Howard County Blog

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Columbia Association's Goals Assigned to New President (June 2009)

Annual Strategic Issues

Describe strategic issues and include any and all expectations for the specific issue.  Identify measurements or indicators for achieving the desired outcome.

Issue 1

Columbia plans and enhances the health and safe living environment of the community

o   Improve accessibility and affordability of programs for all age groups in Columbia.

o   Use existing and future results of surveys to better understand what Columbia’s residents want or need

o   Work with the County and other related agencies to recommend that new subdivisions in or within the watershed follow regulations that prohibit sediment flow or other agents that are harmful to the environment

o   Work with the State Legislature to initiate and place into effect a new law that would give Columbia jurisdiction over its own zoning and platting matters while giving village boards a prominent recommendation role in such matters.

o   Make CA a leader in implementing green initiatives by working with Howard County to develop high standards that promote green policies in land use planning, transportation projects and building construction.

Issue 2

Columbia Association provides programs and projects to promote community and environmental sustainability

o   Work to initiate and strategically implement the recommendations of the Watershed Management Plan using grants from outside sources to the maximum level possible.

o   Refine and develop the approved Symphony Woods Concept Plans and provide a timetable for design, financing and construction phasing of the plan.

o   Explore and recommend alternative energy sources for CA facilities such as solar, geothermal, etc.

o   Continue and enhance the existing recycling programs for all CA facilities, even those owned by outside firms

o Initiate, with the condition of state and federal permitting approval, progress on dredging of community lakes.

Issue 3

Columbia utilizes available means and policies to foster financial stewardship that will require refocusing resource management

o   Develop a multi-year business plan that provides greater explanation and coordination of resources, the use of “best practices”, and equipment and priority needs

o   Develop a short-range capital improvements program based on the Board’s goals and objectives.  The plan should include but not be limited to projects such as: Symphony Woods, the Lake Front development and CA infrastructure.

o   Initiate structural reorganization that coordinates resources with the highest priority needs of the community, both current and future.  Make CA more cost-effective, productive, and responsive to changing demographics, and right-size CA in a competitive environment by focusing CA’s services on Columbia’s residents.  Ensure balanced CA budgets with spending levels that are realistic, and show how CA can improve quality of services, minimize costs, practicing cost containment, and making services for Columbia’s residents more affordable.

o   Prepare a successor to CA’s long-range Financial Management Program.

o   Assist the Board in distinguishing between budget centers that should be subsidized versus unsubsidized by the annual charge.

o   Initiate for Board review and approval short and mid range fiscal policies document that will provide the Board with the realities of CA capabilities for financing programming.

Issue 4

Columbia Association encourages community engagement, satisfaction, connection and individual development

o   Implement the CSS software system no later than May 1, 2010, and show that actual progress has been made at several checkpoints between now and then.

o   Implementation of a Residents Solution Coordinator to provide a source of information and answers to residents/property owners and to supply answers and information within specified timeframes.

o   Implement the Communications Plan to provide general project and/or program information to the community at initiation of the program or project.

o   Develop various information pieces using available resources to let Columbians know what they get for the assessment dollars.

o   Implement a process that ensures transparency in all CA operations.

Issue 5

Columbia Association utilizes interagency partnerships to develop the best programs possible for the residents of our community

o   Work with Village managers and boards to help determine their needs to plan for the future.

o   Work with Columbia “stakeholders” to develop information conduits that will assist in project and program development. 

o   Utilize community intelligence to develop pathways to the future through the development of focus groups and/or citizen roundtables.

o   Work with Howard County and the State of Maryland to share responsibility and funding for programs that are responsive to inevitable changes i.e. demographic, environmental, and advocacy that will directly impact the Columbia community.

o   Develop partnerships with the Columbia Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and other agencies to provide input and resources into the second renaissance of Columbia.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where to begin…

CA wants jurisdiction over its own zoning and platting matters but was overwhelmed by CB 29. They couldn’t call extra meetings in time to offer reasonable, well-studied recommendations other than minimums and maximums that proved to be unworkable and testimony that said they couldn’t offer feedback on amendments because they didn’t have enough time. That bill is just one small component of zoning that takes place all of the time.

They want to promote green policies in land use planning, transportation projects and building construction. They can start by having experts in land use planning give real data-oriented ideas to those who actually have authority in the area like DPZ and the Council. Then, they could recognize that density is needed for any viable transportation system. Finally, they could actually make every building and renovation project like in every village and any CA facility a LEED silver certified building, at least. How long did it take them to even get bins to recycle? They don’t even dredge their lakes vigorously and frequently enough.

They talk about transparency and communication. First, they can list all upcoming meetings on their website. Then, they can list minutes, and all votes. They can list explanations, in plain English, with fiscal impacts, of all votes and decisions on their website. They should have an annual report that details what each Board member has done for their communities including how each of them has voted on various issues. They can list their maintenance plan and schedule for all of their facilities, lakes and tot lots.

They talk of partnerships. What partnership do they seek with the County other than trying to tell them what to do? What are they bringing to the table other than a bunch of folks on 1 or 2 year terms, who got elected by 400 or 500 votes to a home owners association?

If CA wants to be taken seriously, they need to first clean out their own backyard and model what they ask of others, eg fiscal restraint, leading in environmental sustainability, seriously and objectively studying land use and presenting empirical data, being willing to do what it takes to offer substance in important conversations like council bills, being more open and transparent in decision-making and documenting those decisions in a public way, and generally, complaining less and doing more.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How was Netroots Nation?

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting all the CA information. Those look like a good set of goals for advancing Maryland's second largest city.

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