Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Friday, November 03, 2006


So I went to the Columbia Association meeting resulting from the attacks on Cindy Coyle and Barbara Russell based on the false reading of the law and the CA Charter made by Bill Santos. As should not surprise anyone that bothered to read the law, both the lawyer asked to look at this issue by CA and the lawyer Barbara and Cindy were forced to hire the attacks were completely unfounded and what Barbara and Cindy had done was both perfectly legal and personally ethical.

Room at the meeting was standing room only and the only person who was even slightly supportive of the notion that Cindy and Barbara had done something wrong was Jud Malone.

Now to why I titled this post Integrity: With five days until the elections Chris Merdon came to the meeting to show moral support for those who had stuck their necks out to endorse him. Chris gave up an entire evening to sit and attentively listen to the proceedings. He did not try to make a speech. He did not work the room glad-handing people. He just showed respect, listened, and through his presence provided moral support to the wrongly accused. For a politician to take this time off to sit through a long meet on the evening less than a week before the election showed a lot of integrity.


Anonymous Dave Wissing said...


Great comments about Chris.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous David W. Keelan said...


Good to see you last night. Being new to that venue I was very surprised at the level of hostility exhibited toward the CA Board.

More than one person stood up and said they were not there to support Merdon but to support Barbara and Cynthia and just blasted the CA Board.

Is that typical? The Board being blasted that way?

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Merdon is a class act. He has refrained from negative campaigning, inflating his resume and making exaggerated claims.

7:27 PM  
Blogger demos said...

I guess I don't agree with Evan on this one. Politicans are always "doing" politics, especially around election time. Merdon's act of just attending the meeting is political. By being seen at the meeting he is standing with his supporters and hopes to bolster his bipartisan credentials. That is a good way to convince "undecided" voters to vote for you.

I don't live in Columbia, but I think the Columbia Association being still a nonprofit is strange. In my opinion, CA should transform itself into a city government so that everyone can be open about the politics involved. To quote Aristotle, people are "political animals", for better or worse.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to David Keelan's question about the CA Board:

It is not typical for there to be so many people at a CA Board meeting. So, no, it is not typical for the Board to be so roundly blasted. Community remarks more typically vary, from requests to thanks to criticisms.

But what unfortunately IS typical is that Board members themselves blast each other in ways that are so blatant, unprofessional, and unproductive that it is difficult to believe that people would act that way in public.

I DON'T mean to imply that all CA Board members act this way. Several have earnestly chosen to try to maintain the high road, and I honestly think things are improving. But the atmosphere remains very difficult.

CA is well aware of the problem, and every year the Board's orientation for new members includes extensive instruction on civility. There are also ongoing mediated efforts to facilitate more constructive interchange.

It doesn't seem that these formal training events are making much of a dent, however. What I think does make a dent is public outcry at inappropriate behavior. I hope that Board members are big enough to learn from this sorry episode, and I hope that this will help lead to better things for the CA Board. The Board could accomplish a lot of good in the community if they focus their attention on areas where they can make a positive difference.

Rebecca Johnson

11:15 AM  
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individual identity
Determinists argue that this is a fallacious appeal to consequences, that the factual or logical truth of the matter is entirely independent of whether that truth is perceived as beneficial. The presumed social utility of ideas of crime and justice should not be permitted, they argue, to override questions of truth.

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