Wednesday, October 21, 2020

the Named Storm is COVID-19



COVID -19 has taken Columbia Association (CA) by storm, impacting our Sports and Fitness Division, today and into the future. For months to come, the Board of Directors will be Looking at this situation as part of a larger conversation about how our mission and vision must evolve over time. While we will consider different business models for many of our facilities and prepare for future disruptions in the microeconomic landscape that is Columbia, the Board should commit itself to increasing fairness throughout the community, and intentionally creating environments where everyone feels welcome, respected, and encouraged to participate. The Board should not use a "cut and burn" strategy but rather a scalpel or look for opportunities to repurpose or reimagine amenities. Although I wish circumstances were different, now is the time for each Board member to reflect on how our "business" model can evolve to create a culture of inclusion and opportunity for each of our neighbors. The Board should use this time wisely, amid the confusion, to slow down and adapt to the changing conditions and demographics of the community.  The Board should be looking to the two largest segments of the community, Boomers and Millennials, to answer important questions about how to meet the interests of younger residents and the evolving interests of those approaching retirement. Both groups are active and want to stay connected to family and neighbors, including having access to open space, swimming, and playgrounds. And, these are the very activities that have been among the highest-ranked activities in CA surveys since 1998. 

These can be both stressful and exciting times for the community as questions arise such as; how to broaden the community's appeal, what exciting opportunities will arise, and how will CA finance the conversion of existing assets to enhance community value. The Board of Directors has before it an onerous task. The Board should work diligently to create an open dialogue with the Village Boards, Advisory Committees, and residents. Every meeting should be open to the public or live streamed and participation should be encouraged. The discussion, amendment, or approval of any budget should not happen in a closed session as it did on June 4, 2020 to pass the FY 2021 Amended Budget. Not only does this violate State of Maryland HOA laws, it is unprofessional and unethical. I am encouraging you to participate and make your voices heard. CA Board Meetings and Work Sessions are live streamed on the YouTube CA Live Stream page on the Association website. But most importantly, Speak Out at a Work Session or Board Meeting. Tell the Board what you value. To sign up for Speak Out visit: 

https://www.columbiaassociation.org/about-us/leadership/board-of-directors/resident-speakout/ 

Further, residents can email me at nantucketschool@yahoo.com or call me at 443-686-0702.       


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