Howard County government (www.co.ho.md.us)
County Executive James N. Robey
James N. Robey was re-elected to his second term as Howard County executive in November 2002. The Democrat's first term began in December 1998 after a 31-year career in public safety, during which he rose through the ranks of the Howard County Police Department to 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 graduated from Howard High School in 1959.
He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland University College and a master's degree in administrative management from Hood College in Frederick. He is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy and its Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.
His wife, Janet, is retired from the county Fire Department.
Council District 1 Christopher J. Merdon
Christopher J. Merdon's district includes parts of Ellicott City, Elkridge and Hanover. A Republican, he was first elected to the council in November 1998.
During his first term, he was the council's representative to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. He also served for three years as chairman of the Howard County liquor board, and now serves as vice chairman.
Merdon is a regional vice president of Affiliated Computer Services Inc. 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 Autumn Oaks Community Association's board of directors.
Merdon attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he received a bachelor's degree and a master's of public administration.
He is married to Dr. Michelle K. Melotti, a radiologist at Howard County General Hospital. They are parishioners at St. Paul Catholic Church in Ellicott City and live in the Governor's Run neighborhood with 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. A Democrat, he is the council's vice chairman and chairman of the county liquor board.
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 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 holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Bowie State University and a professional business developer certificate from the University of Arizona. He is the father of two grown children, Michele Owens and Michael Rakes, and has one grandchild, Ervin Owens III.
Council District 3 Guy Guzzone
Guy Guzzone was elected to his second term on the Howard County Council in November 2002. He is the council's chairman and represents the southeastern corner of the county.
During his first term, the Democrat also served as council chairman in 2001 and as chairman of the zoning board in 2000. Before joining the council, Guzzone was Maryland director of the Sierra Club, a conservation group dedicated to clean air, clean water and land preservation.
In the late 1980s, he was a legislative assistant to then-Rep. Bill Nelson of Florida. In the early 1990s, he was a special assistant to then-council member Shane E. Pendergrass and a legislative assistant when she was elected to the House of Delegates.
Guzzone was a member of the Kings Contrivance village board and was the board's 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 in public management from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was awarded a MacArthur Graduate Fellowship. He also holds 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 was elected to the County Council as a Democrat in November 2002 and 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.