Howard County Executive Calvin Ball gave his “State of the County” address on February 27th before the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. Here is what his administration sent out via a press release yesterday:

February 27, 2019
Media Contact:
Scott L. Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

County Executive Ball Today Delivered ‘State of the County’ Address to Chamber of Commerce

ELLICOTT CITY – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball delivered his first-ever State of The County Address this afternoon before the Howard County Chamber of Commerce at Turf Valley Resort. The theme of the speech, “Our Time Is Now,” reflected his sense of urgency in improving Howard County and his commitment to building a truly equitable and inclusive community. The full text of the speech can be found at https://bit.ly/2NBEtw8. Video of the event can be found at https://youtu.be/M_CyiCoALX0. Photos from the event can be found at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmB7D59g
“We are listening to concerns, finding solutions and utilizing innovative practices for every part of Howard County,” said Ball, “and accepting all the challenges before us, without delay.”

Ball structured his address according to the challenges highlighted in his community listening sessions and transition team report. “To fully understand the concerns of our residents, we did something that sometimes politicians are not well known for – we listened,” said Ball. “During our first 60 days, we also hosted nine listening sessions around our County and through social media. Over 800 residents participated and we received nearly 600 comments.”

On economic issues, Ball urged fiscal caution and highlighted the maintenance of Howard County’s AAA Bond Rating as a top priority. On community development, Ball talked about finding “a balance between continuing to invest in new development and preserving the quality of our communities, integrity of our infrastructure, and natural beauty of our county.” Ball also called Howard County’s school system our county’s “calling card,” and pledged action to improve outcomes and fight overcrowding.

The address featured a strong commitment to environmental protection and climate action, with a focus on addressing the devastating flooding of Ellicott City. The Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan “is a multi-phase plan built around the need for public safety, supporting business, and creating a more community-driven process for decisions regarding Ellicott City’s future.” To emphasize his commitment to all Howard County residents, Ball’s address featured his policies to address poverty, mental health challenges, and addiction. He also called attention to the impact of the federal government shutdown on Howard County families.

The speech wove together a pragmatic picture of governance, with vision for a better future. “Despite the challenges we face, the State of Howard County is strong,” said Ball, “and we are only going to grow stronger.”

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Here is the video that they have published:

This is the text of the end of the speech:

We are Howard County and we look out for each other. We are Howard County and we “save the world.” We are Howard County and “Our Time Is Now.” We will be the best county in this nation because we are going to govern for all Howard County residents.

My favorite statement from the speech was this:

Despite the challenges we face, the State of Howard County is strong, and we are only going to grow stronger.

Here is one thing I was interested in:

We need to be more intentional about maintaining this balance, as we plan for continued growth and renewal of this great county for our children and generations to come. An important element of this future will be “complete streets,” so every resident has safe and equitable access to our County. I listened and took the comments seriously as dozens of cyclists came in their full bike gear, advocating for streets that provide safe access to users. I will make Complete Streets a priority to promote our vision of a true multi-modal transportation system, beginning with more bike lanes.

Be sure to give this Complete Street information a read with my comments: CLICK HERE…I am hoping the administration looks at those comments as well.

Give the video and text of the speech a look and let me know your thoughts?

Here are some tweets from the event:

Scott E

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