Thursday, December 21, 2006

Maggie Browns Contract

Jud Malone, former Columbia Council Representative from Town Center gave the following testimony at Tuesdays meeting of the Columbia Council Committee charged with exploring Maggie Browns contract extension.

My name is Jud Malone; I live on CA assessed property at 5651 Vantage Point Road. I wish to speak tonight on the subject of renewing President Maggie Brown’s employment contract. I am not sure to whom I should address my comments since five of the CA board members in a public statement announced that “we oppose, and as members of the Board will not vote for, any new contract that is for a term of more than one year.” They have also stated that “now is the time for CA to move on to modern, measurements-based proactive management in a technology-driven era”, whatever that might mean.

In any case, for the benefit of the remaining board members still wanting to hear from the community, I would strongly advise that Maggie Brown’s contract be renewed for three years, the same term as her current contract.

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 of service.

Under her leadership, the quality of CA's programs have improved year after year, consistent with the objectives set by the board of directors and CA is in the midst of a major migration to the very latest technology for its information technology system, again at the direction of the board of directors.

At some point it will become necessary to think about a transition of leadership in the organization but it cannot be accomplished in only one year and certainly not under a freelance decision making process.

The next three years should be devoted to:

1) Working on the board’s own ability to function responsibly. This is the most immediate concern for the community – not the performance of the president.
2) Working towards a more effective relationship where the Board understands that its role is to govern and the President role is to manage the organization.
3) Implementing a rigorous professional process for the selection a new president that all board members will respect and abide by.

I would urge the board - don’t mess up this important responsibility of selecting a new president. CA has an unfortunate history of doing it wrong – learn from the past and take the time to do it right