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Outgoing Community Center Student Members Lead in Absences from Meetings

Attendance records of board members

A check of the attendance records of the McLean Community Center Board meetings shows that the two outgoing student members had more absences over the past year than any other board members.

The community center board consists of 11 elected members — including a representative of McLean High School and one from Langley High School. They are elected by their peers to represent them. The students serve one-year terms.

Christy Meyer, the Langley High School representative, missed eight of 12 meetings held from May 2011 to May 2012  including her final meeting last week.

Maggie Hippler, the McLean High representative, missed five of the 12 meetings for the same time period. The board's year runs from May to May.

The largest number of adult absences were three for the year.

From its inception, the MCC board has included elected student representatives  with the full voting privileges of adult members. When they are absent from meetings, their constituents are not represented.

In addition, the board's governing rules state after six absences, members can be voted off the board.

When asked about her absences Maggie Hippler said: "I understand that upon missing 5 board meetings out of the 12 and my apologies were definitely given to and understood by the Community Center.

"I accepted the role of being on the Governing Board and I did my best to attend each committee and board meeting that I was able to. I do send my advice to all present and future youth representatives that being on the Governing Board is one of the best experiences one could ask for, but it does come with a great deal of responsibility and commitment that definitely may conflict with other obligations."

Christy Meyer was asked twice for her comments. She never responded.

Kevin Dent, chair of the MCC Board said, "Maggie and Christy are 16 or 17 year old students taking difficult high school courses, applying to colleges, etc.

"I'm sure they came to the meetings as often as their schedules permitted.  As you are aware, our meetings are on weeknights and often run very late. It can be very difficult for a student to attend all meetings."

McLean Patch checked the official minutes of the board meetings posted on the MCC website and paper copies of the minutes to determine the attendance records of all board members.

The minutes showed that:

