I know…budget meetings are not super exciting…but they are important…here is information on the next budget hearing here in Howard County:

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will hold his second Citizens’ Budget Hearing for the FY2020 budget cycle on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City.

“As I work to build my first budget and protect our AAA bond rating, we will be facing tough fiscal challenges and difficult decisions ahead,” said Ball. “As we set our shared priorities during this difficult budget environment, I encourage residents to attend and testify at this 2nd and last citizens hearing for the FY2020 Howard County budget to make your voices heard.”

Beginning Tuesday, February 19, residents can sign-up ONLINE to speak at the hearing by going to www.howardcountymd.gov/budgettestimony. From the same link, residents will also have the option to provide online budget testimony; however, residents are reminded that internet testimony is considered public information and, as such, is subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.

Residents who do not wish to sign-up online will still be able to sign-up in person on the night of the public hearing beginning at 6:00 p.m. Speakers must sign-up individually, and one person may not sign-up for several testifiers.

An interpreter for people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be available if requested seven working days prior to the Budget Hearing. Please call the Budget Office at 410-313-2077 (voice) or use Relay at 7-1-1, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you need additional accommodations to attend the Hearing or for more information, contact the Budget Office.

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So you ask yourself…why do I care…well…here are my thoughts:

  1. We get to see the priorities of this new administration in Howard County. What gets funded at what level…what new initiatives get money…what gets less funding than the past…what gets unfunded…this will tell us where we are headed going forward.
  2. School funding – this is without question the biggest part of the budget in Howard County. How much of what they ask for will get funded? More importantly…if it does not all get funded…will the HCEA attack the new County Executive by saying the schools are not “Fully Funded” as they have done in the past? This is the narrative I will be watching.

Stay tuned folks…this is not exciting..but important.

Scott E

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