Monday, May 3, 2021

The Sixth

Today Lakey Boyd begins her tenure as the President and CEO of the Columbia Association. She is the sixth person to serve in that role. I went digging around on the Internet last night to look for a listing of the past presidents and when they served, but I must not have been looking in the right place. From what I can piece together, it looks like this:

  • Padraic Kennedy 1972-1998
  • Deborah O. McCarty 1998-? (Charles Rhodehamel, acting)
  • Maggie Brown 2001-2009
  • Phil Nelson  2009 -2014 (Susan M. Crabbe, acting)
  • Milton Matthews 2014-2021
There’s also a few “acting presidents” in there.

One thing that surprised me was the name Deborah McCarty. I moved to Columbia in 1999 and have no recollection of her. And then I remembered that I was getting married, expecting a baby, and coping with a newborn and a teenager during that time period. This was not a time in my life when I was up-to-date on local current events.

At any rate, this article by Angela Paik in the Washington Post is vintage Columbia. It’s also the kind of local news coverage that has all but disappeared today.

Leader of Columbia Focus of Growing Ire

Columbia's original residents have questioned the commitment of newcomers for years but rarely with such vengeance. 

Gosh, that sounds awfully familiar.

Despite the fact that residents want the essence of Columbia to be understood and respected by its leaders, for some reason the CA Board keeps hiring people from out of town. I find this curious. Perhaps people from out of town seem more impressive, somehow. I often wonder what candidates from out of town think they will find when they get here. Something new and cutting edge? A rather precious shrine to the ideals of the 1960’s?

It’s hard to choose a president in Columbia. This sentence from Maggie Brown’s obituary shows how just difficult it has been:

Mrs. Brown became the Columbia Association's president after the previous president had been ousted and board members couldn't agree on a replacement.

Well, this time the board has agreed on a replacement, and she starts today. I wish Ms. Boyd all the best. Columbia can look pretty impressive from the outside but we’re not always so lovable once you get to know us. From the Post article by Angela Paik:

...many residents are asking whether this new person can be one of them. They want to know whether she can carry on the Columbia spirit, so difficult to define but essential to understand for the one who is the de facto mayor of this unincorporated town that aimed to be different.

Oh, brother. We can be a little hard to take here in Columbia. Let’s hope for positive new relationships and a successful tenure for the sixth President of CA.

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