Monday, April 22, 2013

Village Election Results in Perspective

The Village Election results from Saturday are as follows:

River Hill
Michael Cornell - 111
Clayborne Chavers - 41

Wilde Lake
Regina Clay - 175
Nancy McCord - 187 (+38 "CA Votes", which go to winner)

Oakland Mills
Alex Heikimian - 329
Julia McCready - 182

If you were a supporter of the Inner Arbor Plan, it may be easy to be disheartened and question the future of Columbia based on these results.  In reality, proponents of the Inner Arbor Plan took four out of six seats this weekend:  Michael Cornell won in River Hill.  Gregg Schwind won in Hickory Ridge.  Brian Dunn won in King's Contrivance.  I won in Dorsey's Search. 

Saturday was not lost.  It was won back in March.

Additional perspective is also necessary in Wilde Lake.  I truly enjoyed working with Regina and found her to be an excellent Board member.  She and I have become good friends and I will miss having her sitting next to me on Thursday nights.  But that doesn't say anything about Nancy McCord.  I look forward to meeting Ms. McCord and am optimistic that there will be opportunities to work together on matters that come before the CA Board.  We share a foundational interest in doing what is best for Columbia and I hope that can be a platform for cooperation, understanding, and friendship. 

It would be ignorant to call Julia McCready's campaign in Oakland Mills a failure.  Sure, the targeted outcome was not reached, but the organization's existence in the first place is a success.  As you can tell by the numbers, this is an area that has strong allegiances to Alex Heikimian, and that's ok.  He is a diligent representative who sends frequent updates to a long list of residents on the dealings of the CA Board.  That is "money in the bank" when it comes time for Village Elections.  It is also a model to follow. 

Julia and her team told the community that there was another side to things.  She promoted the concepts of cooperation, partnership, and progress.  She rejected the easy tactics of fear-mongering, lies, and personal attacks.  They worked tirelessly at what retrospectively may have been an impossible task.  For pushing the conversation about what is best for Columbia, and possibly changing some minds, we all owe Julia our thanks.

As well as Alex.  It may be hard to read (or type) this, but we can't praise contrariness without also acknowledging those who disagree with us.  While I don't agree with Alex's positions on things, I respect the fact that there will continue to be someone on the other side of the table that will give every idea that I support a thorough inspection and critique.  He didn't get the majority he was looking for in this election cycle, but I am certain that will not discourage him one bit.  We've been trying for two years to find common ground on things without much success, but here's to at least one more year of trying.

The hardest thing about Saturday had very little to do with politics.  It is hard to see my friends hurt.  Elections hurt.  No matter what soft touch you want to put on the results, losses carry with them connotations that are impossible to shake.  I want to tell Regina and Julia how courageous, dedicated, and loved they were just for running, but I know that for right now, those words fall short.  For every reader that takes joy in disparaging politicians or those running for office, it may be worthwhile to think about that hurt for a bit and wonder why anyone would risk it instead of just staying home.

There's still one more election on the docket, and it may be the most important, yet.  Ed Coleman needs your support in Long Reach.  If you didn't already vote last Saturday or mail-in a ballot, please make sure you do this weekend. 

Have a great Monday doing what you love!