before approval of expansion will be given.

Board Discussion – Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

CA has begun work on evaluating the tot lots in Columbia.  Staff will determine, after a survey, how many tot lots need to be closed and how many need refurbishments.  This will be a lengthy project but will eventually get a better grip on condition and needs of tot lots.

Open Space will try to have various members of the team attend Village Board meetings twice a year.  It gives the villages an opportunity to connect with the Open Space Team.

Tennis court refurbishment is underway at Hobbits Tennis Courts.

CA has planted several trees at the Rustling Lead pond.

Stream restoration project is continuing around Eliot’s Oak Road.

A bioretention facility is being built near Faulkner Ridge Circle.

The work of the Open Space Department, led by Dennis Mattey, is never ending.  CA does do a wonderful job constantly upgrading and improving our fair city.

Chairman’s Remarks:  Update on the President/CEO Search

The search for a new CEO/President of CA is continuing. There are currently 44 applicants.  The screening begins at the end of December.  Baker Tily, the search company, will narrow down the number.  10-15 candidates will be the semi-finalists.  The Board will choose from that group, about 5 finalists.

Then Baker Tily will do background checks and check references.  Interviews will be scheduled with people from the community and staff.  The Board hopes to have an offer out by March 1 and have the search completed and an agreement made by March 8, 2021.

President’s Report – “The Year in Review”

The President’s report in this package is also on the CA website.  Please feel free to access that and see what has happened this year from Milton Matthews, CA President/CEO.

There was a brief conversation about how CA is responding to those who are contacting the Board about Symphony of Lights.   The Board and staff will continue to discuss this issue.  The community will hear more from CA after the New Year.

I wish you all a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season – whatever or if ever you choose to celebrate – Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.  And a MUCH better 2021 for us all.


Nancy McCord

[email protected]