Tonight is my last meeting as a member of the Oakland Mills Village Board. I've decided that I needed to take a break, because the year coming up will be a life-changing one for me: my oldest is getting married in September, and my youngest is making the transition to Middle School. (Thanks goodness there isn't one in between!) This is a year I need to devote to my family.
It isn't any easy decision to make because I have learned so much in the past two years. If you really want to know the "skinny" on what is going on in your Village, plus greater Columbia, and even, to some degree, in Howard County, you should serve on a Village Board. Yes, you have to put the time in, but the education is phenomenal. And your feeling of ownership in your community increases.
I think that most people assume that being on a Village Board is about going to meetings. The Oakland Mills Board has two meetings a month. But you might be surprised how many other things I have done over the last several years that stem from Board membership. Let me see now, since being elected, I have:
visited homes to see their connection to Route 29
started a children's music/dance event at the Second Chance Saloon
given testimony in front of the CA Board
served as a docent for the Columbia Home Tour
sung "Happy Birthday" to Lavenia Nesmith at a Jazz in the Mills Concert
run a children's art activity table at the Oakland Mills Art Show
eaten many a burger at half-price burger night with fellow board members
run the wagon rides for children activity at the Oakland Mills Cultural Arts Festival
given testimony in front of the Howard County Council
become a Hocoblogger
I have been privileged to work with a variety of excellent Board members, and with a Village Manager who never stops thinking Oakland Mills, not even when she sleeps. If I'm lucky, I'll get the opportunity to do it again, once I have this year behind me.
On the other hand, if lots of other folks get inspired to run for the Board, well, that would be even more of a victory for Columbia. I'll just find a different way to serve where I am most needed.
Whatever your talents are, your Village can use them. Who says being on a Village Board isn't exciting?