Dereliction of Duty in ColumbiaI read with interest the...


April 17, 1994

Dereliction of Duty in Columbia

I read with interest the editorial, "Dereliction of Duty in Columbia," the several responses to it in the March 20 issue of The Sun for Howard County, and Kevin Thomas' column on the same subject March 13. I would like to add my comments and opinions on the Columbia Association, the Columbia Council and Columbia in general.

My family, and many neighbors as well, who live on the firing lines of the ill-conceived golf course feel they have to suffer as a consequence of CA policies. We regard the CA as totally insensitive to our needs. After all, the things we need are not what sells houses for the developers. The fact is that we must pay for injury to our well-being and get nothing in return for our unjust recreation fees just so they can advertise a golf club community for the well-heeled buyers the local developers are hoping to attract. No doubt, after the "kangaroo court" hearings concerning the golf course project, which was obviously a cut-and-dried decision made by the Rouse Co., we could no longer have any kind of confidence in the CA; its satellite, the Columbia Council, and the company newspaper, which reported the hearings, as usual, with great bias.

One thing for sure, the powers that be don't like to have dissenting members in the council. One way or another, by changing election rules, etc., they have to get their own people in and quash the opposition and have their mouthpiece bad-mouth the "malcontents." Then there is wonderment as to why the number of people who vote is so low. I believe it is because most people believe that their vote means nothing.

The letter by Karen Kuecker follows the company line so well that the CA should give her a medal for her unswerving loyalty. . . . Chuck Rees reflects the views of most caring residents with regard to the fiscal policies of the CA. I hope that he does not get dumped through some new subterfuge. The CA cannot stand having its fiscal and environmental policies questioned. . . .

Edwin R. Strakna


Noble's Response

In response to Fran Wishnick's letter of April 10, the many readers of this paper should know:

* Fran Wishnick has never spoken directly with me on any issue at any time. She, like most others, knows only what she reads in the papers or what she hears second-hand.

* As our past Columbia Council representative from Oakland Mills, Ms. Wishnick sat in on the village board meetings. I'm sure she's acquainted with what Gary Glisan has contributed to our village board this past year. I'm equally certain that she is unaware of my contributions to our resident architectural committee these past four years.

* People change. The firebrand of yesterday is a level-headed achiever today. Had Ms. Wishnick opted to speak with me, this would have been plainly evident.

* Nobody has asked me about my background, my credentials for this position. I have the education and experience to accomplish the goals I believe to be in the best interest for Oakland Mills and Columbia. I chose to focus on the problems I see before me and how I would handle them if and when elected to the Columbia Council.

* I have always been available to discuss my viewpoints and background with anyone.

I, for one, am more interested in what a person can do rather than what a person is. All the credentials in the world don't mean a thing if they can't be put to use. Therefore, should credentials be the only justifiable basis for electing a candidate?

To this end, there will be a candidate's forum at The Other Barn tomorrow for just such a discussion. Please join us.

Neil Noble


The writer is a candidate for the Oakland Mills seat on the Columbia Council.

Solid Waste Planning

If a very alert citizen read the newspapers in February, he might have known that a Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan was up for approval by the Howard County Council. If you're a normal citizen, you probably have no idea what is or is not proposed.

What has been done to make the public aware of this plan? Has the Public Works Department or county executive made any presentations to community groups? Was any attempt made by the county or local newspapers to publicize this plan? Was it made available at the county libraries?

As proposed, the plan presents a baseline option with several alternatives. The actual system to be implemented will not be chosen until after completion of a regional group study. The Howard County Citizens Association is concerned that this very generalized plan will be approved and then used as justification for further actions without citizen input. HCCA would prefer that all county plans have specific actions clearly stated and publicized widely prior to adoption.

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