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Village representatives, Columbia Council members clash again at meeting; Way villages do business is at the heart of an ongoing battle


Representatives from Columbia's villages again clashed with members of the Columbia Council last night in the ongoing battle over proposed changes to the way the villages do business.

Speaking on behalf of all 10 village managers, Anne Dodd, manager of Kings Contrivance, criticized Columbia Association officials at a sparsely attended meeting of the council's task force on CA-village relations.

Said Dodd: "The secretiveness and the disregard for a mutually agreed upon process can only further weaken, rather than enhance, the relationship between the villages and the Columbia Council."

The elected council governs the association.

The council's task force, which does not include village representatives, has been meeting for months to re-evaluate CA's relationship with the villages and discuss changes to the management contracts under which the villages operate.

Many village leaders have viewed this as a threat -- financial and otherwise -- to their independence.

"There's been no exchange of information" on the part of CA, Sarah Uphouse, the Long Reach village manager, said before the meeting.

She said that the renegotiation of any contract should involve open discussion between both parties, but the "bottom line is, the Columbia Council can do what it wants to. It's their contract."

Among the issues being discussed are whether the villages will continue to manage certain CA buildings, how much information the Columbia Council will require from the villages regarding budget requests and how money will be allocated to the villages in the form of community grants.

While frustrated over what they perceive as a lack of communication by CA, village officials appeared to make at least one gain last night, in how they submit their financial statements to the nonprofit homeowners association.

The Columbia Council will take up the recommended changes to the management contracts at its March 12 meeting.

Pub Date: 2/23/99

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