The ESSCA Nomenklatura


The nomenklatura was an elite class of citizens in the former Soviet Union (and other Soviet Bloc countries) who held somewhat powerful positions in almost all government activity. The term nomenklatura also referrs to the Communist Party’s authority (and willingness) to make appointments to key positions throughout the Eastern Bloc power structure.

Some also refer to the nomenklatura as the fa├žade of democracy, as in: “Yes, we are democracy. You can vote. But you must vote for *this* person (insert ‘click’ of pistol hammer *here*).” You know – like just having one person on the ballot.

The nomenklatura is alive and well in ESSCA. (and they’re at least as old as the bastards you see above)

The new issue of our beloved “Advocate” newsletter arrived on the listserv today, and close to the end, I found this:

ELECTION OF ESSCA OFFICERS WILL OCCUR AT OUR MAY 18 MEETING. Nominations: President: Bob Colvin; Vice President: Russell J. Shew; Treasurer: Elizabeth King; Recording Secretary: Nancy Gurganus; Corresponding Secretary: Jane Gorbaty; Chair, Committee on Planning, Zoning, and Public Works: Karen Roper.

Hmm… My listserv group home page says the ESSCA officers are:

  • Pres: Bob Colvin
  • Vice Pres: Russell Shew
  • Treasurer: Elizabeth King
  • Recording Sec: Nancy Gurganus
  • Corres Sec: Jane Gorbaty
  • Chair: Karen Roper, Standing Committee on Planning, Zoning, & Public Works Represents ESSCA to the State of Md. Transit Admin (MTA)

Are you fucking kidding me? When were the nominations? When did they open? When do they close? I left early from the (overly long) meeting last month, and I know I can’t run for office, but is this how it happens every year? I have to get my hands on a copy of those fucking by-laws.

Here’s another thought: Do you live within the boundaries of Georgia, Wayne, Dale, and Sligo? Are you happy about this? About the things these people are doing? No? Are you an ESSCA member? If not, you should be, because THIS IS YOUR FAULT TOO. And having only gone to two meetings, I’m as much at fault. But I’m trying to do something about it.

At this point, I don’t see the power structure changing this election, but something’s gotta be done. I WANT part of Falkland Chase redeveloped. I WANT the Purple Line, and light rail and rapid bus are cool by me. ESSCA? They “voted” against both, whatever that means. Falkland Chase isn’t even in East Silver Spring. That was the dumbest thing ever. A lot of the people there are nice enough (except for one or two, who are in desperate need of medication and a fashion update), but YOU HAVE GOT TO GET INVOLVED.

Step One: Come to the ESSCA meeting on Monday, May 18. It’s the last one until September. We’ll figure out the rest from there.

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13 Comments so far

  1. Bonifant more sinister than Thayer May 8th, 2009 10:16 pm

    Dude, they RT’d you in a matter of minutes. Proof positive of the Komityet’s arrogance. It’s not that they must be stopped, it’s that it is time that they, and everyone else, stops the delusion that they actually represent our neighborhood.

  2. Eric May 8th, 2009 11:55 pm

    Amen, Comrade. They represent themselves. And until ESSCA fills up with the real Silver Springers, we’re fucked. And at their mercy. And have to deal with idiotic votes like the one on Falkland Chase. I’m a member of ESSCA, and I’m embarrassed.

  3. Bill May 9th, 2009 1:47 am

    Comparing ESSCA to the Soviet Union is just silly – even as a joke. “Real” Silver Springers sounds hauntingly similar to the “Real” Americans referred to in the recent presidential campaign. You will never meet your goal of a more inclusive ESSCA by being unneccassarily provocative. Better to call them to task when they are wrong, and keep the pointless insults to yourself.

  4. Chuck May 9th, 2009 3:50 am

    I asked Bob Colvin several years ago, pleaded might be a better word, not to run for office. He asked my why like it was soooo foreign of an idea. I said there was a need for new faces, new ideas, a new direction that needed to be given a chance to flourish. His reply. “There’s so much that still needs to be done.” I stopped attending ESSCA meetings when my hand was the only one raised for something or against it depending on the issue. Yeah not much representation

    If more than 50% doesn’t vote for a comrade candidate does that mean they lose? It’s not like there is a choice is there? You get to vote for candidate A or nobody I guess. Long live Bob Colvin, may he finally decide one day to not run for reelection!

  5. Eric May 9th, 2009 8:22 pm

    Oh, Bill. Yes, it’s silly. And it’s called hyperbole. And it will happen again and again on this blog. Get used to it. I will call them to task when need be, and I will poke fun when I want – pointless insults and all. Period.

