Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Meeting February 27, 2020

Columbia Association Board of Directors


February 27, 2020

 Nancy’s Notes

 Resident Speak-Out

Louis Barbie of OM spoke out against a proposal from Ginny Thomas regarding a request she has made for $15-20K.    He says this proposal doesn’t include residents’ input, there is no real statement of work presented, there was no community involvement.     Ms. Thomas says she is no longer asking for money and wants the Board to come back with a process from CA to involve the community.

Shari Chase spoke about her wish to meet with Mr. Matthews but hasn’t been able to get that appointment.  She spoke about a difficult time with inclusion in a class for her son.  He has autism.  He needs someone with him.  The mother insists the child has not hurt anyone as the teacher stated.  She is very upset about her son being excluded.  Her son is 23 years old and was accused of hurting someone at the CA facilities.  He has been banned with threats of calling the police if he returns.  She loves CA and wants him to be able to use the facilities again.   Board members suggested we get all the facts before any steps are taken.

Evangeline Schindler from OM has photos to show the space in question for proposed development of the space in Stevens Forest.  She loves the area and the facilities there.   The space is not at all underutilized.  It is heavily used by children and families.  She spoke out against the proposed study and development.  She loves the natural area and the many spaces there for their family to enjoy.  The goal  to respect the land, and have nature be part of their every day life is what matters to her.  Evangeline was unhappy that this has not been publicized to the community.  Therefore there was no community input.

Capital Budget Discussion

  • A motion was made to fund the renovations of Locust Park and Jeffers HIll neighborhood centers. We do not yet have a NC (neighborhood center) policy yet.  We need to determine what will happen re ADA, and how much changes will be made to basic structures.   We need to work toward a policy toward the NCs.  The work won’t begin on Locust Park before the summer.  We have time to establish the NC policy.  The following year Jeffers Hill NC will be done.
  • The Board agreed to do an assessment of putting in an ADA restroom on the 2nd floor of the Other Barn. We hope this will finally bring the needed restroom to this facility.

Operating Budget Discussion

  • A motion was made to return $200K to the budget for the Downtown Columbia Partnership (DCP). If you recall, a couple months ago we decided to eliminate the $200K grant this year to the DCP. It was also requested that the DCP give 60 free admissions for 5 K, for Lakefest and Books in Bloom.  The DCP will also arrange circulators (transportation) from village centers and lots of visibility for CA on their website.  There was a good deal of conversation about this request.  The Board votes this evening on the two year budget.   To make a change so late in the game is unreasonable.  I suggested a compromise at $100K to fund the DCP.  The discussion continued.  Some support fully funding the requested $200K. Some Board members want to give nothing.  We worked to come up with a compromise this late in the budget process.
  • The Board voted to give $100K to the DCP in the coming FY 21.

Release of Funds for Repair of Stonehouse

  • The County plans to find lessees for spaces in the Long Reach Village Center. They are looking for tenants for 3 – year leases.   In this event, Stonehouse and the Art Center need repairs sooner rather than later.    The Board approved the funds for these repairs.
  • A Board member asked staff to help develop a process for working with the community.

She says her Village Board asked in a 5-1 vote, to come up with a process for the village to get community input to create a space or spaces the community would like to have.  When asked why CA staff is asked to do this, she feels the final decisions are always with the CA board.  She feels it’s important that the CA staff be involved.  I spoke against involving CA staff.  It seems appropriate that residents in the village, if they feel connected to this concept, should form a committee to determine how to reach residents and then how to find a way to move forward with this.  The Board voted to table a proposal by the Oakland Mills representative to create a process using CA staff to get resident input into making changes, the area to be determined, to create an inter generational space with  things residents would like to have in their community.   The CA Board agreed to table this until the NC policy is determined.

Inner Arbor Trust Report

The IAT’s bond was approved.


Spring will soon be here.

Stay warm!

Nancy McCord

[email protected]