Saturday, December 27, 2014

Progress in Wilde Lake

Thus far, the Wilde Lake Village Board (WLVB) has had a productive term.

Allow me to step back for a moment for my non-Columbia-based readers.  According to my site statistics, there are many of you…most notably in Ukraine although the Taiwan numbers have been soaring of late. 

So, returning to Square One: It is important to remember that those who serve on village boards are volunteers.  Moreover, village boards – in my estimation – are quasi-private committees that serve quasi-public functions (except, of course, when they are acting like quasi-public bodies that contend with quasi-private obligations and responsibilities).  

The key element is that Columbia village boards need to advocate for their community interests.  The first paragraph of our Wilde Lake Community Association Mission Statement captures this philosophy rather succinctly:

“Wilde Lake Community Association was organized and is operated exclusively for the promotion of the health, safety, common good, and social welfare of the owners of property in, and the residents of, that area of the community of Columbia known as the Village of Wilde Lake.”

With that as a guiding animating principle, the current Board (elected in April of 2014), has had a good year.  Two accomplishments of note include:

1) Advocating for the development of a pathway that connects Howard Community College and the Wilde Lake Village Center. 

This was something that was discussed when I served on the WLVB and I am delighted that the current Board is moving ahead on this.  Although our Village Center is close to HCC, it doesn’t necessary feel that close to the College…a direct path (along with some clear signage) would help promote a more walkable Columbia, with benefits for HCC students and staff as well as our Village Center merchants.

I strongly encourage the WLVB to continue working with all relevant parties to help bring this proposed pathway into existence. 

2) It is now possible to attend the Wilde Lake Village Board meetings via video call.  This embrace of newer technology should help provide additional opportunities for information sharing and citizen engagement in our community. 

I support placing digital recordings of the WLVB meetings online so our property owners and residents can listen to the sessions when it is most convenient for them.  Thus far, the Columbia Association meetings podcasts have registered 2,284 plays over the course of 76 episodes.  In the interest of sharing “news you can use” and promoting transparency, Wilde Lake should follow suit.     

Hopefully, progress can be made on both fronts, as well as on other pressing community needs, over the course of the next few months. 

And don’t forget, village elections are in April.

Stay tuned, as more will follow.


  1. Have any of the Wilde Lake residents expressed any apprehension with recordings being placed online? Specifically, any privacy concerns where names and addresses are often mentioned in meetings? Would recordings be publicly available or behind a community sign-in portal?

  2. Fair questions. I would support placing the idea on the agenda, so residents could have their input on the suggestion, prior to any Board vote. Bear in mind of course that WLVB meetings, agendas and minutes are all open to the public [except, of course, for closed sessions]. I would expect that any recordings of open meetings would also be available to the public.