    That having been said, there are some great people involved in ESSCA. I may not agree with what they say or do, but they do these things because they believe in them. And I respect that there’s a conviction about their decisions.

    Still doesn’t mean I won’t poke fun. Don’t be such a buzzkill.

  6. Bill May 9th, 2009 8:56 pm

    The last tihing I am is a buzzkill – beleive me. I am also a fan of poking fun. Your kind of “poking fun” is something I will never get used to – if I’m lucky.

    It’s just that your methods seem at odds with your goal. Few people in this neighborhood are going to follow or take the advice from someone who doesn’t have self-discipline and a fairly well-grounded sense of decorum. You will never find enough people to change ESSCA with rants and foul language.

    I have thin skin – that’s what I have been told. The snarky comments and glares are the main reason why I don’t participate now. Please – don’t make it more difficult for people to get involved by turning them off with fucking nasty remarks and jabs that don’t really add anything useful to the conversation. I know you are frustrated – and I have been spitting mad myself over this topic – but please consider a more positive and constructive approach…

  7. Bonifant More Sinister than Thayer May 9th, 2009 11:26 pm

    Don’t change, Thayer. For every establishment Nature Conservancy type, we need a Greenpeace dinghy our in front of the whaling boats. You are our Olberman to their Hannity (or our Henry Rollins to their Ann Coulter).

  8. David May 11th, 2009 1:01 pm

    So how many dues-paying members are in ESSCA anyway? And how would I go about contacting the ESSCA members if I wanted to run for a leadership position? In order to vote in the elections you have to have paid your dues for the year and receive one of those little blue cards. But where could I find a membership list, if such a list even exists (I have to assume someone has it and would bring it to the May meeting to verify that the people voting at the meeting are in good standing with ESSCA).

    Can anyone imaging trying to run for office in a local election but not being able to contact registered voters? Or registered Democrats (if you were running in, say, a Democratic primary)? I know that civic association politics are not exactly high politics but there really needs to be more transparency.

  9. Tina May 11th, 2009 4:47 pm

    I’m in for attending the May 18 meeting. Might loose my mind at the proceedings based on your observations of past meetings Thayer but if that’s what change takes then count me in – thanks for posting information on this, had no idea I could make an impact on some of the absolutely stupid decisions made in the area – gotta love the yahoos.

  10. Tina May 11th, 2009 4:47 pm

    Maybe stupid is too strong… More like frustrating

  11. Kathy J May 12th, 2009 11:36 am

    Most of the ESSCA officers are giving up BIG chunks or their lives in VOLUNTEER service to their neighbors and what they see a the betterment of their ‘hood. I for one am grateful as someone who volunteers on the boards of many other groups, I see first-hand what a thankless job it can be at times. I’m just surprised they have not all burnt out by now. They usually run unopposed because NO ONE else steps up to te challenge or expresses any interest.

    Do I agree with many of their policies and decisions? NO. But I also know I cannot make the meetings do to a long-standing 3rd Monday commitment and instead can contact and talk to any of the officer’s directly if I wish to — or I can bring it up on the ESSC list serv.

    BTW your BOUNDARIES of ESSCA are OFF and exclude many of us in ESSCA-land.

  12. Eric May 13th, 2009 11:31 am

    I’ve always been fuzzy on the ESSCA boundaries. Some clarification (for me, at least) is certainly in order.

    Yes, these people do give a lot of their time, and they are some of the few that have the time to give. Frankly, I’m not sure I would have the time to devote to all the tasks involved with holding ESSCA office. But note that I really call out the people within the ESSCA boundaries (whatever those are) for not going to the meetings. And I stand by my fact that if the membership in ESSCA reflected the actual makeup of the community, some of the “votes” and “decisions” would most likely go a different way.

    My goal right now is to get people involved so we don’t *have* to necessarily change the leadership. Then we can vote FOR the redevelopment of part of Falkland Chase (as if that really matters anyway). And FOR higher building heights in Fenton Village. And FOR the light rail purple line.

    If we really want to ruffle some feathers, perhaps we should revisit granting membership and voting rights to renters who live within the boundaries. That would be fun, don’t you think?

  13. Kathy J, Washington Gardener Mag May 18th, 2009 5:36 pm

    East Silver Spring is roughly the area from Wayne Ave south to the DC border — between Georgia Ave on the east over to Piney-Branch.

    Some people cut it off at Bonifant as the north border and the rail tracks as the south border.

    Others stop it at Fenton and don’t include the stretch to George Ave now being dubbed “Fenton Village.”