April 4th   Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.

Remember, preventing crime is a community effort! Drug Tip Line: Call 410-290-DRUG; Anonymous Tip Line: Call 410-313-STOP. You can also call 911 at any time to report anything -- If you see something, say something!
Your vote is important in determining who will make critical decisions for Harper's Choice and Columbia in the coming year. We need a quorum of 10 percent of Harper's Choice households (approximately 330 votes) to have a valid election. There are three Board of Director vacancies; the terms of office are two years for all vacancies. The candidates for the Harper's Choice Village Board are Ralph M. Paez, Lauren Ellse Avant, Brynn Runkle Conover, and Joel B. Hurewitz.

WHO MAY VOTE: Owners or renters in good standing with property in Harper's Choice may vote. Residents with an outstanding covenant violation are prohibited from voting. Check with the Covenant Advisor to make sure your property is in compliance with the Harper's Choice Covenants.
* Only one vote is permitted for each property.
* In the case of a rental property, both the owner and the tenant may cast a ballot.
* If you are voting at Kahler Hall on April 27, 2019, please bring your driver's license, BG&E bill, or something      else to verify your Harper's Choice address.

* Vote at KAHLER HALL between 9:00AM and 3:00PM on April 27, 2019.

Mail-In ABSENTEE BALLOTS: Mail-in absentee ballots will be mailed in the latest issue of the Harper's Choice Voice Newsletter in the first week of April. Please refer to the following guidelines for voting by mail-in absentee ballot:
* Valid only if completely filled out, including all information on the envelope.
* Due by 5:00 p.m. on April 26, 2019.

ELECTRONIC ABSENTEE BALLOTS: For the first time, we are offering the convenience of electronic absentee ballot voting. See your copy of the Harper's Choice Voice Newsletter for instructions on voting electronically.

There are four candidates running for three Board of Director vacancies; the terms of office are two years for all vacancies.  The candidates for the Harper's Choice Village Board are Ralph M. Paez, Lauren Ellse Avant, Brynn Runkle Conover, and Joel B. Hurewitz.
There will be a Candidates' Night on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Kahler Hall, where you can meet the candidates and hear what they have to say about serving your community.  Election Day is Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at Kahler Hall.  If you will be unable to vote in person, absentee ballots will be mailed to you in the next Harper's Choice Voice newsletter.  You will also be able to take advantage of our new ONLINE VOTING option.  For more information about this and instructions for voting online, please refer to the newsletter. Be sure to join us for our ELECTION FESTIVAL on Saturday, April 27 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm in Joseph Square.
Harper's Choice Community Association Election Festival

Searching for Spring 2019

The Annual Searching For Spring Egg Hunt, co-sponsored by the Villages of Columbia, will be held on Saturday, April 6 from 10-11:30am at the  Columbia Sports Park in the Harper's Choice Village Center, located at 5453 Harper's Farm Road. No admittance permitted after 10:45am.
This event is especially planned for children ages 2-8. Tickets are required for this FREE event. They are available at  Kahler Hall and all village community centers while supplies last. Tickets are for Columbia lien-paying residents only.

Spanish Speaking Families Living with Autism

Longfellow Elementary School Spring Fair

Join us for the annual Longfellow Elementary School Spring Fair, presented by the Longfellow Elementary School PTA. The Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (with a June 8 rain date). There will be plenty of activities for all to enjoy, including inflatables for the kids, concessions, a silent auction and raffle, games, information booths, and a DJ. We look forward to seeing you there!
Covenant Corner

 MD TREE CARE LAW - ALL Tree Contractors in MD Must Be Licensed Tree Experts

Anyone seeking to practice or advertise tree care services in the State of Maryland must obtain a license from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Without a license, they may not legally practice or advertise tree care services in the state.

When considering tree care, it is important to protect yourself as a consumer from fraudulent or unqualified companies. Tree care in Maryland is regulated by the state and is monitored by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Company owners MUST have a tree expert license and adhere to all laws regarding the care and removal of trees. These laws protect your trees from damage and protect YOU from financial loss and liability. Tree Care encompasses all types of pruning, removal, and chemical work.

The Maryland Tree Expert Law addresses tree care work done for compensation on private or public property in Maryland. The purpose of the law is to provide a layer of consumer protection by licensing qualified and insured tree care companies and individuals.

There are ways to assure that the company you hire will provide the quality you expect. Credentials such as an ISA certified arborist on staff, TCIA accreditation, and CTSP certification will help assure that the company has trained personnel, high safety standards, adequate insurance, and dispute resolution policies. A good company should be happy to provide evidence of their credentials. State law also requires companies to provide written estimates and limits the amount of money that may be required in advance as a deposit. Verbal agreements and large prepayment requirements are a sure sign that something is amiss.

Unfortunately, there are still many small tree companies operating without a license. These companies are often those that offer "a great price," most likely because they do not carry the adequate insurance required to receive licensing or are not using the proper equipment to do the job safely. Make sure the company you hire is licensed. Go to the Maryland DNR website for more information or to check licensing status. 
Have you visited us on Facebook lately?
Please join us on Facebook for up-to-date information about what's happening in and around the Harper's Choice Community.

Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
The AC will meet on Tuesdays, April 9th & 23rd at 7:30 PM to review applications. 

The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for May 7th  at 7 PM.   Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be on our website. 
Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-Newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook  and  Twitter  to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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Village Manager
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Melanie Jeffers
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Columbia Council Rep

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* Term expires 4/30/19
** Term expires 4/30/20

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website