Monday, January 14, 2013
A new Howard County program is aimed at helping ‘pools at risk of closing.’
A new Howard County program is aimed at helping struggling, private, nonprofit pool facilities in danger of closing, county officials said Monday. The program includes $50,000 in grant funding in the county's FY 2014 budget for qualifying facilities and will be administered by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Grants would be a maximum of $20,000 per pool and they will be targeted to “pool clubs with the highest demonstrated need, based on enrollment, finances and the age of the facility,” county officials said in a news release. The grant comes after the Howard County Council in July of 2011 voted against a measure that would have given a tax credit to nonprofit swim clubs. (The Columbia Association would not have been…
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Mary Kay Sigaty elected vice chair.
Jennifer Terrasa (D-Dist. 3) was elected chairperson of the Howard County Council at its legislative session on Dec. 3. The Council also elected Mary Kay Sigaty (D-Dist. 4) as the vice chairperson, Courtney Watson (D-Dist. 1) as the chair of the Zoning Board and Calvin Ball (D-Dist 2) as the vice chair of the Zoning Board. Greg Fox (R-Dist. 5) was elected chairperson of the Board of License Commisioners (liquor board) and Ball was elected vice chair. The officers will serve from Dec. 3, 2012 until Dec. 2, 2013. Terrasa, a lawyer by trade, was first elected to the Council in November 2006. She represents North Laurel, Savage, Guilford, and parts of Jessup and Columbia. This will be Terrasa's first time serving as chair. The chairperson is…
Monday, November 19, 2012
Bill has been a source of controversy over loose criteria for developers.
A bill that would establish floating zoning regulations to develop tracts of land in heavily developed eastern Howard County has drawn the ire of local community activists and small business advocates who say the floating zones will give developers the ability to construct buildings with few ways for the community to oppose them. The bill, which comes before the Council on Monday night, has led to a protracted debate in an online community forum that includes the zoning director, Marsha McLaughlin, defending the bill against a barrage of questions from community members. As currently written, the bill allows developers to petition for a floating zone which would only be approved on land over two acres that has water and sewer service, …
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The council is asking the state to look into residents' complaints about reliability.
The scope of a state investigation into BGE may soon get bigger. The Howard County Council Monday night passed a resolution to submit a petition adding more than a dozen neighborhoods to an investigation currently underway into the utility's service in Ellicott City. Read more about BGE's reliability in Ellicott City. Currently, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is investigating BGE's reliability in Font Hill, Dunloggin, Valley Mede and several nearby neighborhoods after Cathy Eshmont in February filed a petition with signatures from more than the required 100 residents. An investigation can also be initiated by local legislative authorities. Courtney Watson (D-Elliciott City) sponsored the resolution asking the PSC to investigate …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Main Street merchants, residents and shoppers have lots to say, little to agree on, when it comes to paid parking in the Historic District.
(Updated at 7:45 p.m. to include comment from Ellicott City Business Association president Dave Carne.) More paid parking is coming to Ellicott City, but there appears to be zero consensus among merchants as to whether that’s a good thing. On the agenda at a Howard County Council public hearing Tuesday was legislation that would raise parking rates in some of the Historic District’s parking lots and set the rates at the new, multi-space meters that will be installed later this year. Testimony, however, focused not on the rate increases, but on the plan to add parking meters on Main Street and Maryland Avenue, a plan that the Council was not required to approve and does not have the authority to stop. For business owners, the issue was not…
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Howard County Council Member Calvin Ball (D-District 2) writes about why he's supporting President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I Am My Brother’s Keeper. I Am My Sister’s Keeper. A slow roar fills the arena as an infectious chant begins… four more years! Tears of joy and hope flow through the crowd while smiles beam from a room of diverse delegates and supporters who are full of pride and excitement for our President, his accomplishments and the prospects on the horizon upon his re-election. For the past few days, Democrats and Americans from all walks of life have been full of increasing energy as we shuttled into Charlotte united in our cause to make America a better place for those who are in need today and those who may look to us for help in the future. Today, we must stand up for those who need us the most. We must stand up for those who have served our …
Monday, June 25, 2012
The group's work session begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 25.
On the agenda (attached) for today's work session are term limits, referendum policies and the land use proposal for Howard County called "Plan 2030." The Council may vote on some or all of these issues at its July 2 legislative session. Which agenda item matters to you most? Tell us in the comments.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The pros and cons of term limits for members of the County Council was a topic of discussion at Monday's public hearing.
Members of the public debated the finer points of term limits at Monday night’s Howard County Council meeting during a discussion on legislation that would ask voters to change the current council term limits from three 4-year terms to four 4-year terms. The argument hinged on two issues: Council member Calvin Ball began discussion of the legislation he submitted by saying that two-thirds of Maryland jurisdictions don’t use term limits for their council. The legislation, if approved, would put the issue before voters as a charter amendment. Alice Giles, the co-president of the League of Women Voters of Howard County, said her group supported Ball’s legislation during the meeting at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City. “We …
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Republican said the proposal comes amid increasing taxes proposed by state legislators.
The Howard County Council’s only Republican, Greg Fox, filed an amendment to the county's proposed budget Tuesday afternoon that would limit the increase in the fire tax, which officials have said would pay for new firefighters and an additional ambulance. Fox filed the amendment to the Howard County fiscal year 2013 budget at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release. Previously, Howard County was divided into two fire tax districts. The County Council approved the consolidation and tax increase earlier this year. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman’s proposal is a countywide fire tax of 17.6 cents per $100 of assessed value. For the western part of the county, the current tax rate is 11.55 cents per $100 of assessed property value; and …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Howard County residents aren’t immune to financial struggles, group says.
A group whose study found that a family of three needs more than $63,000 a year to not be considered "working poor" in Howard County is asking the County Council to address questions about how to best serve those in need, especially in regard to affordable housing. The Association of Community Services of Howard County (ACS), a network of Howard County human services providers and advocates, was set to meet Tuesday with County Council members in the wake of the findings of a study commissioned by the ACS and conducted by the Policy Analysis Center. The study, entitled "Making Ends Meet" in Howard County, was conducted over more than a year by researchers at The Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, finding that a family with two …