Low attendance undercuts Long Reach candidate forum

Unlike the two other Columbia Council candidate forums held earlier this week in Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake, the Long Reach candidate forum held Thursday was poorly attended, with only two residents showing up.

The forum, which lasted 15 minutes, was scheduled to showcase the village's two candidates for Columbia Council: incumbent Ed Coleman and challenger Russ Swatek.

Of the three questions posed to the candidates, two pertained to Symphony Woods Park, which has become a hot topic surrounding the elections scheduled for April 19-20.

Coleman, who was elected by the CA board to serve on the board of the Inner Arbor Trust--an entity set up to manage the development of the park--is in favor of the newly adopted Inner Arbor Plan, which will develop an arts village on the eastern side of the park.

The two candidates fielded questions specifically about the Trust, which is in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status.

"There is the concept of forming the 501(c)(3) so we as lien-payers do not have to pay the full bill," Coleman said. 

Swatek has been outspoken against the plan, and has even mobilized challengers to run against board members up for reelection who support the plan.

"This idea of giving a perpetual easment to this other corporation, that's a non starter for me," Swatek said. 

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