Speakout!

December 10, 2006

Don't put Brown through media circus

THE ISSUE: -- The contract of Columbia Association President Maggie J. Brown expires in April. Half of the board members want "a different style of management," according to Phil Marcus, board member from Kings Contrivance. They think Brown should not be given a contract extension of more than one year. What do you think? Maggie Brown is a fine and decent person who has served our community with great distinction for many years.

The CA board has every right to do what they want with her contract. But I hope they afford this dedicated public servant the decency of not having to go through a media circus. Maggie Brown deserves that and so would anyone else in that position. I urge the CA board to afford Ms. Brown the respect she deserves and act accordingly.

Roger Caplan

Columbia

Give her another three-year term

Maggie Brown has been an excellent president. She is a well-respected ambassador to the community, she has effectively led a highly qualified staff, and she has achieved all the objectives set out for her by the CA board in all of her five years. She should be granted another three-year term.

Apparently, after meeting in a secret caucus, a "Gang of Five" CA board members pre-emptively decided - without discussion with other board members or any further public input - that it is "time for CA to move on to modern, measurements-based pro-active management in a technology-driven era."

And this is in spite of the fact that under Maggie Brown's leadership, the quality of CA's programs have improved year after year, consistent with the directives of the board of directors in office in those years and CA is in the midst of a major migration to the very latest technology for its IT system, again at the direction of the board of directors.

Three of the members of the Gang of Five have served just six months into their first term on the board. I seriously doubt that they have had time to gain any real understanding of the breadth and scope of CA's operations. They've not even gone through their first budget planning process. Certainly they should not be dictating to other board members the nature and term of Maggie Brown's contract.

What is sadly and abundantly clear is that historically it has not been the president but the board of directors that has always been the limiting factor in CA's achieving a higher level of excellence. And the time when that is most painfully apparent is when it is challenged to perform its greatest responsibility, the selection of a new president to lead the organization. One only needs to remember the fiasco of the last board-managed transition to see how bad this process can become.

Judging by how the current CA board of directors has started that process, there is no reason to believe that we are not going to have another major fiasco.

Jud Malone

Columbia

The writer is a former CA board member for Town Center

Nip coup attempt in the bud

At this holiday season it seems appropriate to speak about the "Gift of the Maggie." Those CA Board members who are calling for her ouster best stop and examine her record. Maggie stepped in to a tumultuous situation and was able to right a listing ship.

Maggie's tenure has been one that she and almost all Columbians, can point to with pride. The "almost" does not include a few Board members and a very small, but very vocal minority of residents who, for as long as most of us can remember, have adopted the most negative views possible about CA. Their "broken record" philosophy of "no; don't; can't do it negativism" is a pathetically horrid approach to the way CA should be run.

Those same folks want to micromanage almost everything. It's time for that vocalism to just plain stop! Under Maggie's direction her staff has been proactive in many areas and more than competant in many more.

The last time that faction got involved in hiring the CA leadership it was an unmitigated disaster. We should be rewarding Maggie with a long term contract instead of discussing cutting her tenure short. Others will point out the specifics of Maggie's accomplishments - which are many.

Let's hope that cooler, intelligent heads prevail and nip this attempted coup in the bud. CA needs the likes of Maggie Brown and many more in her mold. Her captaincy is of a smooth sailing ship: one not broken and there's no need to fix it.

Dave Leonard

Columbia

Fouled image of CA was polished

Maggie Brown should remain as President of C.A. for as long as she is able to perform that task.

She resurrected the fouled image of C.A. by her leadership, coupled with her love for Columbia. She is respected, admired, and appreciated by everyone that knows her. And she goes out of her way to "know" people; not just with a political handshake.

The backdoor skullduggery to besmirch Maggie will rebound on her detractors.

Bob and Cathy Berlett

Columbia

Do what's needed to keep her

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