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CA board mulls changes to relationship with Inner Arbor Trust

The Columbia Association Board of Directors is re-examining its representation on the Inner Arbor Trust, a separate nonprofit created by the CA board to manage the development of Symphony Woods. The move could spur changes to the relationship between the two entities. 

When the Trust was formed as a separate spin-off corporation in February 2013, the CA board mandated that three of the five members of the Trust's Board of Directors be representatives of CA. Two of the CA representatives were supposed to be current CA board members, with the third being the CA president. 

When the Inner Arbor Trust formed, it expanded to seven members, effectively diluting CA's representation. The Trust is responsible for the Inner Arbor Plan, a proposal to build an arts district and arts park on 36 acres in downtown Columbia's Symphony Woods.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that one of the two CA board representatives was not re-elected when his term was up in April 2013. It left CA with two Trust board members, President Phil Nelson and CA board member Gregg Schwind.

At Thursday's meeting, the CA board decided the organization's representation on the Trust needs to be re-evaluated. 

The re-evaluation comes because Schwind said he does not have enough support as a CA representative. 

"As part of the easement agreement, the parties agreed that three of the seven members would be CA representatives," Schwind said. "Right now, we don't have that representation."

Schwind said the re-evaluation is "long overdue," because Coleman has not been an active CA board member for 10 months. 

Cynthia Coyle, CA board member from Harper's Choice, said she is "very disturbed" by CA's lack of representation. 

"Gregg is standing alone. We need to give him support," she said. 

CA board chair Andy Stack said the board "dropped the ball" because it did not make the board's position on issues known to the representatives. 

Stack said he is working to set up a meeting between the Inner Arbor Trust and the CA board later this month. 

Alex Hekimian, CA board member from Oakland Mills, said the board should look at re-electing Trust representatives. The CA board also wants the Trust to consider adding another representative because the Trust board expanded from five to seven members. 

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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