  • Board members Susan Bourgeois, Sean Dunn and Risa Sanders missed three meetings.
  • Chad Quinn, Craig Richardson and David Sanders had two each.
  • Jay Howell missed one meeting. Dent and Robin Walker had perfect attendance records.
Craig Richardson June 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Bobbi, You have reached a new low. We asked you yesterday not to run a hit piece on 16 and 17 year old residents of our town but apparently you failed to see the inappropriateness of your actions. I know both of these young ladies. They are hard working, talented, and full of energy with nothing but a bright future in front of them. They've been a great source of inspiration for me as we worked together to try to make McLean a better place. I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know them both. If you want to go after the adults on the Board to try to make a name for your blog, that's fine. I've spent nearly 30 years in politics, and have been attacked by far more competent reporters who write for outlets with much greater reach and respect than the McLean Patch. It's not what I signed-up when I joined the Board, but my desire to serve our community will not be dissuaded by your cheap tricks. However, I do have a serious issue with you using the youth representatives on our Board to further your personal agenda. It's way below the belt, unnecessary, and downright mean. It may also put a chill in those teens who are considering running in the future. For these youth representatives, it's their first introduction to government service, and it's my hope that they don't have to be exposed to the unpleasant side of the business at such early age. We may lose future presidents as a result. Shame on you. Craig Richardson MCC Governing Board Member
Susan Mayman June 02, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Bobbi- If the McLean Patch wants to become a reputable and reliable news source for the community, it is time for you to step down. Clearly, you have a vendetta for the McLean Community Center and its Governing Board but, as Mr. Richardson so aptly puts it, this is a new low for you. According to Patch.com, the Patch "hope our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of of their residents" and I believe many Patch sites do that for their communities. I have a friend who wrote for the Patch in a nearby Montgomery County town (I would be happy to share some of her positive and news worthy articles with you) and another friend whose daughter is a Patch editor and was honored by her community with an Appreciation Day in her name. It is one thing to continue to go after the McLean Community Center's Governing Board but quite another to then target its student representatives. As a parent of two teenagers I can tell you that our area high school students do their best to balance academic, sports, club, and volunteer commitments. Anyone who has teen children -- or any common sense -- understands that high schoolers cannot be expected to attend late, school-night meetings at the same rate as their adult colleagues. Your comments to that effect are not newsworthy and are in poor taste. Susan Mayman
Catherine June 02, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Seriously Patch? This is a new low. You should be ashamed of yourselves. With all the demands place on today's teens and their time, you are going to pillory them for choosing homework or other commitments over a community meeting? Please Patch, close up shop and leave our lovely town. We liked it better before the obnoxious neighbor named "Patch" came to town!
S c June 02, 2012 at 10:36 PM
You are complaining to the wrong people. The patch will write anything to attract readers. Start getting advertisers to withdraw adds and you may see a change in the stories.
Juan Aguilar June 03, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Good job Maggie and Christy for trying to fit in public service along with your school work. Boo to the McLean Patch for this shameless post. Taking your low standards even lower.
Lily Barritt June 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM
S c is correct. Bobbi Bowman is devoid of scruples. Her superiors in New York need to be notified. Trouble is, they don't publish an email for themselves. On the patch.com site they describe themselves as a service to make our lives better. I find the following interesting; Acceptable Use Policy Communities thrive when people care about each other, and as such, Patch expects all of its users to be respectful of others. If you notice any violation of this Acceptable Use Policy or other unacceptable behavior by any user, please report it to support@patch.com. I'm hoping that by any user, they also mean Bobbi Bowman. She disgraces herself with this sort of behavior and certainly isn't making anyone's life better this way. These kids are volunteers for Pete's sake! For that matter, so is the rest of MCC governing board! What next? Perhaps an expose on which 2nd graders didn't do their homework last night?! You are solely responsible for the Content that you post on the Service or transmit to other users. By using the Service, you agree that you will not hold Patch responsible or liable for any Content from other users that you access on the Service.
Juan Aguilar June 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
For Jon Brod, CEO and Co-founder, I would try jon@patch.com. For Rachel Feddersen, Chief Content Officer, I would try rachel@patch.com or rachel.feddersen@patch.com.
Lily Barritt June 03, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Perfect, I certainly sent my comments to support, but will now send to both of them. I hope others do, too. Thanks very much, Juan.
Einar Bohlin June 04, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I might not have read this article if it weren’t for the comments drawing attention to it. It is perfectly normal to miss a monthly meeting once or twice a year. More than that raises a question of the person’s initial commitment. Did they understand what they were volunteering for? I must admit that I have not read the minutes to see if apologies were sent or an explanation provided for extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, folks, and yes, even young adults, should know that there are consequences for their actions. Is this the first time these kids have been exposed to the “unpleasant side” of accountability? The press is supposed to hold public servants accountable. That can be irritating, but it’s how it’s supposed to work. I found nothing wrong with this article. It stated a few facts and offered a chance for folks to respond. And, apparently a chance to do some Bobbi-bashing. I found the comments thoroughly enjoyable. Keep up the good work Bobbi; I’m glad the Patch is here in town! Lest this be taken as too strong. I'm not ungrateful and I know that sometimes things don't work out as planned. Thank you to ALL the members of the board for your service, past, present, and future.
Phil June 05, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Einar! Are you kidding?! I think the question raised is how anyone could read Bobbi Bowman's article and still be oblivious to the offense and disgust the McLean community feels about this kind of reporting. I don't know if Bobbi has reached a new low or if this is just how she chooses to operate. In either case, it is unnecessary and unwelcome. Bobbi should not be allowed to use inflammatory/tabloid-style journalism to target student community service volunteers. To Craig, Susan, Catherine, and Lily...thank you for sharing your comments. Craig-I can't believe Bobbi was asked not to run this in advance, that she deliberately chose to ignore that advice, and she still put this in front of us. Bobbi-Shame on you! You owe those students and the McLean community an apology. Juan thanks also for providing Jon and Rachel's e-mails. S c's idea to contact advertisers sounds effective. I'm sure Bruce Shuttleworth (progressivewarrior.com), Walgreens in Vienna (703) 259-6342 and Greenbrier (855) 262-7791 would be interested to know how people feel. Perhaps more importantly, we should talk with the advertisers who are associated with children/students/education like Fairfax Christian School (703) 759-5100 and the folks at Capella University and CollegeBoard (professionals.collegeboard.com). This is my opinion. Phil
Lily Barritt June 05, 2012 at 02:52 AM
They are not young adults, they are minors, adolescents.

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