How to keep GenXers off your board

6 Mar

Wrote Sun journalist regarding the length of CA board meetings

Last week, the board adopted the recommendation of its external relations committee that all Columbia Association and committee meeting agendas include a time duration for each agenda item and a precise overall adjournment time. The committee had recommended an ending time of 10 p.m., But the board decided to make it 11 p.m.

A weekday meeting that goes til 11 p.m.!

If it was at a local bar, I could understand …


Dear Members of the CA Board

If you want more GenXers (27-47 year-olds) board members, decrease the face-to-face meeting time and start using more technology for your communications and processes. Intelligent and effective of use of technology has a luring and attractive quality to many a-GenXer who genuinely want to contribute to the local community.



For da record, Evan Coren (Kings Contrivance) is a GenXer, by age. As is, I believe, Michael Cornell (River Hill), by a smidge. Here are the pics of the current board.


4 Responses to “How to keep GenXers off your board”

  1. Marshmallow Man March 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    The side note to the CA Board assumes that the CA Board is interested in Xer and younger Board members. My view is that it is not. It is generally the behavior of those in power to ensure that they stay there. In this case, that does not mean making access to the CA Board any easier in terms of communication.

    The CA Board should also check itself for reasonableness and prudence in the matter of meeting end times. Eleven pm is neither a reasonable or prudent ending time.

    I am contantly amazed that CA meetings run longer than legislative sessions of the County Council, sessions of the General Assembly, even voting sessions of Congress, on occasion. And yet, CA’s meetings are less publicly accessible than any of those other bodies.

  2. Iconic Xer March 7, 2008 at 12:13 am #

    What an interesting juxtaposition of articles. Here’s a March 5th Sun article about a recent Howard County Council : “In one of its shortest sessions ever, the Howard County Council … ” And just a bit later, “Also approved at the 20-minute meeting …”

    How long did the other Sun article say the CA *committee* meetings were? 5.5 hours?

    Let’s see, which of the County Council members are under the age of 47 (the highest age for a Gen Xer in 2008)? There’s Calvin, Jen, Greg and Courtney. Mary Kay, while looking darn good at any age (can I get an amen!), is the lone Boomer on the Council.

    Funny ratios: 4/5 of the County Council are GenX with 1/5 Boomer. The Columbia Association Board is 1/5 GenX with 4/5 Boomer and a Silent Gen or two.

    Conclusive? No. Interesting? I think so.

  3. caroleejam March 7, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    Age doesn’t matter unless you are cheese

    If an organization has set up a process that requires much time, it takes longer to finish. Others under the right kind of leadership can finish quickly.

    Why point to average age just because there are such statistics in a particular organization?

  4. Iconic Xer March 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm #

    Good question, Caroleejam. Let me see if I can answer this briefly.

    I’m pointing to generations, and not to age. Generations are born, they go through life phases, they age and they die.

    There will always be 17-, 47-, 87- year-olds. But there is only one Boomer generation, one GenX generation, one Millennial generation and one Homeland generation. When they’re gone, they’re gone. And when they’re here, their particular generational world views — and the life phases they are in — impact all the other generations.

    Strauss and Howe for the theory and academic backing. I offer introductory info about it at Generations: A Lens.

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