Posted by Ed C on Saturday, January 13, 2007
The public hearing for by the Howard County Delegation was held Jan 11, 2007 at 7:30 PM and lasted over 3 hours.
There were 15 bills on the agenda:
- Robinson Nature Center Bond Funding ($500 K)
- North Laurel Community Center Bond Funding ($500 K)
- Blandair Regional Park Funding ($500 K)
- Historic Main Street Ellicott City Parking Garage ($500 K)
- Zoning Regulations – Administrative Proceedings
- Property Tax Credit for properties jointly owner with HoCo Housing Commission
- HoCo Annual Report Filing Date
- Organic Beer / Wine Liquor License
- Carrying Machete – Prohibited Hours
- Local Aggregation of Public Utilities (withdrawn)
- Union Service Representation Fee
- Board of Education – Qualifications and Election of Student Member
- County Superintendent of Schools – Termination of Contract
- Auxiliary Police Officers Workers Compensation
- Aging in Place Act – Senior Tax Credit
At first, I thought the hearing was well attended with about 75 – 100 people in the Banneker Room. I didn’t really take a head count, so this is more of a guess. As the hearing progressed it became apparent that large portions of the audience consisted mainly of a few groups that were there for a particular issue. This is the first hearing of this type that I’ve attended so I cannot judge how it compares with other similar events, but other than those with a specific agenda, there was not a lot of general interest. In fact, I ended up telling a few people that I was just there in general and not for a specific agenda item. Is this how these things normally go?
The largest groups consisted of Liquor license holders that were opposed to (8), and Howard County public safety officials – Police, auxiliary police, sheriff’s and fire department representatives and Officer Lucas and his family members supporting (14).
Some of the most moving testimony came from the mother of Officer Pieter Lucas and from the Seniors Poly Thorton and Kathy Stefano that spoke in support of Aging in Place act.
I’ll try to give a quick summary / my impressions of the testimony for each bill below the fold and hopefully expand on a few of them in separate posts.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Ed C, General, General Assembly, Howard County | 4 Comments »
Posted by Ed C on Saturday, January 13, 2007
Update: My mistake. It turns out that the four council-persons referenced in the LWVHC President’s Letter are all members of the LWVHC. Greg Fox was not included because he is not currently a member. So, the anwser to the question is yes. Thanks for the clarification. Ed C.
— Original post—-
(Just having some fun here folks.)
Okay, while writing about the General Assemby’s Public Hearing I need to see how to spell Grace Kubofcik’s name (she a Co-President of the LWVHC) and something jumped out at me. First, the LWVHC mission statement says:
We are a non-partisan (emphisis added), multi-issue, grassroots organization whose mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in local, state, and federal government and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
Okay, but the President’s Page has this:
Congratulations to members Mary Kay Sigaty, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa and Courtney Watson, elected to serve on the Howard County Council, pictured above.
What happened to the fifth member that was elected this November? You know, that Republican from the 5th district, Greg Fox. Freudian slip or intentional slight?
Posted in County Council, Ed C, General | 7 Comments »
Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, January 13, 2007
With the recently convened task force reviewing the senior tax cut I think it begs the question.
Why don’t we have task forces to look at proposed tax increases such as the 30% income tax increase in 2003?
If the County is running tax surpluses then taxes are too high. Why doesn’t the County Council convene a task force to look into that?
When our money is given back to us then it takes a 15 member committee to decide if it was the right thing to do.
As to Pat Dornan’s, Sherman Howell, and Ted Meyerson’s quotes in the paper I think they missed the bigger picture (at least as reported in the paper).
Dornan immediately declared that $4.3 million is a “minuscule” portion of the total $1.2 billion county budget, while Sherman Howell, another committee member said, “There’s a great need in this county for $4 million.”
I agree with Pat on that point and that higher property values and assessments leading to higher taxes are driving (some) people out of the County – those on fixed incomes.
That point being…
The county will be culmatively coming into $132M in addtional Property Tax revenue in Y08,09,10 over 07. That $4.3M tax break will be replaced in the blink of an eye with new tax revenues.
We deserve a tax cut and I wonder if this task force will come to that conclusion, or if it is even in their mission statement. Somehow, I don’t think they will go there.
Posted in County Council, David Keelan, Howard County, Taxes | 6 Comments »