In the latest development in a controversy embroiling an organization that leads Maryland’s second largest city, Columbia Association CEO and President Lakey Boyd said she “has no other choice” but to ask the organization’s board to transition her out.

The announcement comes less than a week after the Columbia Association’s board said that it is seeking to “improve the relationship and communications” between Boyd and board members, and presented a plan to the CEO “to accomplish that goal.”

Boyd previously told The Baltimore Banner that she believed board members were trying to oust her, despite considerable opposition from vocal Columbia residents who have spoken at public meetings and signed an online petition in support of Boyd.

“I attended a meeting with the CA Board Chair and Vice Chair on January 6, 2023, along with CA’s Director of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion,” Boyd said in a statement released Wednesday night. “I was told the meeting was to discuss actions taken at the January 4, 2023 closed Board meeting. I was provided a hard copy of the Board’s plan in the January 6 meeting. After review and reflection of the discussion, and due to the terms of the plan and the timeline, I believe the Board’s plan renders me ineffective in being able to carry out my duties as President/CEO as they are detailed in my contract. I have concluded that I have no other choice but to ask the CA Board to transition me out of the Columbia Association.”

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Little is publicly known about what is detailed in the plan, and Dannika Rynes, senior manager of media relations and communications for the Columbia Association, said there will be no additional comment from Boyd or the organization.

Board chair Eric Greenberg did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Friday, the board of directors released a statement that, for the first time, publicly addressed what it called the “numerous false rumors and speculations surrounding the employment status” of Boyd. It announced the existence of a plan to improve relationships.

Interactions between Boyd and some board members have been visibly hostile and strained during public meetings. The Columbia Association is a massive homeowners association that is the closest thing Columbia has to a city government.

“The Board is hopeful this plan will foster a productive working relationship and positive changes,” the statement said Friday.

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There was internal dissent on the 10-member elected board on the issuance of the statement. On Tuesday, Board member Andrew Stack, who represents the village of Owen Brown, told The Banner that he did not agree with the press release and voted against it.

“I do not think it adequately represented the actual situation, the discussion which occurred at the meeting, or the outcome of the discussion, and I was concerned that the press release discussion and vote was not done at an open meeting,” Stack wrote in an email.

Boyd, who moved to Columbia with her family in mid-2021 after working in community economic development and planning in Alabama, has previously said tensions between old and new is at the heart of the conflict between her and board members. She said she’s an outsider and they are unhappy with her efforts to engage with previously overlooked parts of the community, which is increasingly diverse.

She made it a priority to focus on equity, diversity and inclusion and to forge connections with parts of the community that had been disconnected from the Columbia Association, which has a $70 million budget and provides a variety of amenities and services, including day care, athletic facilities, recreational trails and arts programming. Howard County provides other essential services — such as police and fire service, and schools — to the unincorporated community.

Last week, a group of Columbia residents called for the recall of Columbia Association board members to prevent them from ousting Boyd. They said the current board, which is entirely white, does not represent the diversity of Columbia.

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