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Monday Message Q&A Summary

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April 1st, 2014 No Comments

Michael McLane

“What makes a good leader be a great leader? What principles should drive the decisions of a Board of Directors?
“Lake Linganore is standing at a tremendous crossroads. We face many important decisions in the next few years that will help determine what our great community will look like. Topics such as the health of the lake, incorporation, smart growth, aging amenities, the need for an increased, but collaborative security team and changing political boundaries are all key drivers in determining our future. Great leaders are ones who are able to quickly adapt to an ever-changing environment and make decisions that should lead to better outcomes. This does not mean a great leader makes a rash decision, but rather gathers and dissects as much information about a problem that they can to help formulate their plan and decision making. Great leaders listen to and communicate with their peers and with people who chose to place them into a leadership position. Great leaders are able to galvanize and coordinate different groups into one strong unified team. Great leaders adhere to a set of principles that should govern their actions. The principles that I will use if chosen to be on the Board of Directors are simple ones. Inclusion. As a chosen Board of Directors, it should be our duty to seek the guidance and input of our fellow residents. We are a community and which lives together and must make decisions that in that manner. Trustworthiness. As a Director I will exhibit trustworthiness to make decisions that reflect what I feel is in the best interest of our community as a whole, not of the few. Collaboration. Often times we may not always see eye to eye on a subject or issue, but as a Director, I will make every possible attempt to collaborate on differences to reach a mutual resolution that will benefit the community. It would be a great honor to be elected as a Board member for Lake Linganore and I will ensure that if I am bestowed such an honor, I will carry out all of my actions with the best interest of our community to uphold that honor.”

“Volunteer efforts in Linganore often fulfill a vital role. Resident feedback suggests that the community craves more activities and opportunities to interact with neighbors. However in spite of this regularly expressed interest, overall engagement is low. What kind of volunteerism have you been involved in? Do you think there should be more volunteerism in LLA? If so, how would we motivate the community?”
“An enjoyable activity my family participated in was LakeQuest. We had a blast exploring new trails. We also gained a better appreciation for the areas we did know. This volunteer-led team epitomizes how we, as engaged residents, can make a real impact. We have such potential for conducting great events and helping to enrich our community, but we all need to help.

I can still recall a sinking feeling (literally) the day I helped clean out Lake Anita Louise a few years ago. Myself and a handful of others came out to pick as much trash out of the drained lake as we could. A few years ago I joined the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) to help chart a course for our future. This committee, like so many others is in need of more people to pitch in. Helping cook burgers and dogs for our football viewing parties gave me the chance to meet new friends and enjoy an afternoon with my fellow residents.

Volunteering takes time, and that is something we all wish we had more of. I think there are several ways to engage more residents. Informing people of how much time might be required per committee would allow them to see if it could fit into their lives. We could be creative with small incentives, like a free guest pool pass and more events like the Volunteer Appreciation Dance could be great draws as well.”

“Many communities face challenges that require long term, often complex solutions. What do you see as two immediate needs in Lake Linganore? How would short term remedies to these immediate needs benefit the overall Linganore community?”
We are fortunate to live in a community where crime rates are low. However, over the past several years we have experienced crime that we have been unaccustomed to in Lake Linganore. Our playgrounds have been vandalized, our homes have been broken into and our sense of security, has been altered. Developing a plan for a more involved and visible security team must be an immediate priority. This would help curb many issues we have and although it will not solve all crime, having increased security, that is engaged as a partner, would help.

Investigating, developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for increased parking to enjoy our amenities is another immediate concern. Until that is done, the establishment of a shuttle service would help alleviate parking problems at our beaches. A convenient shuttle system could be started that met the needs of all villages and served as a way to bring more residents together at our great beaches and events.

“Lake Linganore Association is home to approximately 9,000 Frederick County taxpayers. Moving forward, what kind of relationship should LLA have with the greater Frederick County community? Would you favor engagement with the Board of County Commissioners? If not, why? How would you characterize an effective LLA presence and leadership style?”
Our community needs to have an engaged and involved relationship with the greater Frederick Community. The next election cycle will split our community into two voting districts and now, more than ever, we as a unified association must work to continue our important initiatives and progress. We need to support our partnerships with the surrounding communities, Frederick City and the County, to help with mutually beneficial projects like the dredging of the lake and the construction of the new Boyer’s Mill bridge. The important choice about incorporation will mean that our relationships with our neighbors must be strong.

