goliebs t1_jecyudr wrote

You can call the non-emergency police number at 410-313-2200. Also, you probably have a designated Community Outreach Officer that you could contact. Your village should know who that officer is.

They have done targeted traffic enforcement in response to these types of requests. Can't guarantee it will work for you but its worth a try!


goliebs OP t1_jeaagtr wrote

I think your assessment that it was some type of CYA is correct. Still doesn’t explain “why NOW?”

FYSA, Merriweather Post has provided a questionnaire to all CA board candidates. Which should be published over the weekend. Hopefully the candidates all respond to help provide a little more information about them. Also, each village has candidates nights that you can attend to learn more.


goliebs t1_je3a5g0 wrote

C'mon man…. This is just dumb.

If the CA President were abusing her power as CA President to give shady deals to businesses at the expense of CA, the board would have unanimously fired her as soon as they found out, sued her for damages, and possibly referred her for criminal investigation. They wouldn’t spend months debating the issue, give a “performance improvement plan” to the president, and finally negotiate a resignation that prevented them from explaining what happened.

If you're going to invent conspiracy theories, please make them a little more coherent.


goliebs t1_jb3oqxa wrote

Reply to comment by bwelsh822 in Snowden Starbucks by bwelsh822

Yes, they are expanding the building towards Snowden River and then wrapping the drive thru lane around the building.

Its worth mentioning that there was a modicum of pushback from a few people in community (including Owen Brown village) against this plan. By expanding the building/drive thru lane towards Snowden, they ate into the setback required by zoning regulations by a foot or two. I (and others who were aware) asked that they not waive the requirements for the setback because the setback is what is supposed to keep Snowden a green parkway instead of becoming Rt. 40 or Rt. 1. We didn't succeed in opposing the waiver for the setback. We had modest success in ensuring that the relocated dumpster wouldn't be an eyesore along the entrance to the nearby residential area.


goliebs t1_jb3kbn0 wrote

Can't speak to the length of time the construction is taking. But the plan is to add about 2,000 feet to the building, add an outdoor seating area, add a dumpster, and the drive through with menu board.

Slide 13 here (https://www.howardcountymd.gov/sites/default/files/media/2020-03/SDP74122%20TSR%20ATTACH.pdf) probably provides the clearest visualization of the plan. I think the dumpster might have been moved though...


goliebs OP t1_ja5th9c wrote

Importantly, people disagree on the purpose of IAT - which is part of what makes it so contentious. But I'll do my best to explain what I can.

IAT is a non-profit - a 501(c)(3) - that was established by CA to manage and maintain Symphony Woods which is owned by Columbia Association. The "c-3" designation is important because 1 - CA is a "c-4" and 2 - unlike donation's to "c4s" donations to "c3s" are eligible for tax deductions. This makes c3s much better at soliciting donations. So the idea was to establish IAT as an independent c3 non-profit, allow IAT to raise funds and be self-sufficient, and CA/the community would save money by not having to spend money on managing Synonymy Woods.

So in theory, it makes sense. In practice there have been several issues:

  1. There was a lot of disagreement about the design of Symphony Woods. For example, some people like the Chrysalis, some people think its terrible (by point of comparison, some Parisians hated the Eifel Tower and Louvre when they were built). There were/are many other disagreements about the design and I honestly don't understand all of them.

  2. Many people believe IAT was just established to manage/maintain the physical space of the park; however, IAT has taken a broader view of its scope and taken responsibility for managing programming that takes place within the park. Arguably, this places IAT in competition with two other existing non-profits (Columbia Festival of the Arts & Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission) which were already operating in the non-profits events space in Columbia and can(could, depending on how you talk to) do a better job of managing events than IAT. This has created competition among these organizations for funding, resources, etc. There was an effort to unify these organizations and/or increase cooperation amongst them a few years ago - I don't know the full details but many people claim IAT torpedoed the work to unify these groups (to the detriment of the community) because of petty concerns about building their own fiefdom.

  3. Obviously, as evidenced by IAT's yearly request for funding from CA, IAT has failed to live up to its original intent to be financially self-sufficient.

  4. IAT hasn't conducted financial audits in a timely manner.

  5. Multiple CA board members have/do served/serve on the IAT board of directors. If IAT worked as envisioned, this made sense as IAT was established to manage a piece of property that CA owns; however, since IAT is not financially independent of CA, this has created an obvious conflict of interest where individuals have a fiduciary responsibility to two separate entities and one of those entities is perpetually asking for a handout from the other entity. Further, many CA board members don't put Symphony Woods in proper perspective - yes its downtown in a prime position but the level of attention these 36 acres has gotten over the past few years far outstrips its relative importance to the community.

I'm sure there are other issues that I don't know about as well.

Again, please take everything above with a grain of salt. I don't totally understand all the issues, haven't researched it thoroughly, and many people who talk most vocally about this issue are only sharing their "side" of the story so I don't think I'm getting completely objective information.


goliebs t1_ja46p8h wrote

My point is that you aren’t being clear and concise about the issues. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to clearly criticize Nina’s multiple positions, how that is a conflict of interest, and the financial issues you think it’s causing.

But implying that she is being personally enriched by these things is inaccurate and definitely not clear and concise.


goliebs t1_ja17ifx wrote

Over the last several years, Inner Arbor Trust/Symphony Woods and CA's relationship with that organization/park has repeatedly been a source of contention. Lawsuits, a lack of financial audits, conflicts of interest, seemingly endless grants, relation/cooperation with other downtown non-profits... Its just non-stop drama with IAT. This level of attention is totally out of proportion with the importance of one 36 acre park compared to everything else CA is responsible for - and this speaks poorly of the leadership of CA's board and IAT.


goliebs OP t1_j6hruwf wrote

Alan’s comments about email addresses didn’t strike me as that bad. I don’t think he was saying “I should be able to use my CA email address for anything I want.” Instead, I thought he was saying “I should be able to use my CA email address for my position as a Columbia Council Representative.”

Not saying he’s correct about that but, to be fair, the distinction between CA Board member and Columbia Council Rep can be opaque.