Since my last report to you, we have had a few major events at The Columbia Association:
- The Board voted to approve the extra 1.2 Million dollars in capital funding for the Haven on the Lake spa project. I was the lone dissenting vote; a position I arrived at after much thought and discussion with our Village Board. Groundbreaking for this project took place this week.
- The work on the clubhouse at the Hobbit’s Glen golf course and pool slipped a bit. It is now scheduled to open in mid-January, 2015.
- Very troubling to me was the Board’s vote (6-4) to approve the current Inner Arbor Corporation’s plans for Symphony Woods. There are two sets of considerations at work here:
- Content: The various “insertions” proposed for construction in the Woods have clearly divided the community. Some are in favor of all of them. Some are against all of them. Most are probably in favor of some and not of others. (In this regard, the Caterpillar, the Picnic Table, and the half mile of indirect pathways have raised the most concern.)
- Process: More important was the fact that the Board refused to acknowledge that the current IA plan represents “material changes” to the plan we approved and memorialized in the Easement Agreement between the two organizations. (A finding of material changes is needed to require the Inner Arbor Corporation to come back to CA for approval of those changes. This would have triggered a public process on the CA side that would have allowed for resident input. Without such a finding, the CA Board has basically abdicated its responsibilities according to the Easement both now and, possibly, into the future and may have foresworn your ability to have input into our beloved park.)
Of these two sets of concerns, the process side is more important to me. It is an axiom of organizational change that bad process never leads to good content. Or, to put it more simply, the ends do not justify the means. Whatever one believes about the particular changes that have been proposed, the fact that they are being undertaken by a private corporation, with closed meetings and without public accountability, is unconscionable.
- I will continue to monitor this process and do my best, along with other Board members who understand the need for good process, to secure the best result we can for Symphony Woods and for Columbia.
- Finally, please hold your calendar for October 18th, from 9:30am-noon, for a CA Public Input Meeting – topics and location to be determined soon.
Columbia Council Representative
Village of Harper’s Choice