Sunday, January 29, 2023

Let’s Swap, Columbia


Games, puzzles, and swapping - - now that sounds like a good idea for a Sunday afternoon in January.

Image from Howard County Library’s Facebook account

Come on down to the Howard County Library’s Central Branch this afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 pm for the Community Board Game and Puzzle Swap. They’ll be setting up in the Maxine White Warfield Room.

Swap gently used puzzles and board games with fellow puzzling and gaming enthusiasts. Share your favorite techniques and tips as you pick out puzzles or games that are new to you. Learn about the library e-resources you can use for free while puzzling. 

Not interested in swapping? Donations of puzzles and games for all ages are welcome!

No registration required. Participants under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The swap is covered in the week’s Chapter Chats if you’d like to learn more. Good advice: make sure puzzles have all their pieces!

Speaking of games and puzzles, the time is long overdue to swap some ideas about the care and feeding of this place we call Columbia. 

This week’s announcement that Lakey Boyd had resigned as President and CEO of Columbia Association was the end result of yet another failed relationship between the CA Board and CA professional leadership. This isn’t an unfortunate bump in the road of Columbia’s history. This is the road, and it has been broken for a very long time.

I was happy to see this piece yesterday from local blogger James Howard.

The Time Has Come to Incorporate Columbia

Local image from James Howard’s Blog 

Howard, who served on the Howard County Board of Appeals from 2011 to 2022, does a good job of laying out the case for incorporation. 

One of the main reasons why Columbia should be incorporated as a city is that it has a population of over 100,000 residents. This is a significant number of people who deserve to have a say in how their community is run and managed. Incorporation would give residents the ability to elect their own mayor and city council, which would give them more control over local issues such as zoning, development, and public services.

It’s a quick read and it feels to me like a good place to get this conversation started.


This is not the first time that incorporation has come up in Columbia’s 50+ year history. 

In an online discussion about this topic, Director Emeritus of the Columbia Archives Barbara Kellner shared some background information.

Incorporation has come up several times since 1967.  The first and the one that got the furthest was way back in 1972.  In the 1990s there was discussion and CA sponsored one or more forums to answer some of the questions as to legality and what it would take.  There is material in Columbia Community Archives for research purposes.  There was also a governance committee that focused on improving board governance.  I believe three models were presented as there was no consensus on the committee. All of that is also at the Archives.

It is interesting to note that, every time I have seen this suggestion raised, people come out of the woodwork to dismiss it out of hand. Yet these folks never seem to have any useful proposals to make the Columbia quagmire any better. 

A change as big as incorporation should be well-researched and deserves plenty of community scrutiny. Of course there is room for feedback and expression of opinion. But in a process meant to find and solidify viable solutions, merely popping up to say, “You can’t do that!” is not helpful. Please bring more than that to the table.

I don’t know if Columbia grows more chronic naysayers than the population at large, but, it often feels like it. It’s rather like people who bring puzzles to a swap when they know pieces are missing: they had a good time, but it doesn’t matter much to them if anybody else does.

In the meantime, the CA Board is fractured, resignations continue, and Spring elections are looming. I wonder if candidates will encourage a healthy discussion of incorporation or ignore it in favor on traditional Columbia themes. What do you think?

Village Green/Town² Comments 


Post script:

Would that mean that the Great Columbia Experiment is over? I don’t think so.

It would mean that this stage of it is over. Communities don’t stay frozen in their original form. It’s harder for us, I think, because so many can see (and feel) the origins in a personal way. They have not become shrouded in the mists of time, as it were. Change for many who were here for Columbia’s beginnings feels like a betrayal, a letting go of the most significant thing that ever happened to them. Yet I can’t help but think that every community must face this eventually. - - “Juicy Details”, Village Green/Town², 11/16/2022

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.