Saturday, April 8, 2017

Election Time

Ah, it's Columbia Village election season again. You remember,  right? It's that hallowed time of year when nobody runs, nobody cares, and nobody votes. And nothing ever seems to change.

Over in Oakland Mills, though, we still get a little excited from time to time. We actually have nine folks running for seven seats on the village board. I want to talk a little about this because, well, it's my village and its about as local as politics are going to get around here.

One of the candidates is Bill McCormack, who has been on the board and is hoping to be re-elected. He sent out an impassioned campaign email this week. I didn't get one, but a friend of mine did. And since I have run for village board (and CA rep) I immediately had a question: how did Bill McCormack get those email addresses? Candidates don't have access to community email addresses for the election.


And then there's this claim in his literature:

  • ·         Co-Chaired, with Ginny Thomas, meetings with approximately 25 private/public investors to encourage their involvement in the redevelopment of the Oakland Mills Village Center area.
As an Oakland Mills resident who tries to stay informed, I was truly surprised to read this. Here are my questions for Mr. McCormack:

  • Who were the 25 developers?
  • Did the rest of the board know of these meetings in advance? 
  • Was the rest of the Board invited?
  • Did Ms. Thomas and Mr. McCormack report back to the Board on these meetings?

My experience with the OMCA board under the leadership of Ms.Thomas and Mr. McCormack is that they have held meetings, made decisions, even made contact with local media outlets without consulting the full board. Not once or twice, but over and over again. 

I've served on a Village Board. That is definitely not how they are supposed to operate. If you live in Oakland Mills, anyone who behaves like this or endorses this kind of behavior should send up big red flags for you. And if you get an email from them and you don't know how they got your address? That's troubling, too.

Let's not forget that Mr. McCormack is a big proponent of "Re-inventing Oakland Mills". Is this the direction we should be moving in?

The good news is that we have some better choices. More on that later this week.

Election Day is April 29th. 

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