Engaging the County Commissioners is an area I think we have done a good job with over the last couple of years. Recognizing that as we advance with the ongoing expansion of our community, we need to ensure that our best interests are kept in mind while encouraging smart-growth and preserving the beautiful amenities so many of us moved here for. Having one voice representing the two districts and having a leadership team who is willing to have meaningful and open dialogue with the County to represent all of Lake Linganore is key.

Sam Schrecongost

“What makes a good leader be a great leader? What principles should drive the decisions of a Board of Directors?
“In the context of the Lake Linganore Board of Directors, leadership is more of a collaboration and thus relies heavily on interpersonal skills and an ability to see beyond a narrow point of view to consider competing ideas. Qualities that will make an effective Board member include:

Integrity – Staying true to the basic premise that each action and decision must benefit the greater good and not a narrow view or personal interest.

Receptiveness – Board members must be broad-minded and open to new and competing ideas. Board members must be willing to not just listen to others’ ideas but to also research and educate themselves on each topic and idea so that true educated decisions can be made.

Communication – This is of course one of the most critical attributes of a Board member. One must be able to effectively communicate goals and ideas, explain opinions and listen to others.

Collaboration – Effectively working with a group toward a common goal is a very complex activity. It requires a talent for joint planning and decision-making; negotiating and compromising; expressing one’s opinions and ideas while respecting those of others and being flexible in terms of roles including when to take a leadership role and when to seek a team approach.

Creative Problem Solving – An ability to find new solutions to issues, especially those that are contentious and manage conflicts with others to reach a goal and complete tasks. Working with a volunteer Board means that we will have time constraints and cannot get bogged down in deadlock, meetings must be concise and productive to make the most of everyone’s time and to provide effective leadership to the community.

As a LLA Board member I will bring these talents to bear and in good use to move forward in the best interests of our great community and to provide guidance to ensure upcoming changes reflect the will of the residents and the spirit of the Lake Linganore tradition.”

“Volunteer efforts in Linganore often fulfill a vital role. Resident feedback suggests that the community craves more activities and opportunities to interact with neighbors. However in spite of this regularly expressed interest, overall engagement is low. What kind of volunteerism have you been involved in? Do you think there should be more volunteerism in LLA? If so, how would we motivate the community?”
“I have been volunteering since reclaiming native trout streams with my father when I was eight. I have continued volunteering with clubs and charity organizations in my communities throughout my life. Currently, my family is getting involved in water sampling through a Friends of the Lake (FOL) initiative.

For me, volunteerism is a way to give back to my community and interact with my neighbors. It also provides participants with a sense of ownership and pride in their neighborhood.

I believe there are a few things that could improve participation. Awareness: Let people know there is a need through social media, the LLA website, Google, Facebook, Twitter, each group can reach out to residents and let them know what volunteer opportunities are available. It also gives an opportunity to present the experience as a positive one – something you can do with your family rather than something that takes away from family time. Reward: Offering tangible rewards as incentive to participants. Rewards could include raffle entries to win a prize at the end of the year, a free boat registration, etc. Thanks: A planned social event just for volunteers’ families at the pool or the tent to say thanks for the support.”

“Many communities face challenges that require long term, often complex solutions. What do you see as two immediate needs in Lake Linganore? How would short term remedies to these immediate needs benefit the overall Linganore community?”
“Unfortunately our quiet safe community has suffered some recent home invasions and thefts. I know from talking to families in the community that these occurrences weigh heavily on the minds of our residents. This is a deep concern that cuts to the core of a basic need, the need to be safe, in our homes, streets, sidewalks and trails. I believe that this is the responsibility of everyone in the community including the Association. Immediate remedies include increased security presence, especially in the overnight hours. In addition, we should strengthen our relationship with the County Sheriff’s Department to solve these crimes. However, I also believe that we can have a large impact ourselves by keeping our eyes open, talking to our neighbors and increasing participation in Neighborhood Watch Groups.

Last year a large tree fell and broke a section of the raised walkway over the lake. The esplanade trail is one of the best, most used and most connected trails at the Lake and should be restored to a usable path. I believe that it is imperative that we not only look for new ways to expand the amenities available but to preserve and maintain those that we already have.”

