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Ex-Columbia Association president gets new job in hometown Atlanta


Former Columbia Association President Deborah O. McCarty has landed a job in the city her critics say she never really left.

McCarty will head Research Atlanta, a public policy research group whose projects include a study that looks at ways of measuring civic engagement.

By any measure, McCarty's detractors said, she failed to become part of the planned community of Columbia that she headed for 20 months.

She did not sell her home in Atlanta, and her husband continued practicing law there. She spent much of a two-month leave of absence in Georgia, where her son was undergoing medical treatment. She did not register her car, obtain a driver's license or register to vote in Maryland.

"It wasn't really a surprise I guess," said John Snyder, vice chairman of the Long Reach village board, after learning that McCarty will be working in Atlanta.

Summing up her experience in Columbia in an article yesterday about her new appointment, McCarty told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "It was an interesting venture, but there's no place like home."

McCarty, who will start her new job Aug. 21, resigned under pressure in May after questions were raised about her leadership and her commitment.

She and her supporters have said her troubles stemmed from the "growing pains" of the association.

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