Wednesday, August 12, 2015


About twice a year we indulge in the evil goodness which is KFC. When I woke up this morning I remembered why--MSG. I have an incredible MSG hangover this morning. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that my mouth feels like a hook and loop fastener.

My husband grabbed dinner because he knew I would be ducking out quickly to go to on Oakland Mills Village Board Meeting and that it would useful if I didn't have to worry about cooking. He was right. I had been practicing what I would be saying during Resident Remarks all day long. Dinner just wasn't on my radar.

One of the things I talked about last night was generational differences. How do we reach out to young buyers looking to buy a first home? We have to understand how they think. They are not just mini versions of us, freshly-cloned for our convenience.

As I looked around the room last night as I spoke, one fact was obvious. Despite the relatively good turn out, there was only one person in the room who was even close to the age group I'm talking about. It really concerns me that we're re-writing rules and changing process without their voices.

So why don't younger residents come to village board meetings? I'd say it's because the meetings are boring at best, contentious at their worst, long, often inefficiently run, achieve no concrete useful results. And people of my daughter's age just hate meetings. That's not how they operate. That's not how they get things done.

Our Village Boards are elected to represent all residents, and to be cheerleaders for the Village--the most articulate supporters of what we stand for. If they are going to change rules, for whatever reason, the most important thing on their minds should be the real human beings who will be affected. In the case of covenant enforcement, that might be older residents, residents who are struggling financially, and younger, potential residents.

I think that a preoccupation with rules and enforcement overlooks the human part of the equation. Getting hung up on the perfect system can lead to the perfect hangover when no one wants to take a chance on your community. Why would they?




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