As a veteran roofer, Rocky Mills knows the only foolproof way to avoid rejection is to not bid on a job in the first place. Or so he thought until recently, when he learned bids he says he never made had been turned down by the Columbia Association (CA). Records at the huge homeowners association -- a private corporation that functions as a quasi-government for the Howard County planned community -- list Mills as a bidder by phone for two jobs. Mills' purported bids are among 16 losing ones in CA records from contractors who say they never made the bids. Those discrepancies highlight the unorthodox ways the CA -- the second-largest homewowners association in the nation -- goes about spending Columbia residents' money.
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