Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What Do You Choose?

Yesterday a friend asked me this question:

Which of the candidates has the HCEA endorsement and should that mean something to voters? Which candidates will represent the students and parents the best- in your opinion?

I want to give the Board of Ed race a rest for a few days, but I'm going to come back to that on Thursday. It is a good question, and it deserves an answer.


My daughter and her husband bought their first house in Oakland Mills this Spring. We were thrilled. We're in Talbott Springs, they are in Stevens Forest, so we are neighbors in a way and yet not so neighborly that the young folks have to worry that Mom will drop in unannounced.

The style/model of house that they bought is called a Pacesetter. This is an example of a Pacesetter.


This is the definition of the word "pacesetter".

a person, group, or organization that is the most progressive or successful and serves as a model to be imitated.

Columbia was once seen as a pacesetter. It was a community where new things were happening. And with the Downtown Plan, we are beginning to see that again. It's exciting. Well, not for everyone, apparently.

I'm seeing some pushback recently from members of the Oakland Mills Village Board and members of the HCCA. They are setting forward ideas that are big on control and short on progress. In some cases it looks like an attempt to make an end run around the legal process that is already in place.

In my mind, it comes down to this--is Columbia a pacesetter, or a museum?

This is an a example of a museum.

The Maryland Historical Society

This the definition of the word "museum".

a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public

Is this what we want Columbia to be? A museum?

Museums are wonderful things. But to be clear, a museum is a memorial of things that once were. A community is alive. There is give and take and forward motion.

I know a good number of people who are excited about what is going on in Columbia, and who are dedicated to moving Columbia forward. If the feedback we got at Wine in the Woods for the Inner Arbor is any indication, this excitement is not contained solely to my own group of personal friends. It's bigger than that.

The one thing we share with the folks who are throwing up obstacles and digging in their heels is a sincere love of this place. How we show our love is different. But love it is, just the same.

This is my request: if you care about whether Columbia will be a pacesetter or a museum, I suggest that you follow what is going on at The Oakland Mills Village Board and with the HCCA. Don't let the only watchers be folks "In The Bubble" like me. Your opinion is valuable. How you feel about this community is important.

Get informed and give some feedback. Show Columbia some love.







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