Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Whose Job is it Anyway?

Here's a question for you:

What happens if you are running for office but there is widespread misinformation about what that position actually entails?

It means, in effect, that you and your opponent are running for strikingly different offices. How does that work, exactly?

The Columbia Council Representative positions were designed to be held by ordinary citizens.  They are volunteer positions. The only official training that exists for them is proven dedication to community involvement, knowing how to work well with others, and being able to learn and make decisions about community issues.

Yet I hear that I am not qualified to hold this position because I am "a musician".  Were there no music teachers in early Columbia? Can music teachers not bring lessons learned from professional experience to the CA and OM boardrooms? What about plumbers? Administrative assistants? Photographers?

It has also been suggested to me that this a full-time position which can only be held be someone who is retired. What did they do when Columbia was new? How did they find people who were specially trained in Columbia, with all the correct professional qualifications, who were already retired?

The answer is: they didn't.  Columbia was represented by Columbians. If we stop believing that we can be represented by our peers, we have lost the essence of what Columbia is about. If we believe that all people on the People Tree are equal but some are "more equal than others", our experiment in community life has failed.

The greatest qualifications for being a Columbia Council Representative, and a member of the CA Board are as follows: being willing and able to work hard, learn quickly, see things from others' points of view, and communicate to colleagues and constituents regularly, fully, and truthfully.

I work for the Howard County Public School System, part-time. I teach Music and Movement classes to preschool aged children with special needs. My professional experience and my life experience give me unique qualifications to represent my Village.

If you want to learn more about the responsibilities of the CA Board of Directors, do what I did when I first decided to run. Ask the Columbia Association for pertinent documents defining the position.

Read them,
Analyze them,
Formulate your own opinion

That's what is so wonderful about Columbia. We all have a place at the table, and we can choose representatives who will make sure that all voices will be heard.

Even if you're a music teacher.


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