Speak Out

Your Opinions

October 09, 2005

THE ISSUE: — THE ISSUE

With the announcement by County Council Chairman Guy Guzzone that he will not run for Howard County executive in 2006, Democrats must look for another candidate to run against Ellicott City Republican Christopher J. Merdon, who has been campaigning for weeks. Possible candidates include former County Councilman C. Vernon Gray, Del. Frank S. Turner, County Councilman Ken Ulman and school board Chairman Courtney Watson. Whom would you like to see on the Democratic ticket?

Watson best in strong field

The Democrats appear to have the benefit of a very qualified and talented candidate pool for County Executive hopefuls. All of the four mentioned candidates have served Howard County well and could probably do a nice job leading us as our County Executive. However, Chairwoman of the Board of Education, Courtney Watson, is the right candidate.

Ms. Watson has proven herself as a dedicated and true leader for our children and our entire educational system the past three-plus years. During this tenure the school system has remained strong during some challenging times and remains the elite program in our state and among the finest in the country.

Ms. Watson has displayed the ability to work cohesively with all facets of government and the public. She has put her job (serving the best interests of our children) first and foremost versus political or personal agendas. She has the energy, creativity and compassion to continue as a great leader, as a County Executive and fill the big shoes that will be left by County Executive Robey's term completion.

Sean Hughes

Glenwood

Ulman respects heritage, values

Howard County needs Ken Ulman as our next County Executive. He stepped up to the plate and led the fight to save Merriweather, respecting the heritage and values that we hold dear. Mr. Ulman has shown a commitment to both the environment and business growth as well, never putting one above the other.

As a councilman, he has proven his willingness to respectfully consider all points of view on many issues, without straying from his core values. As a lifelong resident of the county he has also demonstrated his commitment to bettering our community. I look forward to his continued service and sincerely hope he embraces the opportunity to serve us as County Executive. I encourage the citizens of Howard County to back him in his efforts.

Mark Breaux

Columbia

Watson can solve problems

During her tenure with the Howard County Board of Education, Courtney Watson has shown that she possesses maturity and dedication while facing issues that are important to the parents and children of this county. I would like to see her bring that reasonable problem solving approach to the office of County Executive.

Jennifer Burgy

Ellicott City

Ulman has pride, dedication

As a lifelong resident of Howard County, I would be delighted to see County Councilman Ken Ulman run for County Executive on the Democratic ticket. He possesses a wonderful combination of dedication to and pride in our county, the passion and energy to make positive changes, and the experience necessary to take over this position. The interests of all Howard Countians drive every decision he makes. In this era of growth and change in our county, he can provide us with strong leadership and direction from which we will all benefit.

Brita Stewart

Ellicott City

We want your opinions

THE ISSUE:

Jeff Lasser, the student member on the Howard County Board of Education, and other student leaders are lobbying the school board for partial voting rights. Lasser casts an opinion vote, which is recorded in the minutes but does not count. Last week, Lasser presented a proposal that would grant the student member rights to vote on all issues, except the budget, disciplinary personnel matters, school boundaries and closings, and collective bargaining. The five-member school board wants to hear from voters about the prospect of essentially adding another voting member to its ranks. That would bring to eight the number of members on the panel next year when the school board adds two more members. What do you think of allowing a student member to vote on many issues? What are the benefits and the negatives?

YOUR VIEW:

Send e-mail responses by Thursday to howard.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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