Tonight is the much publicized community meeting in Oakland Mills to address concerns about the county's purchase of the Verona Apartments. If you are going, a reminder to bring two things:
Non-perishable food items to help feed hungry children who live in our Village, and
Respect for the Village Board.
I may not have an expert opinion on much in this world, but I feel confident speaking to this. Every time the board meets, and often even when they don't, they are working to make Oakland Mills a better place. I'll just give you a list.
Hearing resident concerns, working together to resolve.
Hosting community sessions to help resolve larger conflicts.
Planning and administering community events that will benefit quality of life.
Promoting Oakland Mills to future residents and businesses.
Trying to get quality merchants for the Village Center. Working to support current businesses in the Village Center.
Working with Cedar Properties to take better care of the Village Center.
Working with the Police to improve safety in our Village.
Supporting Village schools through donations to specific causes and events.
Supporting schools by creating and administering "Oakland Mills Achievers" award.
Reaching out to apartment communities to improve communication and quality of life.
Serving as a review board for RAC disputes.
Working collaboratively with the Columbia Association.
Working collaboratively with Howard County.
And more that I haven't thought of...
No matter what happens at the meeting tonight, the Board will still have to "come back at it" and "keep at it" for the next meeting, the next meeting, and the next. This issue is not the only thing on their plate. They have been working all along to help Oakland Mills, and they will continue to do so.
So, show some respect.
I received the following note from Al Romack, former Owen Brown Village Board Member. Al is a long-serving PTA Officer at Talbott Springs Elementary School. He knows what it means to be involved and committed.
Julia's post is once again right on the money. But I do feel that she has left a couple really good ones out.
A1: being a tireless cheerleader for the good, the bad and the ugly. Typically folks, no not all the folks, but a seemingly large bunch, only comment when there is a problem, they only take action or even take an interest when something isn't right or the way they want it. Educating and correcting the bad is an important function, kind of like the mom's and dad's of the village. Looking Ugly in the eye, and seeing it for what it is and working to improve it, is very hard, but necessary. Otherwise it lingers. Most Importantly is Cheering for the good. It is so important for Village Reputation, Staff morale, and resident personal perception. Having a large loving community does not just happen, it is made!
A2: Educating the next generation on Civic Responsibility. My time on the OBCA board got me exposure to fantastic leaders like Andy Stack and Neil Dorsey, who showed me that it was important to not only take a role in the Village but to reach out to all "making the community better" opportunities. My participation in PTA, CA, the Village is all motivated by the excellent example that these local leaders exhibit. I am motivated to be better because of their example.
A3: Finally, there is nothing more comforting to the asker and satisfying to the answerer to be able to: Know the right person to talk to, where to get that once in a lifetime resource that you need right now when you are stressed out, that your friend on the Village board. They are there when you need them. Come on now, go out and hug a village board member today!!