Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Quick Impressions from the Howard County Installation Cermony.

Posted by Ed C on Tuesday, December 5, 2006

(This posts contains comments from both David and Ed)

Just back from the Installation Ceremony that was held at Centennial High School. It was a nice event and well attended. The auditorium was full.

The Glenelg Jazz band – wow. The are good. Real good.

I guess the “big news” is Calvin Ball (D-District 2) was elected as chairman and Courtney Watson (D-District 1) was elected a vice-chair. This was covered in the Baltimore Sun and Dave’s previous post Calvin Ball For Chairman. (Dave won a dollar on his correct call of this one.)  I should have bet on Zoning board too (DWK).  This was a very short legislative session.  The five new members obviously already knew what they wanted to do and did it.  I have no complaints, they moved quickly for the sake of jumping into business as soon as possible.  I have to admit though that it was a bit comical to watch the expected and consistent 5-0 votes come down.  It was the quickest legislative session I have ever attended.

Both Courtney Watson and Greg Fox are very optimistic.

The Howard County Bloggers where out in full force, so I’m sure there will be more written on the subject in the next few days.

The new Council Members were sworn in as a group and then each gave a short speech (in alphabetical order): Calvin Ball, Greg Fox, Mary Kay Sigaty, Jennifer Terrasa and Courtney Watson. The speeches were pretty much standard fare with thanks to family members, campaign workers and elected officials.

Greg Fox’s speech was the best of the five. Greg’s speech included mentioning some of the Howard County active party members, both Republican and Democratic that recently passed away – and how they were able to work to better Howard County irrespective of party affiliation.  He gave special mentions to Senator’s Clark and Kittleman.

Overall the speeches were good. Three of the new council members looked and sounded very mature, and the other two will come along.

Ken looked and sounded good. Some of his themes did not sit well with either of us, but overall a good show.

For the abbreviated County business:

As mentioned, Calvin as Chair and Courtney as Vice. Other assignments, Mary Kay as Chair of Zoning. Greg Chair of Liquor, and Jen – I didn’t catch it. Jen is rep to National Association of Counties (NACO) and Courtney is alternate. Greg is rep to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council – nice assignment.

Final piece of County Council business. They put the just passed senior tax cut on the table for review. Why not? The election is over. Calvin and Ken voted for it – with the caveat that they would review it as soon as possible. They didn’t have the courage to NOT vote for it just days before the general election.  If they thought it was bad legislation 30 days ago they should not have voted for it 30 days ago.  However, the next election is 4 years away, voters have short memories, and quite possibly a lot of these senior voters will be dead by then both Ken and Calvin found the courage to put it on the agenda as the FIRST order of business for the new Council.  Hmmm.

I saw most of the current Howard County Republican Representatives (Alan Kittleman, Gale Bates, Warren Miller) as well as the Republican candidates from the recent election, as well as their families and some of the “workers” that I came to cross paths with this year.  Members of the School Board were also present.  Literally, I could not turn around without bumping into someone I know or am aquainted with.

There was a full contingent of Democratic State party officials including Gov-Elect O’Malley, Rep. Cummings, and Sen. Barbra Mikulski (I couldn’t see her in the crowd). Fortunately, they didn’t speak.  Otherwise it would have been a much longer evening.  Also, it would have been more painful for a couple of republicans to sit through.

Well, Howard County politics are now in session – let the blogging begin.


5 Responses to “Quick Impressions from the Howard County Installation Cermony.”

  1. Freemarket said

    I agree, Ken sounded great and so did Calvin Ball. I strongly disagree with your assessment of Greg Fox’s speech. I thought Greg’s speech came off as way too partisan for my taste. I would like to know how many times he used the word “Republican” in his remarks. I will give him credit for praising Kittleman Sr. and Jim Clark for nonpartisanship, but I was unimpressed with the overall tone of his speech.

  2. Given he is the only Republican in County Government I would give him a pass on mentioning Republicans even once. Give him a break – November 7th was a tough day. I think Greg bridged the gap in his remarks invoking Senators Clark and Kittleman and asking us all to remember that we are part of the same community. That didn’t seem partisan to me that seemed like, hey I am ready to work with everyone. In closing his counterparts on the Council feel (so they told me) that Greg is someone they can work with.

  3. Steve Fine said

    I, a liberal Democrat, actually thought Greg Fox’s speech was excellant, as was Calvin Ball’s (and Mrs. Ulman, too). The rest of the speeches rated very good.

  4. George Berkheimer said

    Jen Terrasa was elected vice chair of Zoning.

  5. jen said

    I thought Courtney’s was the best speech. Big points for a sense of humor about her door knocking conversations and expectations of voters. And for her reminder that respectful discourse is the root of good democracy. Calvin also gave a good speech. I liked Rabbi Segal’s benediction, too. 😉

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