A look at Howard officials, services

March 21, 2004

County Executive James N. Robey

James N. Robey was re-elected to his second term as Howard County executive in November 2002. His first term of office began in 1998 after a 31-year career in public service, during which he rose through the ranks of the Howard County Police Department to be appointed chief of police in 1991.

Robey was born Jan. 18, 1941, and raised in the small Howard County mill town of Daniels, on the banks of the Patapsco River. He attended Howard High School and graduated with the Class of 1959.

He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland University College. He also holds a master's degree in administrative management from Hood College, and he is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy and its Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.

Council District 1 Christopher J. Merdon

Christopher J. Merdon's district includes parts of Ellicott City, Elkridge, Hanover and Columbia. He was first elected in November 1998.

During his first term, he was the council's representative to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. He also served as vice chairman of the Howard County Liquor Board.

Merdon is a computer specialist with Affiliated Computer Services. He is a former president of the Howard County Republican Club and was a legislative aide to former state Sen. Christopher J. McCabe. He served on the Howard County Cable Advisory Board and on the board of directors for the Autumn Oaks Community Association.

He is married to Dr. Michelle K. Melotti, a radiologist at Howard County General Hospital. He and his wife are parishioners at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Ellicott City.

Merdon attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in public administration.

He lives in the Governor's Run neighborhood with his wife and their two children, April and Nicholas.

Council District 2 David A. Rakes

David A. Rakes was elected to the Howard County Council in November 2002. He is vice chairman of the council.

Rakes retired from federal government service in 1996 after a 35-year career. He last worked as a senior executive with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Bureau for Science and Technology.

He is president and chief executive officer of the Rakes Group, an entertainment and media consulting company based in Columbia.

Rakes has been appointed to several county and state boards and commissions by three Howard County executives and three Maryland governors. At the local level, he was elected to serve as a member of the Long Reach Village Community Association's board of directors and as the Oakland Mills Village representative to the Columbia Council and the Columbia Association's board of directors.

A native of Roanoke, Va., Rakes is the youngest of six children born to James and Eva Rakes. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Bowie State University and a professional business developer certificate from the University of Arizona. The father of two grown children, Michele Owens and Michael Rakes, the councilman has one grandson, Ervin Owens III.

Council District 3 Guy Guzzone

Guy Guzzone was elected to his second term on the Howard County Council in 2002 and is the council chairman.

During his first term, he served as council chairman in 2001 and chairman of the zoning board in 2000.

Before being elected, he was Maryland director of the Sierra Club, a 10,000-member conservation organization dedicated to clean air, clean water and land preservation.

In the late 1980s, he was a legislative assistant to former astronaut and Rep. Bill Nelson of Florida. In the early 1990s, he was a special assistant to former Councilwoman Shane E. Pendergrass and a legislative assistant when she was elected to the House of Delegates.

Guzzone was a board member of the Kings Contrivance village board and was board chairman from 1995 to 1998.

He is a member of the Bollman Bridge School PTA and the Patuxent Valley Middle School PTA. He is also a member of the state Communities Legacy Board and a volunteer with ARC.

He holds a master's degree in public management from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was awarded a MacArthur Graduate Fellowship. He also received bachelor's degrees in economics and government from the University of Maryland.

He lives in Kings Contrivance with his wife, Pam, and their three children, Guy "J" Jr., Greer and Grant.

Council District 4 Ken Ulman

Ken Ulman represents the west Columbia villages of Dorsey's Search, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, River Hill, Town Center and Wilde Lake, and parts of Clarksville, Highland and Fulton. He is a lawyer in Columbia, and his practice focuses on estate planning and elder law.

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