This is one in a series of submitted candidate profiles for the Columbia Association Elections.
The Columbia Association will hold elections on Saturday, April 26. During the elections, Columbia residents who pay the Columbia Association assessed fee can vote in their respective village for their village's representative to the 10-member Columbia Council, which becomes the 10-member Board of Directors.
Each village hosts its own election. This year, there are only three contested races for the 10-member board. Those races are in Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge and Town Center.
Each candidate was submitted the same list of questions and request for information. The responses that follow were submitted by each of the candidates.
Gregg Schwind (Hickory Ridge)
Address: 6100 block of Dry Leaf Path
Work Experience: 8 years in Army JAG Corps, 12 years for U.S. Department of Justice
Volunteer Experience: 6 years on Hickory Ridge Village Board, 5 years on CA Board of Directors, almost one year on the Inner Arbor Trust Board of Directors
Seat sought: Hickory Ridge (one-year term)
Q: What made you decide to run for election, or re-election, to the Columbia Association Board of Directors?
What drives me to run for re-election is the desire to serve the community by following through on initiatives that are not only special to me, but initiatives that I have played a part in for the past several years. These include creating a park in Symphony Woods, creating a public park area adjacent to the Hickory Ridge Village Center, constructing a new Hobbits Glen clubhouse, and opening a new downtown health club. This is an important year not only with many ongoing major projects, but also a new president and a number of board member retirements. Residents need to know that their assessment dollars are being well spent for the present and for the future.
Q: What qualities do you possess that would make you a good board member?
Ten-plus years of experience on the CA Board of Directors and Hickory Ridge Village Board; contacts in the community, Columbia, and the County; a willingness to listen to and work with others to find consensus and achieve tangible, measurable outcomes. Also, my family and I are big users of CA facilities and programs, which allows me to bring my personal experiences to the table.
Q: Identify, in your mind, the two most pressing issues facing the Columbia Association right now? Explain why you chose these and expound on possible solutions.
The two most pressing issues are figuring out how to pay for needed building/infrastructure upgrades and fund new projects (Hobbits Glen Clubhouse, The Haven on the Lake, the dog park) within the existing budget; and working with residents, the County, and other stakeholders to transform the Symphony Woods neighborhood into a great downtown park venue.
Q: If elected, what do you hope to help accomplish while on the board?
I hope to work with the new president to create and sustain momentum to complete the projects that are underway and instill a sense of pride in CA and its employees. I am hopeful that we can see the completion of several major initiatives and embark on several new ones, including solving the need for more indoor pool lanes and indoor tennis courts.
Q: Why should someone vote for you?
I bring my experience, my willingness to listen, my desire for a great community, and my positive attitude.