Just hours after the Columbia Association board of directors announced it had accepted the resignation of its CEO, the board began the process of finding a company to search the globe for its next executive.
The board, which has two vacant seats due to resignations, voted 6-2 to issue a request for proposals for firms to search for the successor to Lakey Boyd. Board members Andrew Stack of Owen Brown and Bill Santos of Wilde Lake voted against the measure.
Santos had wanted to delay on selecting a committee to interview the search firms until the vacant seats on the board were filled. Janet Evans, the board member from Long Reach, had also resigned Thursday, The Baltimore Banner reported, and Shari Zaret resigned the Kings Contrivance seat in December. During discussion, Alan Klein of Harper’s Choice noted that it made sense not to choose a search firm until all of the seats are filled.
The vote came at almost 11 p.m. because a public comment period took up roughly the first half-hour of the meeting. Residents spoke to express their displeasure at the board for its role in Boyd’s resignation, and other topics such as board governance and watershed management.
“I think the election plays a role in this,” said Brad Butler, vice-chair of the Owen Brown village board, speaking on his own behalf in remarks to the board. “You’ve got capable staff that can sustain the day-to-day operations through April. Let the election play out, and then choose the CEO.”
Watch the board meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgmA2BKHlFo
A few hours before the board meeting, Boyd and the Columbia Association board of directors announced that the board had accepted her resignation, effective immediately.
Dannika Rynes, senior media relations and communications manager for the Columbia Association, said there would be no further comment.
In an October Columbia Association board meeting, Boyd asked the board if she should be concerned about her job security. The board did not officially comment until January 6, when it said it had given Boyd a plan to improve its relationship and communications with her. Boyd responded that the plan would make her inffective at her job, and said she would ask to be transitioned out of the organization.
Boyd became CEO of CA in May 2021, after a nationwide recruitment effort that took place over several months.
Much to comment as I just left the 1/26 Board Meeting still in progress.
First off, the paper material concerning Lakey’s departure was discriminately disseminated at an open meeting by a Board Member to select audience members. This is a Board that already faces many lack of transparency accusations, so this really put the wheels in motion for what was about to come.
Various members of the community came forward to say their piece during Resident Speakout, which was well attended. A common thread – We love and miss Lakey.
From the start of the meeting, it was clear there was no general manager. The Board could not even agree on their agenda and if their closed meeting minutes were approved. One Board member even questioned what the minutes were. Robert’s Rules of Order were blatantly violated throughout. Below is an unofficial copy of what occurred as well as some light commentary.
Motion to approve BOD Meeting Minutes from Dec. 8th tabled due to mass confusion. (Note: Throughout the meeting, “tabled” motions, which do not warrant discussion, are somehow always discussed ad nauseum, adding numerous minutes to an already lengthy meeting).
Motion to Approve Audit Committee Recommendations inexplicably dies on the table.
Motion to Discuss Audit Committee Recommendations added to the agenda and passes.
Motion to Accept Recommendation 1 of Audit Committee Recommendations passes.
Motion to Accept Recommendation 2 of Audit Committee Recommendations passes.
Motion to Accept Recommendation 3 of Audit Committee Recommendations is discussed.
Motion to Add 15 Minutes to the Discussion of the Audit Committee Recommendations passes (notice a lack of time management theme?)
Recommendation 3 of Audit Committee Recommendations was tabled after – yes, you guessed it – a whole lot of discussion after it was determined to be tabled due to various disagreements.
Recommendation 4 of the Audit Committee Recommendations was also discussed at length as one Board Member discussed the desire to absolve the Board of the responsibility of enforcing ethics violations (Note: It is unlikely that the insurance policy would extend beyond the Board to include a member of the community who volunteers to “lay down the hammer” when it comes to ethics violation enforcement. I could not follow this Director’s illogical rationale.)
Motion to Accept Recommendations 1,2,4 of Audit Committee Recommendations passes.
Motion to put out an RFP to draft charter for Ethics Policies and Procedures for Ethics Committee Enforcement Policy passes. It was mentioned the Association is already under contract with legal counsel so it would make sense to provide this material to the firm they are under contract with, but nonetheless an RFP for such a document will be issued. (Note: the Audit Committee clearly spent a long time drafting the document that was reviewed this evening, so in passing this motion, it basically negated all previous discussion and work completed by the Audit Committee. Thanks but no thanks Audit Committee!)
Motion to Accept Testimony of Draft General Plan – Tabled after much unwarranted and unnecessary discussion.
Motion to Approve Much Discussed Amendments to CA Votes in Village Elections – passes 6-2-0
Significant discussion about minutia and semantics (i.e. “policy” v. “procedure”) followed.
Motion to Approve CA Votes in Village Elections with Amendments passes 7-0-1
Motion to Approve Issues and Resolutions Relating to Storm Water Management dies on the floor without a second.
Motion to Table Issues and Resolutions Relating to Storm Water Management dies on the floor without a second, but was accompanied by much discussion.
Motion to Send Issues and Resolutions Relating to Storm Water Management to Watershed Advisory Committee for Review and Provide Recommendations was approved.
I left the meeting at that point. It began at 7:01pm and I left at 10:25pm. According to the agenda, there were 99 minutes remaining.
The Board does not understand governance, and at a basic level Robert’s Rules of Order. There was no time management. In the 3 hours and 25 minutes I was there, very little was accomplished, especially in light of the action items on the agenda. Many of the Directors seemed unprepared.
The Board is also incapable of handling personnel matters. If they truly cared about the Association and understood their positions, they would have hired a law firm specializing in Associations to run interference between themselves and their manager (whom I support). Instead, in an act of self-interest, they hired a corporate litigation attorney. It will be difficult finding a respectable, qualified candidate for the position given the onslaught of negative media attention that began with Milton Matthews departure. And what does it say about an organization that can’t retain top talent for more than a few years?
Homeowners witnessing these repeated debacles from the Association Board should consider filing against the Association’s D&O policy. There has to be culpability as mismanagement by the Board, to this degree, is not sustainable.
I don’t normally attend in person, but the irony of the moment was not lost on me as I gazed at the mission statement, conveniently located just behind the all-white Board which reads, “Engage our diverse community, cultivate a unique sense of place and enhance the quality of life.” Unfortunate that this mission statement is more fantasy than reality.
Homeowners witnessing these repeated debacles from the CA Board should consider filing against the Association’s D&O policy. There has to be culpability as mismanagement by the Board, to this degree, is not sustainable.
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