Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What You Need to Know

Due to a migraine, I missed the community meeting at TSES last night about Blandair Park and Timesweep Lane. From what I can gather on Facebook, the entrance at Timesweep will be a pedestrian one, and the overall feeling of the community is positive about that. What I don't know is whether everyone felt moved to choose civility at the meeting, but I certainly hope so.

Tonight: County Executive Ken Ulman will hold his first Citizens’ Budget Hearing for the FY2015 budget cycle on Wednesday, December 18.(George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Banneker Room, Ellicott City / 7 pm)

This is yet another meeting I will not be attending, as it falls on the only day between now and December 25th when all members of my family are available to get a Christmas tree. I have been to this meeting in the past, in support of the Bridge Columbia project. Although I am not a big fan of meetings, this particular one can be fascinating. The tone is friendly and relaxed as different individuals or groups make a case for new or continued funding.

The reason you need to know about this meeting: Ian Kennedy, Oakland Mills (Stevens Forest) resident will be there proposing something new. I quote from a recent email:

I am asking that the County create a "neighborhood investment fund" that could be used to provide loans and grants to help address some of the challenges of our older neighborhoods, like modernizing our housing stock, fostering economic development in our retail centers, improving our community-owned facilities and spaces, and addressing the small, but not insignificant, disparities that reduce quality of life in older neighborhoods (like the fact that some schools can't provide even comparable enrichment activities—like field trips—as others). After an initial investment from the county, it could leverage private money or partnerships to broaden its reach and impact.

I think this is a fabulous idea. You can read Bill Woodcock's take on it here. I applaud Ian for looking at challenges that the older Columbia villages face, and jumping in to work on a solution. This investment fund could be of help not just in Columbia, but also in other communities in Howard County with similar problems. If you have time to go tonight, his presentation should be worth your time.

Lastly, in the #save2ndchance category--put this in your calendar: Saturday, December 21st, from 5-7:30pm, a Community Rally to support the Second Chance Saloon. From the press release:

The dining public also has a chance to voice their opinion. Customers, media, and local area business owners are welcome to attend Keep Second Chance on the Map on Saturday December 21, 2013 anytime from 5:00-7:30 pm at Second Chance Saloon. Local Marylanders will have the opportunity to show a national companywhat’s important to the Howard County community.

I will be there. My entire family will be there. And I am hoping to see you there, too.

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