If it's April, it must be election time for the Columbia Association. And that means another round of CA board and village board elections in which, in most cases, there are barely enough — and in some cases not enough — candidates to fill the available seats.
Just why so few people run for the CA and village boards has been explained in various ways, ranging from the theory that things are going so well that people don't feel the need to get involved to the rather opposite theory that things are so messed up that people figure why bother getting involved. Maybe it's a little bit of both, plus unknown other reasons.
Also, there is this: Columbia's situation is no different than what you find in many small municipalities, where city council candidates are just as often in short supply, and for the same mysterious reasons.
Still, as a community newspaper we happen to believe that local politics are where the action is, that the decisions made by local councils and boards often have a more direct effect on your day-to-day life than anything done by the politicians in Annapolis or in Washington. Which is one reason we continue to endorse candidates in the Columbia Association races.
This year, the one contested CA board race in the April 21 election is in Harper's Choice. It pits six-year incumbent Cynthia Coyle against newcomer Robert Fontaine.
Either candidate, we feel, would be a positive force on the board. Fontaine, a lawyer and counsel to several state government offices, is thoughtful and smart and he has some good ideas about making the board's processes less cumbersome.
However, we believe Cynthia Coyle has the edge.
In her six years on the board, Coyle has been a vigorous member and an agent for improvement. She points out, quite correctly, that she joined a board mired in mismanagement, infighting and questionable decision-making and helped create a better-managed, more forward-thinking board.
That's not to say the board doesn't have a ways to go. Decision-making still proceeds too often at a glacial pace, for example. But the board has changed for the better, and Coyle deserves some of the credit — and another two-year term.