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Howard County Council

NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | April 1, 2011
Courtney Watson can run for a third and final term on the Howard County Council in 2014 or for a General Assembly seat, but it must be tempting to consider running for county executive instead, because County Executive Ken Ulman is term-limited and out of office by the end of that year. "I'm done, man. I just want good people to stay in public service," Ulman commented at Watson's recent $35-per-ticket fundraiser at Serafino's restaurant in Ellicott city that drew more than 100 people.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2011
The 2010 census results found a roughly 10,000-person gap between the five-member Howard County Council's most populous District 1, covering Ellicott City and Elkridge, and the least populous District 3, covering North Laurel, Savage and a small section of Columbia. The figures show how the county's population has changed over the past decade, and where the growth has left district lines drawn in 2001 out of whack. The County Council approved the seven members of a new Redistricting Commission at its March 7 meeting, and the panel will make recommendations on how to redraw the lines.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2011
The Ulman administration's speed camera proposal will face tough questions from the Howard County Council, but officials are working to head off objections despite angry complaints from critics. County Executive Ken Ulman said he took more than a year for police to survey vehicle speeds around 100 public and private schools throughout the county before making up his mind to propose legislation. Now, he's stressing precautions meant to assure council members that the cameras will be used carefully and in a limited way. "We spent a lot of time, deliberately," Ulman said at a news conference announcing the proposal at Ilchester Elementary School in Ellicott City.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | March 9, 2011
Columbia's unusual relationship with signs entered a new era last week with the Howard County Council's approval of new sign and design rules for downtown Columbia's rebirth, opening the way for the first tangible projects in the long-discussed remake of the town center area. "There are many of us living close to downtown Columbia who would like to see some activity after six years of discussion," said Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty, a Democrat who represents the center of the 43-year-old planned town.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2011
As Howard County Council members described their frustrations in trying to craft a new policy governing signs for a redeveloped central Columbia to a group of League of Women Voters members, Susan Fingerman voiced a pet peeve some elected officials might find embarrassing — unsightly political campaign signs. "They were really awful last year," she said at the biennial discussion between the League and council members at the George Howard Building on Feb. 5. "They seemed bigger than ever.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2011
A Republican activist and former candidate is complaining that Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and County Councilman Calvin Ball, both Democrats, used their political influence to force her resignation from a private-sector job. Diane Wilson was a lobbyist for the local Chamber of Commerce for less than a week last month — a job that required her to inform and influence the officeholders in Democrat-dominated Howard County that she worked to...
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2011
Howard County Council members have been elected by district instead of at large since 1986, but some wonder whether districts might make members too parochial in their outlook, and the pending creation of a charter review commission could mean revisiting the issue. Legislation creating the 15-member commission, required every eight years by the county charter , is set for introduction before the County Council on Feb. 7, along with other measures creating a seven-member councilmanic redistricting commission and an office of transportation.
NEWS
By Lisa Kawata | February 1, 2011
The Howard County Arts Council celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2011 by moving its annual gala to a new venue --the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College. The move is a growing up, of sorts, for the bash. “We wanted to bring the event up a notch but also keep the things that people love, like the HOWIE Awards, the Rising Star competition and the silent auction,” says Coleen West, HCAC’s executive director. For the first time, alcohol can be served at the gala, and the event will be more of a dress-up affair, says West.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2011
Questions about what kinds, size and placement of signs should be allowed in a rebuilt central Columbia dominated a Howard County Council work session Monday that also included discussion of plans to buy a Columbia office building and create a county Veterans Commission. Electronic, interactive video signs can be as fascinating as the giant-size changing revue of human faces that seem to spit water in Chicago's popular Millennium Park fountain, according to a consultant to the developer of downtown, or the brightly colored electronic "bricks" that line a Texas college's pedestrian tunnel and that play music when touched.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2011
The detailed, often thorny issues involved in crafting an urban sign code for the redeveloped downtown Columbia pushed the Howard County Council late Tuesday to extend a work session discussion into this coming week, raising the possibility that a final vote could be postponed until March. Discussions of new zoning rules for beehives and design guidelines for the Columbia project seemed to move smoothly, but questions about downtown signs seemed to grow. Councilwoman Courtney Watson said she's worried that allowing more signs in downtown Columbia could pose a problem, given that visual clutter has worsened along U.S. 40 in her district even under the county's more restrictive sign code.
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