Monday, June 02, 2008

In This Months Business Monthly

In case you hadn’t noticed, I sometimes get my inspiration for my column in The Business Monthly from one of my posts here. That was certainly the case this month. My discovery of Bridget Mugane in a starring role in the DPZ video on the county land development process gave me a topic I knew I could have a little fun with.

I also figured it wouldn’t hurt to shine a little light on Ms. Muganes growing influence in the DPZ.

Though I built the story around the notion that Kim Flowers would call me back and tell me how this came to be I never really expected to hear back from her on this. It doesn’t really matter anyway. My objective was to draw attention to the long reach of the tentacles of the HCCA. It also gave me the opportunity to question just how representative of the county HCCA is.

No doubt some will take issue with my calculations and I admittedly took some liberties but I stand by the offer of a free lunch at Clyde’s to the first person that can prove to me that a cross check of the membership lists of the Howard County Citizens Association, The Coalition for Columbia’s Downtown and the Alliance for a Better Columbia would not show that at least a third of the members belong to all three organizations.

That could be an interesting lunch.

You can find this month’s column here.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo, sir. If Kim ever calls back, ask her how many members that she thinks HCCA has. I be curious to know what her perception is.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll bite.

How many meetings does the Chamber have for the 800 members to attend, that is, meetings which exclude food and politicians (let's adjust for the money factor)?

When is the last time all 800 attended one of these meetings?

wordbones said...

Anon 8:47 AM,

If you exclude Chamber meetings that have food and politicians you'd have to apply the same criteria to the HCCA as well. In both cases the numbers would go down substantially.

The full Chamber membership usually gathers once or twice a year. I doubt they ever get 100% attendence but I suspect that they get better than 60%. The incentive for Chamber members is that they get the most out of their membership dues when they participate.

-wb

Anonymous said...

The Chamber has 480 (60%)members turn out for a meeting with no food or politicians? On what date did this occur?

I'll try again:

How many of the Chamber's members vote on administrative matters, or leadership annually?

Anonymous said...

This is all moot because neither HCCA nor HCCC speak for anyone but themselves.

I suspect that HCCA will be completely unwilling to release their membership roster to the public. They are really secretive about themselves for a group that claims to know what most of the citizens of Howard County think about development. And that's fine, because their opinion does not mean squat.

Chemistry for dummies said...

Anon 1:04, unfortunately, HCCA does at least claim to speak for all citizens. Secondly, their opinion IS held in high regard by the Council, as they are routinely granted special access to the Council and others, not otherwise granted to the lay people.

I agree that it shouldn't mean squat, however, the Council and other local leaders don't agree.

Tom said...

Transparity baby!
Everyone is about transparity for the other guy.

Tom said...

Excuse me transparency is the word.

wordbones said...

Tom,
Thank you for clarifying that. I was trying to figure out what "transparity" meant...the other side of equality perhaps?
-wb

Anonymous said...

wb
You may have touched a nerve once again. You're last ridiculous but probably correct assumption that Liz Bobo was positioning herself to fill the Presidency of the Columbia Association drew blood and scorn from someone who would go around town branding anyone with opinions and insight into the politics of this community. Now you are lurking in the never never land of feminine power and influence. What relationships do exist between the DPZ and HCCA that they would be embarrassed to reveal if discussed? Forget about your telephone call from DPZ. Likewise, I doubt that you will ever buy lunch for anyone revealing the names of the members of the HCCA and the other watchdog community organizations who scream for transparency from other organizations.

Happy hunting

Anonymous said...

Is HCCA a non-profit?

Anonymous said...

At no point in HCCA's 40+ year history have they ever been granted non-profit status by a regulating body.

Anonymous said...

I checked Guidestar which lists many nonprofits along with their 990's. I couldn't find a reference of HCCA. The League of Women Voters was listed.
If someone is presenting themselves as a non-profit organization representative of a significant population in Howard County, shouldn't they be an organized entity?
Perhaps the County Executive should look into this matter since it may be impacting decision making in the county offices. There is nothing worse than a fake and a sham?
If HCCA isn't a fake or sham, they should show their credentials and membership.

Happy Hunting

Anonymous said...

2/3 of BBV's members live outside Columbia, begging the question just what vision does an organization comprised mostly of people who turned their thumbs down on choosing Columbia as their own home want to impose on the people that actually do live in Columbia?

Anonymous said...

I don't think BBV is claiming to speak for anyone, they are simply a special interest group unlike CCD or any other.

Could it be that the 2/3 BBV members who live outside of Columbia work there or perhaps own property there? Do you think maybe that is possible?

wordbones said...

Anon 4:14 AM,

At least BBV publishes it's membership list for all to see...and yes, many BBV has a vested interest in Columbia. Remember, most commercial property owners in Columbia are disenfranchised when it comes to voting for the Columbia Council even though they contribute over a quarter of the annual budget. Also, BBV members contribute disproportionately to the Columbia Foundation, The Columbia Festival of the Arts, and many other quality of life enhancing activities in Columbia.

-wb

Anonymous said...

Who/what is BBV? And, I thought that the HCCA was some new group that Mugane spearheaded a few years ago when the whole charette thing first got started. Has the HCCA really been around for 40 years?
Regradless, she and that group way too often claim to speak for "the citizens of Howard County". She may speak for some, but not me, and definitely not all.
I have serious concerns about her motives anyway. She opposes some development projects, like one that went in near her home, but then she supports massive density increases in Town Center. She's just like a politician trying to get it both ways. And, her recommendations as part of the PELU group were borderline ridiculous.

wordbones said...

Anon 3:01 PM,

BBV is Bring Back the Vision. You can find a link to their website by scrolling down the right column of this blog to "Links of Interest."

-wb

Anonymous said...

HCCA is indeed 40+ years old. They got their start as an anti-growth group that was opposing Jim Rouse's plan to build Columbia.