“Lake Linganore Association is home to approximately 9,000 Frederick County taxpayers. Moving forward, what kind of relationship should LLA have with the greater Frederick County community? Would you favor engagement with the Board of County Commissioners? If not, why? How would you characterize an effective LLA presence and leadership style?”
“It is imperative that the Lake Linganore Association Board of Directors communicate and engage with County Commissioners on projects and planning for the greater Lake Linganore area. With projects like the replacement of the Boyer’s Mill bridge, dredging the lake, new Boyer’s Mill intersections at Eaglehead Drive and Gas House Pike all planned for the immediate future, it is critical that Lake Linganore residents have a unified voice and are represented.

I believe that being an advocate for and representative of the residents of our community is the most important function of the BOD. We must engage with Frederick County, Frederick City and surrounding communities and stakeholders to guarantee that our growth is smart while conserving our beautiful features and way of life.

Planning and development are not the only items that LLA and the County need to discuss. It is also important that we forge a good working relationship when our community needs county services, like action from the Sheriff’s Department to respond to an up-tic in crime.

I will be a strong advocate for our community while developing a respected relationship with Frederick County Commissioners.”

James Schultz

“What makes a good leader be a great leader? What principles should drive the decisions of a Board of Directors?
“Ask a sampling of American’s ‘Who was the greatest US President?’ and the answer you’ll hear most often is Abe Lincoln. That seems appropriate, given the man led us through the Civil War, freed the slaves, and saved the Union.

What many people don’t know about Lincoln, however, is how he accomplished so many things in his relatively short presidency. Lincoln was funny, to the point, and when possible, brief. An astute politician, he built coalitions when necessary, yet pitted his opponents against each other when reconciliation was not an option. He fought tirelessly for his beliefs, yet pulled back (and even changed direction) when he saw an effort would be fruitless.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not comparing myself to Honest Abe. Heck, he was 6’4″ and I’m only 5’4”. By that scale I’m closer to Napoleon. But what I can tell you is that great leaders don’t live in the grey. They strategize, collaborate, and execute, but switch course when necessary. They cast their eye on the horizon, and even beyond the horizon. They understand the seriousness of every situation, but don’t take themselves too seriously. They fight for what is not only popular, but what is also right and fair.

We’re not in a war, and no lives are at stake. We are, however, in the midst of making many important decisions that will affect the quality of our lives for decades to come, as well as the health of our entire community. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Those are the words of a man who knew the value of preparation, which is usually the most critical part of any task.

What makes a good leader great? What principles should drive the Board? Everything I wrote above, along with a lot of support from you.

I’ll close my answer just shy of the 400 word allotment, but with a bit of self-promotion and a chance for you (the person reading right now), to share your feelings about Lake Linganore. It’s just one question and takes less than a minute to answer, but the results may be telling. Visit www.ScoreLinganore.com to learn more.

Finally, make sure you vote May 2nd. Don’t let the work of your Board fall on deaf ears, or convince yourself that your vote won’t make a difference. It does.”

“Volunteer efforts in Linganore often fulfill a vital role. Resident feedback suggests that the community craves more activities and opportunities to interact with neighbors. However in spite of this regularly expressed interest, overall engagement is low. What kind of volunteerism have you been involved in? Do you think there should be more volunteerism in LLA? If so, how would we motivate the community?”
“Yes, more volunteerism in LLA would be nice.

The problem is, only one in four people ever volunteer. For anything. And for those 25% who do, we’re asking them to choose between the church, the homeless, the Red Cross, the fire department, the YMCA, or, wait for it, testing water quality for the HOA. No wonder it’s tough to get people involved.

If you REALLY want to get people active in LLA, you’ve got to make it fun and put something in it for them. Turn quarterly meetings into social events and have door prizes for everyone who attends. Ask small business owners who live in LLA to trade their human resources and expertise for discounted marketing in Lake Talk. Maybe not these exact ideas, but this general direction.
If all that fails, I have a plan B. Let’s insert a card into every ‘Neighborhood Welcome’ packet that says all homeowners are REQUIRED to volunteer for the first year. Since they’re new they won’t know any better, and they could probably use some friends anyway, right? I’m kidding, sorta. New homeowners can be a great resource.

As for me, I’ve volunteered in the church, the HOA, the school and the Scouts.”

