The Columbia Council will sponsor its second symposium on Columbia's governance at 8 o'clock tonight at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake Village Green.
Three panelists are expected to attend the symposium, which will focus on budgetary, financial and legal issues associated with alternative forms of governance for Columbia. The panelists include Judson P. Garrett Jr., an attorney with expertise in special taxing districts; Edward Clarke, a public finance expert; and Peter Kristian, an officer with the Montgomery Village Foundation homeowners association.
The council is examining costs and benefits of alternatives, such as a special taxing district or incorporation as a municipality. The council is comparing those alternatives with the current system, in which the nonprofit Columbia Association -- a large, multifaceted homeowners association -- imposes an annual charge on Columbia property owners to run the unincorporated community's facilities and programs.