Last night at a seemingly mundane CA Board Operations Committee meeting, a group of approximately 25 residents showed up to let their voices be heard.
Why such a large turnout for a simple committee meeting?
CA staff had prepared a confidential memo for the board regarding their recent discussions with GGP about Town Center redevelopment plans. Rob Goldman, who was serving as Acting CA president in Maggie Browns place, suggested that the board convene a closed session to discuss the issues raised in the memo before airing it in public.
It appears that CoFoDoCo had been given a heads up about this supposedly “confidential” memo. The larger than usual turnout was a result of them mobilizing their members. They came loaded for bear.
It is not difficult to figure out where CoFoDoCo got its “heads up.” Council members Cindy Coyle (Harpers Choice), Alex Hekimian (Oakland Mills), Evan Coren (Kings Contrivance) and Phil Kirsch (Wilde Lake) were all pushing for an open discussion of the staff memo clearly pandering to their assembled supporters.
Council members Miles Coffman (Hickory Ridge), Tom O’Connor (Dorsey’s Search), Pearl Atkinson (Owen Brown) and Suzanne Waller (Town Center) wanted to have a closed session first. There is actually a legal question as to whether they were required to hold a private session first. This was a “confidential” staff memo after all.
Council members Hank Dagenais (Long Reach) and Michael Cornell (River Hill) were absent.
With four members wanting a premature open meeting and four members wanting a closed meeting, the issue hit an impasse. Chaos apparently then ruled the night.
I say apparently because, in the interest of full disclosure here, I was not in attendance. I received a report on the proceedings this morning from someone who was. Judging from the report I got it was another highly charged evening on Wincopin Circle. If anyone who attended had a different take, please feel free to comment.
In the end, the memo was not discussed in open session last night.