Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Mr. Ulman in the paper

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Lots of good stuff regarding some of Ken Ulman’s initiatives and responses to questions at a community forum.  As reported in The Sun.

Widening Rt 29 from Little Patuxent Parkway to Montgomery County.  Great.  I hope congressman Cummings doesn’t disappoint Mr. Ulman and can actually come up with the funding.  However, I hope they don’t stop at the Mongomery County line.  I also hope they can install some traffic calming devices.  This road can be like the Indy 500.

New buses.  I am a proponent of public transportation.  Does anyone know how many people this system actually transports in a year?

Promoting greater use of alternative-fuel vehicles that reduce pollution.   Great.  He has many alternatives here.  I hope he uses them all.

He said “money is not falling from the sky.” A change in federal accounting standards (the GASB isn’t a federal agency so I don’t know why they call this a change in federal standards) for local governments has created a $477 million bill for health benefits for future Howard County government retirees.

Yes this is true and I have written about it before.  However, I have come to believe that the bond rating agencies will give us time as long as they see us continue to make progress.  Given the windfall on property taxes money is falling from the sky.

Edward Walter, 74, of Woodstock asked if the county can’t use methane gas from landfills for fuel, instead of allowing it to be burned off – a suggestion discussed by Republican Christopher J. Merdon during last year’s political campaign.

Ulman said he would like to do that but has been advised by public works officials that not enough gases are produced at the old New Cut Landfill or at Alpha Ridge to make fuel conversion practical.

That is disappointing and contridictory to EPA studies.  I hope Ulman doesn’t drop the idea and gets a third opinion.


23 Responses to “Mr. Ulman in the paper”

  1. Donna H. said

    where are the women appointees by the hoco executive? Was the campaign only run by/for men?

  2. Freemarket said

    Hints of sexism? Are you kidding me? Your attacks are beyond ridiculous.

  3. Donna H. said

    cute reply, but the question remains to be answered – where are the women appointees?

  4. He may not have hired any women, but he didn’t fire any women either. Didn’t they all retire? Didn’t he keep a lot of women on board? Donna H. why don’t you be more specific.

  5. Freemarket said

    Donna H- your daily Ulman attacks are getting tiresome. Your innuendo of sexism is so baseless that it does not deserve a serious response. If anyone were to take you seriously at this point, they would give the false impression that your accusations may actually have merit. What’s worse, they would be giving you the attention that you desperately seek. I am actually starting to feel sorry for you.

  6. Donna H. said,1,130206.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
    ok…didn’t fire a she decided to retire after he replaced her.
    From the sun…”Ira Levy, a 34 year-old Columbia resident who is managing director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, has been chosen by County Executive Ken Ulman to replace Nina Benz as Howard County’s technology czar. Benz held the job for four years.”
    >>> FrMarket….As for my “daily Ulman attacks”…my first post here was today at 1612.
    As far as innunendo of sexism, I am not suggesting sexism. I am asking where are the women appointees on the ce staff or gov’t positions (other than Jessica, able staff “queen” (to use the ce term at a party recently).
    Keep your “sorry feelings” for yourself…you seem to delight in that quagmire.

  7. LWV Member in good standing said

    In addition to a previous post which I attach below- I might point out that the following women have been “let go” and replaced by men:

    Nina Benz – technology officer
    Raquel Sanudo – Chief Administrative Officer
    Vicki Goodman – Public Information Officer.

    Who is next? Barbara Coook?

    LWV Member in good standing Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 10:27 pm
    Has Ken appointed any women?

    Director of Communications:Kevin Enright
    Director of Department of Technology and Communication: Ira Levy
    Director of Housing and Community Development: Stacy Spann
    Deputy Director of the Department of Housing: Thomas Carbo
    Budget Director: Ron Weinstein
    Police Chief: Bill McMahon
    Chief Administrative Officer: Lonnie Robbins
    Chief of Staff: Aaron Greenfield

    Is there no room for a woman in a cabinet level or leadership position in the new Ulman administration?

  8. LWV Member in good standing said

    I thought Donna H had a good question. It is one I raised a week ago, but no one seemed to pick up on it. There is an obvious dearth of female appointments and/or females in positions of directorships, etc.

    Don’t be defensive… it isn’t Ulman bashing. There might be a very good reason. Maybe there are still appointments out there to be made that will restore the balance. But make no mistake… women aren’t even close to being represented in this government at this time. (Except by the women we ELECTED to the Council).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if our progressive Democratic Executive hasn’t put Howard County back to the bottom of the list in terms of percentage of women in cabinet level positions. But there may still be time to correct that oversight- so thank you, Donna- for raising the question.

  9. tomkidd said

    everyone familiar with county government knew that raquel sanudo had expressed that she would leave at the end of robey’s 2nd term. as did victoria goodsmith. nina benz was doing an awful job in her job anyways so it was a good idea to replace her, just look at the county website if you don’t believe me. ask any county employees how many times their email systems break down, and ask anyone who wanted to get election results on election night.

    ulman did appoint joan kennedy as his chief legislative person (or something to that effect) and i think it pays 100+. so stop the whining. btw, have you taken this up with ulman’s staff yet? or do you just like to whine.

