Friday, April 24, 2015

Columbia Village Elections, 2015

The Columbia Village Elections of 2013 were painful.  I saw so many good people lose races they cared deeply about due to bad process, misinformation, and entrenched interests.  Thankfully, as I predicted soon thereafter, despite winning seats those entrenched interests were not particularly sophisticated when it came to governance.  If you could tell me one iota of harm (or good) that has resulted from the 2013 elections, it would be news to me.

But that should not take away from the importance of these elections.  I would say the reason the Columbia Association has kept steady over the past two years is in great part due to leaders from places like Dorsey's Search, River Hill, Owen Brown, and Kings Contrivance.  Without those leaders, and the delicate majority they were able to muster on important votes, we would have a much different $63 million non-profit-community-organization-and-homeowners-association on our hands.

You should vote this Saturday.  Not just out of civic obligation.  You should vote because five minutes of your Saturday is the least you can give in appreciation to those who will be spending hours, and sometimes days, away from their families doing Columbia's work.  I've never found guilt or obligation a good motivator, but if you're otherwise inclined to say "don't care" and go about your day, I think you should do so knowing that someone else is carrying your share and your failure to vote is disrespectful.

Here are my endorsements for contested Village Elections:

Dan Woodruff - Dorsey's Search, CA Rep/Columbia Council

I really cannot recommend Dan enough.  He is one of the smartest community volunteers I've met and knows CA's books backwards and forwards.  Dan is even-headed while also maintaining a passion for all things Howard County.  It will be my honor to vote for him tomorrow.

Ed Coleman - Long Reach, CA Rep/Columbia Council

Ed Coleman was a better CA Board Member than I ever was.  If elections were job interviews, he would have won in 2013.  Ed considers process and outcomes in ways that very few can.  He brought pragmatism and common sense to complex issues.  If you live in Long Reach, vote for Ed.

No Endorsement - Hickory Ridge Village Board

There is a contested election here, but I don't know enough about the people running to make a competent endorsement.  I hope someone will provide one in the comments.

Shari Zaret, Jenna Salmon - Kings Contrivance Village Board

I served with Shari on the CA Board and found her to be a tremendous leader, an empathetic thinker, and a dedicated public servant.  I have only recently met Jenna Salmon through my work on the Columbia Festival of Arts Board, but am so excited to see her name on the ballot.  She is an enthusiastic, friendly, and passionate leader.  I look forward to seeing Jenna do many things in this community for years to come.

Daniel Kirk-Davidoff, Marcia White, Frederick B. Eiland, and Bill Woodcock - Oakland Mills Village Board

I've stated my reasons for supporting these folks before.  There's a lot of passion in Oakland Mills.  Let's hope that passion can be put in a constructive direction.

I'm saddened to see so many vacancies on our local boards.  If you are curious as to whether there is a vacancy where you live, check this run-down in the Flier.  I'll tell you this much - in 3 and a half years, we're going to have some heated primaries in Columbia for some important seats.  If you're willing to sit on the sidelines now, when the unglamorous work needs to get done, don't expect too many people to stand up for you when you're going for something bigger.

That's all for today.  Have a great Friday doing what you love!  Don't forget that the Ellicott City Spring Festival is this weekend!  I'll be selling popcorn at the Wine Bin from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm, which benefits Voices for Children.