Thursday, June 26, 2014

Welcome to Columbia, Mr. Matthews

I sent this letter to CA President Milton Matthews on June 16th, copying in the entire CA Board. I have received only one response, from River Hill rep Michael Cornell.

That's a pretty poor response for an extremely important issue. So I thought I'd send it again, to our entire community. There's a CA Board Meeting tonight, if you'd like to add your voice during the Resident Speak-Out.


Subject: In reference to Board Meeting, June 12th

Dear Mr. Matthews,

Welcome to Columbia. I look forward to learning more about your ideas as you settle in to our community. We are on the brink of many wonderful improvements. I am excited to see Columbia moving forward.

I must say that I don't think that the recent behavior of CA Board Members Avery, Klein, and Swatek on June 12th was at all an example of putting the best foot forward as you begin to work together. As you are new to Columbia, it puts you at quite a disadvantage to be compelled to decipher their mystifying actions.

Although I have lived in Columbia "only" fifteen years, I do know a few things about how CA Board Meetings work.

The CA Board chose to have a discussion on an item that was not on the published agenda, shutting the community out of their discussion and meeting. CA is required to place such items on the agenda and publish the agenda at least 7 days ahead of the meeting.

Further, Mr. Avery's motion to declare that the Inner Arbor Trust was in violation of its easement is a major change in policy, one deserving of the utmost transparency.

A greater and more troubling issue is that Mssrs. Avery, Klein, and Swatek clearly brought this up at a time that the community would not have knowledge or the ability to have any input. Only a few weeks ago the meeting room was filled with enthusiastic supporters of the Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods. I was one of them. I believe it broke down to 13 in favor, 3 against.

The support for this beautiful, creative, and inviting park is plentiful, and growing. Supporters of the park can be found in all generational groups. That is what I find most compelling: those who support the Inner Arbor are excited not only for themselves, but for their children, and the families and children who will come after them.

I am extremely grateful to those members of the Board who stood up to this outrageous breach of CA rules and in so doing, stood up for the people of Columbia. I hope you will do the same in any way that you can. Columbia needs your support.


Julia Jackson McCready



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