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Charter Review Commission

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NEWS
April 28, 1995
The Howard County Charter Review Commission has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. May 11 at Lisbon Volunteer Fire Hall, 1330 Route 94.The commission invites testimony from residents of Howard County on all aspects of the county charter.The commission will deliberate and prepare its report recommending charter amendments over the next 12 months.People and organizations are encouraged to provide a written copy of their testimony. Copies of the county charter are available at Howard County libraries and the Howard County Council office.
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EXPLORE
November 3, 2011
The County Council should delay a proposed change to the county charter's provisions for local referenda until state lawmakers ensure that the local Board of Elections won't reject valid petition signatures because of technicalities. The county's Charter Review Commission has recommended an amendment with the potential to raise the number of voter signatures required to bring local laws to referendum. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. As the commission notes, the charter language dates from a time when the county was a lot smaller, and the suggested change would allow for future shifts in population.
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NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1996
Slow-growth forces declared a major victory yesterday after the Howard County Council rejected two charter changes that would have restricted the referendum power of Question B.The action may send Question B to the courts as both sides continue to struggle over its meaning. At stake is a means of control over development in a fast-growing county.Howard voters passed Question B in fall 1994 to permit referendum drives as a way of overturning zoning decisions by the County Council sitting as the county Zoning Board.
EXPLORE
October 20, 2011
The article noting some of the decisions of the Charter Review Commission stated that there was not a groundswell for "increasing the size of the County Council. " After attending three public hearings and one public meeting, I can say there was not a groundswell for any proposal. How could there be when only about a dozen people spoke? I recommended, and some disagreed, that the council should be expanded to add two additional member that would run "at large" while five would run in districts, as they do now. It is important that at least two members of the County Council would have to run and meet citizens from all parts of the county and learn the issues there.
NEWS
By Erik Nelson and Erik Nelson,Sun Staff Writer | May 31, 1995
A panel of 15 residents is considering restructuring Howard County's government, but few others have shown interest in the panel's work.Last night, only six people attended the Charter Review Commission's public hearing.The three who testified urged the panel to fashion a more responsive government by making it easier for residents to put issues to a popular vote. Their words echoed through the cavernous River Hill High School auditorium.Peter J. Oswald of Fulton urged members to preserve the right of residents to put major zoning and land-use proposals on the ballot -- a right he and other slow-growth advocates won in the November election with the Question B charter amendment.
EXPLORE
November 3, 2011
The County Council should delay a proposed change to the county charter's provisions for local referenda until state lawmakers ensure that the local Board of Elections won't reject valid petition signatures because of technicalities. The county's Charter Review Commission has recommended an amendment with the potential to raise the number of voter signatures required to bring local laws to referendum. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. As the commission notes, the charter language dates from a time when the county was a lot smaller, and the suggested change would allow for future shifts in population.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writer | December 28, 1994
The new Republican majority on the County Council is full of surprises.Instead of packing the County Charter Review Commission with GOP appointees, the Republican-dominated council moved in the opposite direction. Nearly two-thirds of the members appointed to the commission by Republican County Executive Charles I. Ecker and the council are Democrats.The 15-member commission is established every eight years and, by law, no more than 10 commissioners can be of the same party."I really didn't see it going Democrat or Republican," said Council Chairman Charles C. Feaga, a Republican from West Friendship, of the council majority's bipartisan approach to the commission.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1996
Slow-growth forces declared a major victory yesterday after the Howard County Council rejected two charter changes that would have restricted the referendum power of Question B.The action may send Question B to the courts as both sides continue to struggle over its meaning. At stake is a means of control over development in a fast-growing county.Voters passed Question B in fall 1994 to permit referendum drives as a way of overturning zoning decisions by the County Council sitting as the county Zoning Board.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | May 13, 1992
WESTMINSTER -- The Charter Review Commission unanimously passed an article providing the framework for personnel policy for a new structure of county government.The decision was the first major article of the proposed charter that has been adopted by the nine-member panel, which is writing the document that would serve as the constitution for Carroll government if approved by voters. The charter would outline the structure, powers, duties and limitations of government."We're trying to make a skeleton and hang things on it," said V. Lanny Harchenhorn, a committee member.
