Thursday evening is the first CA Board meeting since Alan, Reg and Russ tried their little stunt, which I believe may have been a test to figure out their strength on the CA Board. Specifically, whether CA Board members Jeanne Ketley from Town Center and Nancy McCord from Wilde Lake would join them on the crazy train. But they did not!
Anyway, I am attending to have my voice heard about the whole motion made to declare that the Inner Arbor plans have violated the easement thing. To wit (or maybe, half-wit):
Good Evening, members of the CA Board. My name is Bill Woodcock, and I live at 6127 Orient Lane, in the Stevens Forest neighborhood in the Village of Oakland Mills.
It occurs to me that almost 40 years ago, when James Rouse, the founder of Columbia, was proposing to buy land on the shores of Baltimore's Inner Harbor-- land which was green space around office space and factories-- to build a shopping mall, there were a lot of people who pooh-poohed the idea. No one will want to rent a store in a mall in the harbor. No one will visit it. There's not enough parking. Baltimore's not a tourist spot. Lots of reasons why not. And the people who believed in "not" went to the chambers of government to protest and to speak out against the plan.
And what happened? The plan became reality, the mall was built, and Harborplace stood as the keystone of Baltimore's renaissance.
And so it would seem we have a similar situation here. We have a fine piece of property in Symphony Woods. But what needed to be applied to it is some vision. And what was applied to it was the Inner Arbor Plan, a plan which was approved by this Board in February, 2013 by an 8-2 vote. And moreover, this Board created a nonprofit that would oversee the development of the property into an active community, a showplace for Columbia and the region. This Board created the Inner Arbor Trust.
And now, as happened 15 miles to the northwest 40 years ago, people are fighting the plan. Even from within. This Board meets with the Inner Arbor Trust Board to set up better communication lines, and at the first opportunity, some members of the CA Board attempt to cross the lines. And not only do their actions attempt to destroy goodwill, but they fly in the face of the transparency and openness that they all claim to hold so dear, by making motions for immediate consideration, rather than allowing the motion to hold over the one period between meetings necessary for public comment.
My friends, what these board members are trying to do-- to continue to stall the Inner Arbor project-- it's not a new approach. But it is one that has failed time and time again and I believe, their actions clearly fall not just on the wrong side of sentiment of Columbians, but on the wrong side of history. I hope that you will join me and thousands of residents who reject this type of pedagoguery and obstructionist behavior. I stand proudly for the Inner Arbor plan, as approved by this board. I trust this board to work in good faith with the Inner Arbor Trust board, and I look forward to all sides coming together to build something that will be the keystone of a renaissance, right here in Columbia. Thank you.
Happy National Canoe Day!
Let's be careful out there.
#ColumbiaMD #CABoard #InnerArbor