Russell to hold meeting Jan. 6 on Columbia Council's dual role

December 30, 2003

Barbara Russell, Columbia Council representative from Oakland Mills, will hold a communitywide meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at The Other Barn in Oakland Mills Village Center.

On the agenda will be a discussion of the conflict Russell believes is unavoidable for Columbia Council members who also serve as members of the Columbia Association' board of directors.

"The responsibilities we have wearing one hat conflict with the responsibilities we have wearing the other hat," Russell said. "[As] elected members, our main job is to represent the people who elected us and to represent our village and represent all the citizens in Columbia, to keep them up to date on what's happening with the Columbia Association.

"And as members of the board of directors, our loyalty is to the corporate body, and as members of the corporate body, we're not supposed to give out information. And more and more, our internal and external legal advisers advise us to do more and more business in closed meetings," she said.

Russell believes that the conflict has become evident in discussion of the recent increase in the Columbia Association assessment experienced by east Columbia residents and the anticipated increase expected for west Columbia residents.

The community discussion will be open to all residents of Columbia. Those who attend are invited to listen, discuss and ask questions.

Information: 410-730-4610.

- Fay Lande

Around town

At the library: The east Columbia library's Black Fiction Book Club will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at the library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. The group will discuss Church Folk by Michele Andrea Bowen. The library's Never Never Land Book Club for Adults, an adult book discussion group that focuses on juvenile and young adult fiction, will discuss Hatchet by Gary Paulsen at 7 p.m. Jan. 7. Good Reads, a group reading a variety of literary selections, will discuss Crow Lake by Mary Lawson at 7 p.m. Jan. 14. Books are available at the branch. Registration is not required. 410-313-7700.

Lively arts: The 26th season of Lively Arts for Little Ones at The Other Barn in Oakland Mills Village Center will feature Kathleen Jacobs & Puppets, Jan. 9; storyteller Arianna Ross, Feb. 6; Kinderman, March 12; and Pam the Kindersinger, April 2. Performances are scheduled at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are suitable for children ages 2 to 5. An adult must accompany children. Tickets are $4.25. Group rates are available. 410-730-4610.

Public hearing: Hammond High School will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 in the school auditorium on whether to install stadium lighting. To testify: 410-313-7605 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., or sign up the night of the hearing. Written testimony can be submitted to Joe Russo, athletic director at the school, 8800 Guilford Road, Columbia 21046.

Internet searching: "Untangling the Web - Level 2," a program on advanced Internet searching, is scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Registration is to start today. "Choosing a Preschool or Child Care Program," with Carla Lunn of the Howard County Child Care Resource Center, will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 15. Registration is to start Friday. 410-313-7700.

Ayuda Centro: A resource center for Hispanic Howard County residents is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Dasher Green-Owen Brown School, 6700 Cradlerock Way. Dr. Fabian Forero, executive director of Alianza de la Comunidad, will help Hispanic residents find medical, housing, clothing and other resources. 443-527-1900.

Martial arts: Oakland Mills Community Association will offer Hale Martial Arts Academy classes at The Other Barn in Oakland Mills Village Center on Mondays and Wednesdays. Classes - which incorporate karate, tae kwon do and jujitsu - are for all ages. Tuition is $35 a month. 410-730-4610.

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