EXPLORE
October 20, 2011
The article noting some of the decisions of the Charter Review Commission stated that there was not a groundswell for "increasing the size of the County Council. " After attending three public hearings and one public meeting, I can say there was not a groundswell for any proposal. How could there be when only about a dozen people spoke? I recommended, and some disagreed, that the council should be expanded to add two additional member that would run "at large" while five would run in districts, as they do now. It is important that at least two members of the County Council would have to run and meet citizens from all parts of the county and learn the issues there.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2011
After several hearings and hours of public testimony, the Howard County Council tabled a resolution Monday that would weaken the county's ability to seize private property. Instead, the measure to limit the county's ability to use eminent domain will go before the charter review commission, the 15-member panel that is required to review the county's charter every eight years. The commission will make recommendations to the council. Councilman Greg Fox introduced the resolution in response to a continuing dispute in Clarksville, where several business owners feared the county would use eminent domain to build a road parallel to Route 108 to create access for a county-owned property.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2011
Howard County's population was 62,000 when the five-member County Council was formed more than four decades ago. Now Courtney Watson's Ellicott City/Elkridge district alone holds that many people, and she'd like the citizens commission reviewing the county charter to look at whether it's time that the council grew too. "I think it should be examined," Watson said. "With 62,000 constituents, it is a big challenge to be able to respond to people in a timely manner. " With 700 emails a week coming in, Watson, who also has a full-time private job, and Terry Chaconas, her lone special assistant, have to work hard to keep up. "There's nothing more frustrating," Watson said, "than to have one [email]
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | January 19, 2004
Thousands more signatures would be required to petition a Howard County law to referendum if the recommendation of a 15-member Charter Review Commission is accepted - angering leaders of a failed petition drive last summer. Howard's 1968 charter requires 5 percent of registered voters - to a maximum of 5,000 signatures - to put an issue on the ballot (other than changing the charter itself, which requires 10,000). But the commission wants to remove the maximum limit and adhere to the percentage requirement, meaning almost 7,900 would be needed.
NEWS
October 15, 2003
Public hearing set for tomorrow on county charter The Howard County Charter Review Commission will hold the last of three public hearings on the charter, which provides the framework for county governance, at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Lisbon Fire House, 1330 Route 94, Lisbon. Comments and suggestions for charter revisions are welcome. Speakers will have five minutes to present testimony. Written testimony can also be sent by mail to Charter Review Commission, George Howard Building, Howard County Council, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City 21043; e-mail to charterreview@co.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | November 6, 1996
Howard County voters yesterday approved nine changes to their county charter -- or constitution -- including two measures that critics contend will weaken ethics standards for county officials.Voters also rejected four proposed changes. But county officials said those proposals essentially were bureaucratic housecleaning. One failed change, for example, would have changed the term "Appeal Boards" to "Board of Appeals."Several of the measures that passed are significant, particularly to those who fought for their defeat.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1996
Slow-growth forces declared a major victory yesterday after the Howard County Council rejected two charter changes that would have restricted the referendum power of Question B.The action may send Question B to the courts as both sides continue to struggle over its meaning. At stake is a means of control over development in a fast-growing county.Howard voters passed Question B in fall 1994 to permit referendum drives as a way of overturning zoning decisions by the County Council sitting as the county Zoning Board.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | November 6, 1996
Howard County voters yesterday approved nine changes to their county charter -- or constitution -- including two measures that critics contend will weaken ethics standards for county officials.Voters also rejected four proposed changes. But county officials said those proposals essentially were bureaucratic housecleaning. One failed change, for example, would have changed the term "Appeal Boards" to "Board of Appeals."Several of the measures that passed are significant, particularly to those who fought for their defeat.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | February 16, 1996
Proponents of slow growth in Howard County assailed the Charter Review Commission last night, charging that the commission's proposed changes to the county charter would weaken citizens' influence on land use issues."
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1996
Slow-growth forces declared a major victory yesterday after the Howard County Council rejected two charter changes that would have restricted the referendum power of Question B.The action may send Question B to the courts as both sides continue to struggle over its meaning. At stake is a means of control over development in a fast-growing county.Voters passed Question B in fall 1994 to permit referendum drives as a way of overturning zoning decisions by the County Council sitting as the county Zoning Board.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | February 16, 1996
Proponents of slow growth in Howard County assailed the Charter Review Commission last night, charging that the commission's proposed changes to the county charter would weaken citizens' influence on land use issues."
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