Last night, after the Howard County council voted unanimously in favor of the enabling legislation for the redevelopment of Columbia Town Center, each of the council members gave brief comments thanking the folks who put so much time and effort into making this happen. Family members were thanked, council staffs were thanked, the executive’s staff was thanked, community volunteers were thanked and county employees were thanked.
Yet even though Greg Hamm and several members of his staff were still in the room at 11:00 PM, not a single member of the council publicly thanked him or his company, General Growth Properties.
Sure, I know, Greg and GGP were only doing their job. Still, you could say the same about the county employees and the council members and executives’ staffs, they were just doing their jobs too. The fact of the matter is that everyone involved in the process went the extra yard to make this work but none of it would have even been possible were it not for the plan and perseverance of GGP.
It’s been a tough year for GGP. When the company sought protection of the bankruptcy courts a year ago, all of the development projects that the company was working on, except Columbia, ground to a halt. That was no small feat. Greg fought hard for the limited resources to keep the Columbia Town Center program on track and he had to do it with a greatly reduced post bankruptcy staff.
Yes, GGP the company does stand to gain financially from this effort but that does not diminish the hard work that individuals put forth in this effort. They poured their hearts and souls into this effort and then when it was finally over no one on the council had the courage to thank them in their post vote remarks.
Choose civility indeed.
After the council members concluded their remarks, a number of those in attendence stood and first applauded the council members and then turned around and applauded the GGP folks in the back of the room. At least they understood.