Just reminding and informing everyone of some things. The global economy still sucks. North Korea is threatening to chuck missles at American bases in the Pacific. Our country is sadly divided in terms of politics and discourse. And yet, in Columbia, Howard County, Maryland, people are going all a-gaga over what was said in a blog about a plan to redevelop a park.
Barbara Russell-- the one who used to be on the CA Board from Oakland Mills (and I say from because she never really truly "represented" Oakland Mills)-- is that most virulent strain of Columbia activist. In fact, she is Patient Zero. She is a fear monger and bomb thrower of the first order.
Last night, she took the cake. And you can read more about it here. Her exploits were confirmed to me by several people. Beyond what Tom cites in his post, Barbara apparently said that Tom himself could be sued personally, and should be sued personally, for the comments made about Cy Sperling.... er, Paumier.... and his lobbying of the CA Board.
You know, I didn't know people could be sued for stating facts. Because that's exactly what Paumier did. And Russ Swatek's e-mail to certain CA Board members earlier this week was also direct lobbying of the CA Board. So what???
Oh, and Barbara also said that Tom should resign. How typical. And how hypocritical. Typical because Barbara's MO is to attempt to stop a movement by cutting of (or crushing) its head. But totally hypocritical because this is exactly what people used to threaten Barbara with in the early 2000s-- lawsuits against her personally, calls to resign-- because she was seeking greater transparency on the CA Board (which, at the time, was conducting most of its business as the Columbia Council).
So, I had some up-close-and-personal dealings with Barbara while I was on the Oakland Mills Village Board and as she served as CA Board/Columbia Council Rep. She might be a better person than this. She might be capable of better. But she refuses to be better. Instead, she chooses to talk in terms of "coulds" and "possibles" and raise fear among people. Because that has worked in the past. Instead, she bullies and threatens and casts aspersions and doubts. She never produces a shred of irrefutable evidence to support her claims; rather, she presents evidence that can be interpreted in multiple ways and asks people to trust her in her conspiracy theories. She is the Princess of Deception, a title I don't use lightly on this Good Friday. Am I saying that she is Satan incarnate in Columbia? I'm saying that there are a lot of things that could be possible. Satan was an early resident of the Garden of Eden too.
And she tends to make things personal. I could relate a personal encounter I had with Barbara that would make people toss their laptops against the wall, it would make you so angry. But I won't go there, yet, because I'm better than that. I will instead just simply state that she is a bitter, mean person whose time has passed who refuses to lend her wisdom as an aid to future generations, who still wants to grasp instead to her own self-serving vision of power. Pathetic.
I do know this. Whether you're one of Columbia's first 100 residents or one of the most recent 100, you have a voice in the future of this community. And everyone's voice is equal. The problem with people like Barbara is that they believe their longevity in the community affords them some sort of standing. Standing to threaten and to bully. That's not how a democracy works, and last time I checked, our country and our state followed that form of government.
Today, as we are in the Passover and Easter season, I call upon the Coalition for Columbia's Downtown and Alliance for a Better Columbia to state unequivocably that Barbara Russell doesn't speak for them, and to denounce her comments at last night's CA Board meeting as the hate speech it is.
And I call upon the good people of Columbia to finally renounce the darkness and hatred spread by people like Russell, Swatek and Klein. I call upon them to renounce suspicion and fear. I call upon them to get involved and vote in their village elections on April 20. There are plenty of good people to vote for who will bring great ideas and perspective to the discussion. Who will stand for the next 40 years of Columbia, not the past 40.