“Many communities face challenges that require long term, often complex solutions. What do you see as two immediate needs in Lake Linganore? How would short term remedies to these immediate needs benefit the overall Linganore community?”
As a fifteen year resident from two different villages, I’ve made it a point to try and understand not just the concerns of my current neighbors, but Lake Linganore in general. That means attending LLA Board meetings, reading up on TIF’s, CDA’s, incorporation, and all sorts of things that years ago I would have struggled to understand.

With that as my background, the two things that seem most critical for the community is the preservation of the lake, and the strategic planning and maintenance of our infrastructure.

As to the lake, dredging the decades of silt that threaten to spoil our most important amenity (as well as the primary source of water for the City of Frederick) is probably the biggest ‘need’ we have as a community. In the short-term, our primary effort should be focused on working with the greater Frederick area to design a shared, cost-effective strategy to tackle this enormous project.

As to infrastructure, we must maintain what we have (such as fixing the broken Esplanade), but also plan, and when appropriate, support those efforts that benefit the community as a whole. Replacing the washed-out bridge at Eaglehead, for example, cannot happen tomorrow if not planned for today.

“Lake Linganore Association is home to approximately 9,000 Frederick County taxpayers. Moving forward, what kind of relationship should LLA have with the greater Frederick County community? Would you favor engagement with the Board of County Commissioners? If not, why? How would you characterize an effective LLA presence and leadership style?”
Yes, LLA should *absolutely* engage both the County Commissioners and Frederick in general. We are part of a greater community and our needs are impacted (like it or not) by powers outside of our direct control. Many of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in the past were directly related to a poor or nonexistent relationship between Lake Linganore and the County.

I would take things even a step further. As a community of approximately 3,000 properties and 9,000 taxpayers, the LLA Board should encourage (facilitate?) political activism within the neighborhoods. Let’s flex some Lake Linganore ‘muscle’, support our own residents to run for positions in local government, and become a consistent voice in issues that impact our community and resources.

As to an effective LLA presence and leadership style, it’s all about cooperation. Start by getting tuned-in to the county’s priorities and agenda, whether or not they impact us directly. Then collaborate on the common ground, pushing through those items of least resistance. Finally, if LLA finds itself at the opposing end of an argument with local government, figure out where there is some form of agreement, then build on those issues in a way that everyone ‘wins’.

Melinda Dawson

“Volunteer efforts in Linganore often fulfill a vital role. Resident feedback suggests that the community craves more activities and opportunities to interact with neighbors. However in spite of this regularly expressed interest, overall engagement is low. What kind of volunteerism have you been involved in? Do you think there should be more volunteerism in LLA? If so, how would we motivate the community?”
“Volunteerism is what helps communities thrive. Personally, I have volunteered in the following areas:

Parent volunteer in our local elementary school: I have been a volunteer in my son’s elementary school for the last 4 years. Our teachers count on parent volunteers in our local elementary schools.

Association volunteer in both the LLA and condominium associations. I served on the Audubon Condominium board as a volunteer for over 3 years. I have served on various LLA committees over the past 20+ years that I have lived here. HOA’s are dependent upon homeowner volunteers to fulfill vital roles within the community.

Clothing coordinator in our church for a local Title 1 school (Title 1 is a considered by the state as a high poverty school. Frederick County has 7 Title 1 schools). For the last 4 years I have served as the clothing coordinator for a local elementary school. This entails running 2 clothing drives in our church and then having 2 distribution days in the school: one in the fall and one in the spring. The purpose of these clothing drives is to provide economically distressed families (some who are homeless) with clothing and shoes.

Lake Linganore needs volunteers. We cannot continue maintaining as well as enhancing what we have without them. We need to provide information to our community about all volunteering opportunities that are available. Setting up a LLA Volunteer table at each of the upcoming Farmer’s Markets is a great venue — having representatives there to speak about their own volunteering efforts and opportunities. Lake Linganore is a wonderful place – that’s why we live here! And most of us want to be part of that — and what better way than to serve as a volunteer!”

“Many communities face challenges that require long term, often complex solutions. What do you see as two immediate needs in Lake Linganore? How would short term remedies to these immediate needs benefit the overall Linganore community?”
The first immediate need is to ensure the safety and security of all Lake Linganore residents and our properties. In order to do this, we should review our current policies and procedures to assure effective levels of coverage are implemented.

The second immediate need I see is to get information out about Lake Linganore incorporation to all residents. As the details of incorporation continue to be developed, our community needs to review this information so that we can make informed decisions about our future, and whether or not to become a municipality.

