Columbians do see benefits from surplus Alex Hekemian...

Letters to the editor

July 28, 2002

Columbians do see benefits from surplus

Alex Hekemian wrote: "Our residents need to finally see some tangible direct benefits from the excess income" ("CA budget surplus should help residents," July 14). He was referring to CA completing its 2002 Fiscal Year with $5.2 million in revenue greater than expenses. Excess revenue is used to defer the need to borrow to fund future capital projects, almost all of which CA reinvests in Columbia's existing facilities and amenities. Thanks to CA's revitalization worth millions of dollars each year, Columbia residents and businesses (which pay more than 30 percent of the CA's Annual Charge) already do see tangible direct benefits, much of it in how Columbia looks, for example, with its pathways, tot lots, lakes, and ponds. Fiscal Year 2002's atypically high revenue excess was due principally to extraordinary staff initiative in private placement of senior secured bonds at the lowest rate in CA's history and substantial savings in bond financing charges from staff's own labor. Finally, Mr. Hekemian should know that CA cannot use the revenue excess to reduce CA's current indebtedness since CA's bonds currently contain "no call" provisions, which, surely, Mr. Hekemian would have learned during his previous term as a CA Director.

Lanny J. Morrison

Columbia The writer is past-chairman of the Columbia Council

Freedom takes a hit, Tung rally shows

Freedom in Maryland took a hit this week when State Delegate Candidate Mary Tung and her guests were threatened with criminal trespass arrest for a lawful use of her community's gazebo for a small political rally, while the Gubernatorial Candidate Kathleen Townsend and paying guests were permitted to use the Baltimore Zoo (presumably without threat of arrest to herself or her guests). Should Republicans expect the Howard County Police at all of our events now? Is there no limit to the abuses of hegemony by the majority party?

Rick Burk

Columbia

Clarks Glen board followed the rules

The declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions of Clarks Glen Community Association prohibits both the use of common area by non-members and proprietary use by members ("Homeowners Group Fights Picnic," July 12).

The declaration was agreed to and received by all members when their homes were settled. Ms. Tung's personal verbal request to use the gazebo was received not weeks before but one day after (July 1) her campaign committee, a non-member, announced on June 30 the picnic to be held at the Clarks Glen gazebo. The board upheld its fiduciary responsibility to the members of the association by requesting Ms. Tung's compliance with HOA documents and following through by reporting the trespass.

David Woodhouse

President, board of directors, Clarks Glen Community Association, Inc.

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