Note: I have had a few conversations with folks who support the Compass, and there has been some concern that my math in the post below is not exact. Specifically, the cost associated with getting a letter to the County involved more than just a stamp. There are costs associated with composing, transcribing, reviewing, and of course, printing a letter. I believe that many of these costs also come into play when sending a letter as an advertisement. That aside, the concerns of my friends led me to post this update. So please, keepin mind that the numbers are not exact, but are best estimates.
Thank you dear readers.
After a series of hastily scheduled meetings, the Columbia Association has gone on a spending spree to directly advertise its stated position on the Howard County document "Downtown Columbia: A Community Vision." In the past five days, the Columbia Association has published the letter (in the form of an ad) in the Columbia Flier, the Baltimore Examiner, and the Baltimore Sun. Content aside, I’m wondering why the Columbia Association decided to spend thousands of dollars on publicizing a letter to the Howard County government. Let’s face it; the letter could have been mailed at a cost of 41 cents ($0.41). I checked the open ad rates at the Flier, Examiner, and Sun; the cost to run full page ads in each are (respectively), $2778, $1711, and $3150. That adds up to more than $7500, or approximately 18,000 times more than the cost of a stamp to convey their message.
What was the motivation? What was the justification? What benefit was derived? I encourage all to contact the Columbia Association Board of Directors for answers.
If anyone in the HoCo Blogosphere has an idea, all comments and insight are welcome.