Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The 20 Grand Boondoggle

I’d like to direct your attention this morning to a letter to the editor of the Columbia Flier/Howard County Times by Oakland Mills resident Phil Engelke. Entitled “Don’t fund additional budget request from Oakland Mills Village Board”, it tells the story of a misbegotten maneuver to foist a “multi-general gathering place” that no one actually wants into an area that is already highly used and loved by residents.

In case you missed the link the first time, here it is again.

The author of the letter, Phil Engelke, has long been active in Oakland Mills and beyond. I served on the Oakland Mills Village Board with him. In fact, I quoted him ‘way back when in this 2012 blog post. So he definitely has the local standing to make this case. In his letter, Mr. Engelke points out:

At the Feb. 25 Oakland Mills board meeting, residents were surprised this proposal was under consideration since it was never discussed in an open meeting with the community or the two dozen homeowners in the neighborhoods directly affected.

I don’t know exactly what is going on here, largely because there has been zero communication with the Oakland Mills community or request for public input. But it seems as though someone has gotten a bee in their bonnet again to “Reinvent” my Village when it doesn’t need fixing. I thought we were done with that phase of OMCA politics, but, apparently not.

I have a request. If you live in Columbia, read the letter . Then send a quick email to every member of the CA Board asking why they would even consider funding a budget request that hasn’t been publicly vetted and that residents don’t want. Even a paragraph will do. You can use this form to contact all of them. Or:

Heck, send one to Milton Matthews, too.

If I were on the Oakland Mills Village Board and wanted to make an extra budget request, I would jump at the chance to create an innovative plan to improve voting in Village Elections. You may have other ideas. But I would never, have the hubris to push something that has not been appropriately considered and that residents DO NOT WANT.

Please take a minute to support the residents of Oakland Mills by letting the Columbia Association know what you think of this needless budget request.

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