Tuesday, September 22, 2015

And A Little Child Will Lead Them

Gotta hand it to Oakland Mills Girl Scouts for schooling certain decidedly unfriendly adults on the Oakland Mills Village Board without even trying. They decided to build a friendship bench for their Bronze Star Project.

"Simran eventually became friends with three girls in her Girl Scout troop, Troop 4709, who also attended Thunder Hill Elementary, in Columbia, and wanted to help her create a friendship bench for a Girl Scout Bronze Star project.

'It's open to fifth- and sixth- graders,' said Simran's friend, Aria Lunt, now a sixth-grader at Oakland Mills Middle. 'First you find something that needs to be fixed in your community, then you find a way to fix it.'"

A friendship bench. If you don't know what this is, look here for the origins of the Buddy Bench.

"The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Let's spread the message of inclusion and kindness!"

Inclusion and kindness are two things they really, really need on the Oakland Mills Village Board.

It was announced last night at the board meeting that the OMVB Board Co-Chairs and Architecture Committee Chair called an emergency meeting last Friday with Tom Carbo, Diane Wilson, and the County Executive. Last night was the first time most people had heard about this meeting.

Let's let that sink in a little bit. These OM representatives almost certainly squashed the possibility of the county purchasing Grand Pointe without including the full membership of the Oakland Mills Village Board. They couldn't even allow Tom Carbo of the County to come and present information for the community consider. They wouldn't even include the full membership of our village's elected board in the negotiation process.

Three people out of a board of seven took it upon themselves to halt any kind of learning and negotiation process.

When it comes to Friendship Benches, these folks have planted themselves on the bench and are telling everyone else, "It's our bench. It's full, sorry."

This blog puts a very high value on opportunities where Columbia and Howard County can intersect. That's why I find this action particularly offensive. A partnership between Oakland Mills Village and Howard County might very well have produced benefits for Grand Pointe and for our community. In addition, this behavior violates the Board's responsibility to the community and it violates the responsibility that these three board members have to the full board. Having served on the OMVB, I speak with reasonable authority that this is not how you do business.

"First you find something that needs to be fixed in your community, then you find a way to fix it."

If you live in Oakland Mills, is this what you want for your community? If not, take a lesson from the Girl Scouts.






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