Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Meeting February 22, 2018

These notes reflect Nancy’s viewpoint only.

The official minutes of the Columbia Association Board meetings can be found on the CA website at: 

Nancy encourages you to send her your comments on her notes. Please reply to her directly at [email protected] 

Columbia Association Board of Directors Meeting

February 22, 2018


Resident Speakout

  • Judy Neckritz, River Hill resident, asked about the Columbia Arts Center and is advocating for the Arts Center to not suffer any lull between the changes that are expected there.  They want the arts center to be open continuously.
  • Crissy Simpson also spoke about the arts center.  She says the center means a lot to many others as well.  44 people signed a petition to keep it going thru the renovations or changes that may take place at some point in time.
  • Ann Mista agrees with maintaining the arts center
  • Elisabeth Hoffman, River Hill resident, echoes the other speakers about the art center.  There is a great community at the center.  It appears the place is well loved.
  • Tim Latimer spoke in favor of the proposed charter for the climate change and sustainability committee.  He says it strikes a good balance to help make Columbia a community of choice now and into the future.
  • Joel Hurewitz spoke about and supports the Climate Change committee.
  • Nina Basu spoke as chair of the Long Reach Village Board.  LRVB supports the initial plans for the renovation of the center. But they want the changes to be phased.  They wish that the changes be community focused.  As CA begins the process and the possibility of changing the facilities that now exist – the village building and the arts center – they want to be sure the arts center remains there.

Chairman’s Remarks

Two CA Board candidate information sessions were scheduled.  Two people attended Tuesday’s session.   The State of the County talk was held and the state of the county is good.

President’s Report

  • The development tracker is back and available.
  • Long Reach Tennis Center will be open by the end of March.
  • Millennial work group will meet for the first time next week. It will be made up of a committee of 13 out of 50 who applied.  Age range is 17-33.

(Please note that the entire report can be read on the CA website.)

Report from the CA Representatives to the Inner Arbor Trust Board of Directors

Available on the CA website.

Board Votes:  Draft Charter – Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory Committee

I read to the Board Bess Caplan’s statement about the important of the two committees working together rather than in solos.  There are too many issues that impact both watershed and climate change.   At the end of the evening, the Climate Change Committee was established as a separate committee and the charter was approved by the Board.  Part of the charter says that the Watershed and Climate Change committees will consult with one another rather that working separately on issues where they can work together.

Board Votes:  Annual Charge Rate and Cap for FY19

  • A vote was taken to keep the annual charge rate at $.68.  There had been discussion about changing the rate.  To drop the rate a few cents has very little impact on homeowners but has a much larger impact on the CA budget.  If the rate dropped $.03 on a $500,000 home, the difference would be about $75.00 for a year.   But the difference to CA would be over $1 million for the year.
  • There are plans to make major changes to the Supreme Sports and Athletic Clubs to keep up with all the competition that has come into the area.  CA is looking at ways to increase membership numbers.  This topic will be taken up in the Board’s FY19 discussion.
  • There were a number of motions made that would impact the budget numbers.  Because these motions were made on the night the Board was to vote on the final budget, the motions were tabled.
  • The membership rates will be increased slightly for FY19 and FY20.  The Board approved this.
  • Haven on the Lake funds of $1,000,000 will not be granted without the Board approving what will be done at the Haven.
  • I made a motion that CA not provide funds for design and implementation for the Lakefront until the impact of the HHC condos will have on the area is known.  There was discussion about this.  Concern was voiced about the new road that will be going in and how that will impact the lakefront.  So there will be no money spent in FY19 for design of the Lakefront. The design money will be moved to FY20.   That can be considered again next year when the FY20 budget is under consideration.
  • There was discussion about what is needed at the horse center.  The property is credited as New Town Open Space.   Therefore it would not be easy to sell this property.   The current lease expires in 2020.  CA staff needs to determine what CA needs to fix to get to 2020.
  • There are a couple of bridges that belong to CA.  Two are in Harpers Choice, one in Wilde Lake.  The Board will need to determine how to proceed in the future with the bridges.  No money was allotted for the bridges until the Board determines how to move forward with them.
  • CA had been planning to put new signs in all the villages.  However those villages that have seen the new signs don’t seem to like them.  The signs that were presented to the Board a year or two ago were very generic.  They didn’t allow for the uniqueness of the independent villages.    Also CA needs to show the signs to the villages to get their input before a decision is made about replacing the current signs.
  • The Senior Advisory Committee has asked for transportation, technology support, and a pickle ball designated court.  There is a senior events shuttle that CA provides.  There are tennis courts that are marked for pickle ball.  There is no single court only for pickle ball.   There was no specific request for technology.  Further explanation is needed.
  • The Board discussed granting money to the Inner Arbor to build pathways.   CA will manage the construction.   Money was approved for the pathway from Little Patuxent Parkway and South Entrance Road to the Chrysalis.

There was a lot of lively discussion at the meeting about issues that the Board hopes to discuss and work on in the next fiscal year.   The meeting ended at 11:50 PM.

Happy Spring – it is on its way.  With the climate change, it is now Feb./March showers bring April flowers.  Enjoy the warmer temps.  Spring really is coming!

If you want to contact me – my email address is [email protected]


Kind regards,