“Lake Linganore Association is home to approximately 9,000 Frederick County taxpayers. Moving forward, what kind of relationship should LLA have with the greater Frederick County community? Would you favor engagement with the Board of County Commissioners? If not, why? How would you characterize an effective LLA presence and leadership style?”
With over 9,000 taxpayers, LLA is larger than any municipality in Frederick County (behind Frederick City with 67,000). I believe that any relationship that the LLA develops with the greater Frederick County community should be one where our own community would benefit from such a relationship. We have so many needs and issues here in our own community that I would hesitate starting a “relationship” with any community outside our own until we feel comfortable with our own community relationships.

That said, Frederick County will be transitioning to a new County Charter form of government on December 1, 2014. This new government will include an elected County Executive and seven (7) County Council members (5 elected by district and 2 elected at-large) — all of these replacing the current Board of County Commissioners. It is imperative that Lake Linganore maintain a presence with this new government. We need to keep our best interests in front of the County Executive and the County Council. Our own Lake Linganore will be cut into two (2) districts: District 2 and District 4. We must maintain dialogue with our 2 County Council members who will be elected this fall.

We must take a strong stand for our community – and ensure that our voice is heard at all levels within Frederick County government.

Should we become a municipality, Lake Linganore would be the second largest municipality in Frederick County — imagine how much more our voice would be heard — and not just at the county level, but we would also be heard at the State level!

Olen Moore

“Lake Linganore Association is home to approximately 9,000 Frederick County taxpayers. Moving forward, what kind of relationship should LLA have with the greater Frederick County community? Would you favor engagement with the Board of County Commissioners? If not, why? How would you characterize an effective LLA presence and leadership style?”
The LLA has an active relationship with the current BOCC and county government offices. The LLA’s interest in and support of the Boyer’s Mill Road and bridge improvement projects is one recent and ongoing example. The LLA has also successfully engaged the BOCC to support the Lake Linganore dredging project. These relationships need to be ongoing and strengthened. As we transition to the new charter county government, it is essential the LLA maintain a strong relationship with our district commissioner to ensure our community interests are well represented.

Clay Edwards

“Many communities face challenges that require long term, often complex solutions. What do you see as two immediate needs in Lake Linganore? How would short term remedies to these immediate needs benefit the overall Linganore community?”
I find it difficult to answer a question such as this without putting one or both feet in my mouth. I do not think anyone can answer this question without knowing what type of challenges are more important than others, and whether they are they needs or desires. The balancing act between needs and desires is the most difficult part of operating an HOA.

So to answer the question (I just washed my feet):

Remedy 1 – Residents as a whole, including board members, must understand that what you desire may not be what the LLA needs.

Remedy 2 – Residents as a whole, including board members, need to get used to more and more homes being built. The LLA is only about 65 to 70% complete and completion is the only way it will survive.

Thomas Murray

“Volunteer efforts in Linganore often fulfill a vital role. Resident feedback suggests that the community craves more activities and opportunities to interact with neighbors. However in spite of this regularly expressed interest, overall engagement is low. What kind of volunteerism have you been involved in? Do you think there should be more volunteerism in LLA? If so, how would we motivate the community?”
“I have volunteered my time with the Knights of Columbus and as an instructor for those adults wishing to become Catholic for over 10 years. I also volunteered with my HOA in California, with the local Program Management Institute chapter as an instructor, and assisted those looking for work in a networking group. I am currently volunteering with the Municipal Incorporation Organizing Committee here at Lake Linganore.

It has been my experience that only around 10% actively volunteer in a group or organization. This seems to hold true whether the group is a school, church, or civic organization. Community involvement is a sign of a healthy community. There are a number of ways in which we can work to increase volunteerism here at Lake Linganore. First, current volunteers can all invite a friend to join them. Second, we could have volunteer nights. These could take two forms – one to honor current volunteers, and another to provide information about the various opportunities that are available, similar to a ministry fair at a church. Food could be provided, whether as a pot luck or (budget permitting) provided by the LLA. Third, an outreach program to students, whether in high school or (during the summer) college students who live here. Students can learn something new, connect with others in the community, and gain valuable leadership or professional experience. I certainly hope that the newly formed Teen Volunteer Club is successful.

As a board member I would actively support volunteer efforts that would contribute to the betterment of our community.”

Phil Wagner

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