  10. tomkidd said

    also, didnt ulman have a woman as his chief of staff or legislative director for the 4 years he was on the council. and as i remember reading last year, she remains on his cabinet.

  11. People. Calm down. Stop the name calling while you are at it. Donna’s question is fair but it isn’t fair, Mr. Kidd, to call her a whiner. Mr. Kidd you are among the most defensive people I have seen comment on any blog. Take a chill pill and quit attacking people. First warning sir.

    Freemarket, calling people sexist for asking an honest question? Is that really you or did someone highjack your screen name?

    Believe me you I am no apologist for Ken Ulman but I don’t see it the same way as you Donna. I have found nothing wrong with Mr. Ulman’s appointments yet. Now if they were were all women appointments then maybe I would understand where Donna is coming from – maybe that is her point- I think.

    LWV said what I have been thinking – Ulman has time. Let see what happens.

    Mr. Kidd, I hope you feel better today and take it easy on the next innocent person who crosses your path.

  12. Donna H. said

    Sorry LWV, I should have read further back in the blog…you post did cover the issue and I was just asking a question. Indeed, it is only 6 weeks into this admininstration so you are correct- there is time to see what happens. I look forward to it. BTW, Tomkidd – thanks for the reminder about the appointment of the Joan Lewis Kennedy-chief legislative director. There is also Serena Mann (cable admin awaiting council confirmation)

  13. LWV Member in good standing said

    Not to drag this out further. But Victoria Goodman had not expressed a desire to retire. This is not to say that she did not willingly step aside for someone new, just to point out that retirement wasn’t in her 5 year plan. Indeed she has already taken a new position with Tourism. In terms of Ms. Benz- I have no information on her job performance (certainly the county came a long way under Robey in terms of creating an accessible website, etc- but perhaps that isn’t attributable to her). I can tell you this, though. Other poor performers- who happen to be men- have retained their jobs thus far.

    Both Tom and Freemarket really overreacted to a simple query on a valid subject- I’m curious as to why such a severe reaction? Diversity of leadership is a noble goal.

  14. To LMV MIGS said

    From the Sun: “Goodman, 52, had talked last year about retiring once the political campaigns were over but more recently wasn’t sure of her plans.”

  15. A. Nony Mouse said

    LWV- Just curious, since you bring up diversity of leadership, how many men are on the Board of Directors or are officers in the Howard County Chapter of LWV?

  16. A Nony Mouse,

    I am going to call foul on that one. It might seem like and obvious question to you but the name of the org. is “League of WOMEN Voters”. I belong to an all male group – the AOH. We have no women on our board and that is ok.

    You seem to be equating private association and interest with diverse and open government. Thus the foul.

    They are not the samething.

  17. A. Nony Mouse said

    OK, sorry. I wrongly assumed that diversity of leadership was a noble goal in private organizations as well as governments. Thanks for clarifying that diversity of leadership is only a noble goal in public governments.

  18. You are also assuming I meant that diversity in private organizations is not valued. I am saying it is an apples and oranges comparison.

  19. A. Nony Mouse said

    Good point. Apples and oranges. They are not the same thing and therefore we shouldn’t hold the League of Women Voters to the same high standards that the County Government is held to. After all, the LWV has the word “women” in the title, as you correctly pointed out.

  20. LWV Member in good standing said

    Mr. Keelan,
    I must correct you. The LWV- a membership organization- allows both men and women to pay dues and join. Sadly, men don’t usually avail themselves of that opportunity. Each LWV member has an equal vote on drafting and enacting policy statements. Decisions are made on consensus. Our officers are ELECTED, not appointed. Which means that in order to ELECT a man, he must first choose to join and then join to run. We’d love to have a few good men. Mr. Mouse, will you join us?

  21. A. Nony Mouse said

    How do you know I am not a woman? It takes a fair amount of chutzpah to ask where Ken Ulman’s women appointees are when you have no men in your organization. Especially if you would have done even a little homework and seen that Ulman did appoint women.

  22. LWV Member in good standing said

    Mr. Mouse,

    I have done my homework. I am aware of who was appointed and to which positions and the relative power and leadership potential of said positions. I created a list that reflects those appointments. We do have a woman cable administrator and a woman lobbyist that was appointed by Mr. Ulman that can be added to the list created last week, although those positions are not really commesurate with the other ones listed.

    We do have men within our organization that have equal voices to draft and create positions on issues. They have an equal opportunity to run for office. They choose not to. I think, in general, Men don’t want to join an organization that is for Women, although we strongly encourage them to. We really aren’t that scary. Give us a try. Join today. Women, Men and Mice are all welcome with open arms.

  23. Age B4 Beauty said

    Not very diverse yet I agree. It also seems Ulman may make the mistake of his idol Bill Clinton by appointing too many young and green people to key positions. Remember the unfocused White House until 94-95? Where are the grey hairs, other than Ken’s father/advisor?

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