Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session January 10, 2019

(Click here to view the agenda and background material.)

Resident Speakout

Joel Hurewitz spoke about the proposed North Columbia Fire Station.

Chairman’s Remarks

The calendar is in meeting packet (see link above).

President’s Remarks/Comments from Communications and Marketing: Follow-Up Questions from the Board Members

Laura Sitler, CA Chief Marketing Officer, spoke to the Board about the issues with hearing guests and each other during calling or even sitting in meetings.  Members received and gave new insights as to how to use the new features of the call in system.

There were other helpful hints that are relative to Board members.  The microphone issues will hopefully be solved so that everyone will be heard well.  There was a fairly lengthy discussion about the current issues that Board members have with the system.

Final Report from the Millennials Work Group 

Millennials are defined as married or single between ages 17 and 35.  The Millennial work group made a presentation on the group and how to explore ways to better serve Millennials.   What are Millennials looking for and how can CA help facilitate those needs?

The group found various ways to hear from many Millennials in Columbia.  They met monthly to discover what is CA and how does this group move forward and make a difference.   They discovered they want socialization opportunities and need places to gather.  They found issues and recommendations to help solve these issues.

The recommendations include: redesign the website, improve social media presence, personalize communications, food trucks – and more food trucks, partner with local establishments, expand targeted CA programming & facilities and increase class offerings.

The group raised the issue of cost of living and housing affordability.  They suggested offering a range of price points for CA programming – low cost events and programs. The CA membership structure and pricing is also a concern.

Long term contracts and student loan debt are a problem for many in this age group.   Nightlife amenities and organized predictable year round and bimonthly events would be helpful. There are barriers to participation.  Continued CA Millennial engagement is desired.  CA needs to create a Millennial advisory committee.

Implementation of these priority recommendations could provide a clear understanding of CA and its offerings, more Millennial participation, including organic socializing and gathering.

Howard County State Delegation Legislation Discussion

The Board discussed some of the proposed legislative changes that Howard County legislators have created.  At the end of the month meeting, the Board will vote on the items that CA supports.   While the legislature is in session, the Board will receive these proposed changes and will determine which ones to support with a letter to legislators.

Inner Arbor Trust

There was discussion about the proposed Butterfly building in Symphony Woods and the bond issue that legislators have included in this session.  Some of those who did not support the Inner Arbor from day one still are against it.  But many have become more supportive over the past few years.  This has proven to be a positive amenity in our community.  It provides entertainment and gathering spots for families, and individuals.

I support the request for a state bond to fund this building.

1st Deliberation by the Board on the Conditional FY2020 Budget with proposed additions and deletions from stakeholders

The discussion began with costs of Tribe, a new program for people of all physical abilities, which is negligible.  It is expected that in FY2020 the income of the operating budget will increase by nearly $4,000,000. Click here to view the budget. Feel free to take a look and contact me with any questions you may have.  If I can’t answer I can find the person who can.

There was a good deal of conversation about the proposed new positions that will be filled if the budget passes.    The Board was told how and why these positions are needed.  They will be paid with money that is being saved in other areas.  Even with the new positions, there is still an increase in assets.  Milton Matthews, CA President/CEO, and Susan Krabbe, CA Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, have created a fiscally responsible and impressive budget that includes Board members, village, and community input.

There was discussion again about tot lots which will be discussed in another meeting.  This is an ongoing topic.  There are 165 tot lots in Columbia.   To build one is not terribly expensive, but to maintain or rebuild all is a huge number.  CA will need to explore how well used these tot lots are.


There was also discussion about potential changes to the lakefront in tandem with Howard Hughes changes.  CA needs to see and understand the Howard Hughes plan before money is put into updating or changing what is there now.

 Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

Lighting has been added to the far side of Lake Kittamaqundi.  The lights go to the posters but not all the way around.  That area is too far removed but when it becomes denser, lights can be installed at a later date.

Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker

The Board discussed just two areas in development in or near Columbia because the meeting ran very late.   Jordan Overlook adjacent to Thunder Hill may become an age restricted area with 21 age restricted houses.   There are some concerns about this development because it doesn’t meet the area’s criteria.  Also there are concerns by community members.

An amendment to the Preliminary Development Plan “PDP” for Columbia NT is going to the Zoning Board.  It is a mixed income project called Community Homes by Enterprise Homes.  There will be an additional 300 homes in the five communities where these changes will occur.

Dorsey Overlook is being watched.  There are a variety of plans but at this time, there is no specific plan for the property.

Happy New Year to all.  Please contact me at [email protected] with any questions.

Warm regards,