The Columbia System Works
I read your Sept. 2 editorial in The Evening Sun with great interest. Your conclusion that Columbia should have "someone running the council who is elected at large" is clearly worthy of community discussion and debate. However, I think that your conclusion that the Columbia Association is "an association alienated from the community it serves" is very wrong and indeed has no basis in fact.
During the past two years, several different surveys have been done which disagree with your conclusion. In November 1991, in a survey conducted by the Columbia Forum, . . . 81 percent of the respondents indicated they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied [with the way Columbia is governed], 6 percent responded "not sure," and only 12 percent responded that they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. . . .
May of 1992, Patuxent Publishing conducted a survey on major Howard County institutions. Among Columbians, the Columbia Association received a favorable or neutral rating from 74 percent of all respondents, while 21 percent indicated "unfavorable." Finally in April 1990, the Alliance for A Better Columbia, a critic of the Columbia Association, conducted a random survey at Columbia Village centers; 77 percent of the respondents indicated they were either satisfied or neutral and 23 percent were dissatisfied. . . .
I believe these statistics, all from non-CA sources, indicate that while there is always room for improvement the Columbia Association rates well with the community it serves.
John M. Hansen
The writer is chairman of the Columbia Council
On Sept. 28, you printed an article entitled, "Black students recognize harsh reality at retreat." The question I asked myself was what "harsh reality" is the article talking about?
Your headline caught my attention, and I read the article searching for an answer. Unfortunately, I never found it. . . . Is this "harsh reality" the students' history as African-Americans, or is it the racism of today's society? The article brought up several good points. However, my suggestion is to make sure your headlines are clearly explained in your articles.
On a recent Tuesday morning, parking at the District Court Multi-Service Building in Howard County was next to impossible, as usual. And as usual, cars had to squeeze into every available space along Martha Bush Drive, leading to the building. Further on down, both sides of Courthouse Drive, even down past Ellicott Mills Drive, had every inch of curb space taken up. There are "No Parking" signs along one side of Martha Bush Drive, but even police cars have had to park there from time to time.
That morning, Officer H167 had ticketed every car parked on that side of the street. Where were those people supposed to park, especially with clients like mine who are elderly?
Talk about taking your campaign to the people. Last Saturday, on a damp and dreary morning, I was driving along Md. 450 when I saw a line of cars, festooned with signs and streamers and balloons, followed by a pick-up truck. Standing and waving from that truck in the chilled air was Tom Hattery, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 6th District.
I don't know him, but I do know that any candidate willing to take his campaign to the people in this way deserves my attention if not my support. . .
On a recent Saturday morning, I was shopping in the Giant at Chatham Mall. As I turned the corner into a bakery aisle, I was greeted by a candidate for Congress and some of his campaign volunteers.
Tom Hattery, a pleasant young man, introduced himself to me. . . He asked for my vote. I told him that I had not decided who I was voting for yet. At that point, one of his volunteers handed me some literature. Mr. Hattery asked me to read and then decide.
The next morning, after reading the paper, I took some time to read the literature. . . . After having done so, I can now comfortably say that I will vote for Tom Hattery. His positions on the issues are close to mine. We don't agree on everything, but then who does. I must say, however, that what impressed me the most was his friendly demeanor and his taking the time in our neighborhood on a Saturday. He's not just a politician; he's a man that I can now say I know.