Tuesday, December 19, 2023

An Insider’s Game

Here’s the question:

CA is soliciting responses to an online survey.

Take just 10 minutes to complete our survey, and add your voice to the creation of CA’s next 5-year Strategic Plan.

But, since they posted it on social media, people are giving them a piece of their minds in the comments section. I don’t know if any of that will be used as a part of CA visioning process. But it was pretty enlightening for me.

A majority of the suggestions asked for things that CA doesn’t do. For example: issues of public safety, road paving, housing development, businesses in Village Centers. This suggests to me that one of the Columbia Association’s biggest challenges continues to be the lack of community understanding. It’s going to be difficult to develop new generations of Columbia leadership, for example, if a large chunk of the populace doesn’t have a basic grasp of how the whole thing works.

Do I know how to make that happen? No. CA spends a lot of time pushing out its message on social media on any number of fronts. You can sign up for a weekly newsletter or go to their website if you have a question. Still, knowledge of CA still feels like an insider’s game to me. And that’s a big problem.

Having a local newspaper would help, of course. I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all for this particular problem, however. Do realtors hand out an easy to read cheat sheet which breaks down CA vs Howard County roles when folks buy a house in Columbia? Do landlords do the same with tenants? It might help. 

How can the Columbia Association make a meaningful five-year plan when so many Columbia residents don’t have the information they need to make educated suggestions? It seems as though the same folks who already know will dominate. This is a great example of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. 

I’m not a big fan of online surveys but I did complete this one. If you live in Columbia you ought to consider giving them your two cents. While you are at it, perhaps you could make some suggestions here on how CA can make sure more folks are more knowledgeable about this Columbia bubble we call home. 

Village Green/Town² Comments

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