Wilde Lake candidates debate communication, Symphony Woods

The surprisingly large audience of 31 residents at the Wilde Lake Village Candidate forum on Monday evening kept the two candidates for the Columbia Council on their toes with an informed line of questioning on issues facing both the village and the CA board.

The question and answer portion of the forum, which was scheduled to last an hour, pushed closer to an hour and a half as residents prompted incumbent Regina Clay and challenger Nancy McCord on issues like Symphony Woods, the Wilde Lake Village Center and CA to village communication.

Clay, who is finishing her first term on the board, said she has learned a lot in the past year and is eager to build upon her experience.

"As your CA representative, I have made great strides in balancing Mr. Rouse's proven philosophy for Columbia with the need to manage a place that is growing and maturing into a world class city. This work is not done yet," she said.

McCord, who currently serves on the Wilde Lake Village Board, said, if elected, she hopes to improve communication between the CA board and the village board, which she feels has been lacking.

"As Wilde Lake's representative, I will actively coordinate with the village board, and will not only solicit but will be open to input from residents," McCord said at the forum.

The two candidates were also asked questions about Symphony Woods Park and the recently approved Inner Arbor Plan, which proposes developing the eastern side of the property into an arts village.

Clay, who voted in favor of approving the plan, has been an advocate for moving forward with the plan.

McCord said she was too unfamiliar with the plan to comment on the questions.

Also in attendance were the four village board candidates; Norma Rose, Joyce Ardo, Linda Odum and Rhoda Toback. Currently, there are only four candidates for five open seats on the board.

Following the election, the four board members will appoint a fifth member. 

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