Thursday, December 31, 2015

Letting Go

My daughter just asked why we say "hang up" the phone and now I feel 90.

I saw this post on Twitter last night, followed by a host of responses commiserating with the writer. They referenced other obsolete phrases and experiences:
  • "Don't touch that dial!"
  • Busy Signals
  • Rotary phones
  • Roll down the window
  • "You sound like a broken record."
As the minutes are ticking away on 2015, I'm thinking about things in our community that are becoming obsolete. In his end-of-year post at The 53, Bill Woodcock states:

I think the sad thing I notice this year is, how much village boards in Columbia, if not the Columbia Association itself, really don't matter. And yeah, I suppose I'll catch flak for that last sentence. But I do think our local institutions work around the Columbia power structure more than they do with it. And can you blame them? The little power structures are either filled with pockets of zealotry, or with people who stand uniquely unqualified to wield the authority that they do.

He's right. The power and influence of individual village boards and the CA Board is diminishing by the year. This was clearly evident at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Chrysalis in Merriweather Park. None of the people who were chosen and invited to participate as VIP's were the CA reps who put themselves on the line to vote for the creation of the Inner Arbor Plan. And many of those folks went on to lose elections because of their commitment to the park.

I found that very telling.

This post is not written to vilify the CA Board or Village leadership. It isn't a celebration or mourning at its passing. It's merely an observation. For a variety of reasons, this leadership structure is becoming irrelevant to most of our community. I know a lot of very good people who have worked passionately to get involved and turn that around.

It's just not happening. Too many people who sit on these boards are representing the past rather than the present.(The future? Forget about it.) As a friend of mine said recently, it's possble that we'll see The Columbia Association's identity in the community reduced to pools, pathways and totlots.

If you have read all this and thought:


then you are the future. So, future Columbians, what's next?

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