March 14, 2022
Dear Friends,

Last week, I continued our fight to combat airplane noise when I testified on Senate Bill 658 alongside Senator Clarence Lam, County Executive Steuart Pittman, County Councilmember Deb Jung, leadership from the BWI Community Roundtable, and other concerned residents. This important legislation would establish the Maryland Aviation Infrastructure Impacts Commission.
As an intersection of transportation and public health policy, this commission will have the ability to study and make recommendations on the health and environmental impacts of flight patterns implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

As a Councilmember, after months of fighting for improvement for our residents on this issue, I sponsored CB7-2017 which authorized taking legal action against the FAA in the U.S. Court of Appeals. Additionally, in 2019, we filed a second legal petition against the FAA. 

I’m grateful to members of our State Delegation for diligently advocating for the health of our shared constituents. As your County Executive, I remain dedicated to alleviating the harmful and adverse noise impacts of these current flight patterns and diminishing quality of life for our residents.
Community Updates
Celebrating Tubman's Legacy

Last week, we recognized Harriet Tubman Day - an important time to honor this pioneer's heroic actions to lead hundreds of enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad. We remember her courageous life and her legacy as a activist and abolitionist. 

This year marks her 200th birthday and to honor her legacy, we hosted a re-enactment and conversation in coordination with the Office of Human Rights and Equity. To watch her performance, please click here.

I encourage all residents to also watch the video below as members of our community reflect upon the impact she had on our community.
Supporting Camp Attaway

It was a wonderful evening of Gin and Jazz at the Camp Attaway Fundraiser. For over 25 years this critical organization has made sure that behavioral and emotional challenges won’t stop children from learning and having fun together. We are so fortunate to have an organization like Camp Attaway in Howard County.
Thank you to Sue Ann Shafley and Karen Cherry for your dedicated committeeman to helping our children thrive. Special thank you to Steve and Patti Wecker of Cured / 18th & 21st for hosting this fantastic event.

It is so important that we continue to support children with special needs, as well as their families and loved ones. Learn more about Camp Attaway here.
Join The Police Accountability Board

Prioritizing public safety and reinforcing public trust can go hand in hand, and each remains a priority of my administration. Howard County’s Police Accountability Board will ensure transparency and engage our residents as partners in accountability. 

Applications are now being accepted for residents to serve on the County's Police Accountability Board. I encourage interested persons to apply before March 25! For more information and to apply, please click here.
Cheering for Our Lady Glads!

Please join me in congratulating our Glenelg High School cheerleaders for making program history by securing its first winter cheerleading title. Throughout the season, they have persevered and made incredible strides. I’m so proud of all they have accomplished and look forward to cheering them on in all their future endeavors.
Advocating for Our Infrastructure

Last week, I proudly testified alongside my fellow County Executives and county leaders from around the state to advocate for the restoration of Highway User Revenues. For years, this has been a priority for the Maryland Association of Counties, a bipartisan organization representing the interests of every jurisdiction in the state. Since 2007, rural and urban counties across Maryland have lost out on more than $4.5 billion in funding. Howard County specifically has lost $193 million in revenue to maintain our 1,200 miles of local roads and other critical transportation infrastructure. 

This deficit means diverting funding from other county priorities in order to continue safely maintaining our roads. This year, we have an unprecedent budget surplus and a unique opportunity to restore this critical funding to pre-recession levels. 
To learn more about this critical funding need, please read our OpEd published this week in Maryland Matters here.
Silas Craft Collegians Program

Celebrating over 20 years at Howard Community College, the Silas Craft Collegians program provides vital support to HCC students and fosters achievement and creativity in our young leaders. As an educator, I'm always moved by the stories of students and alumni who credit the Silas Craft Collegians program for the transformation in their lives. 

This program supports our students through an academic leadership learning community - ensuring they have the resources needed to succeed. It is fitting that a program that ensures educational opportunity is named in honor of Dr. Silas Craft, an educator who believed in access and equity. Him and his recently departed wife Dorothye Craft built a rich legacy in Howard County.

I was excited to join HCC President Dr. Daria Willis, Hunan Manor Restaurant owner James Liu, and Silas Craft Collegians Program Director Jarrell Anderson at Hunan Manor to pick up some delicious Bento Boxes to support this program. Over the last 23 years, the Educational Foundation has raised over $500,000 to support our students. Thank you HCC administrators, educators, and our entire academic community for encouraging the strongest educational opportunities for our students.
Congratulations Mock Trial Students!

Howard County is thrilled to have phenomenal students who continue to make incredible strides. I was proud to join our Howard County State's Attorney's Office Rich Gibson to highlight our MyLaw Mock Trial students at Centennial High School and Marriotts Ridge High School. Both these teams had a phenomenal season this year, making it to the County finals.

Congratulations to all our students and coaches, and we wish you a brighter future ahead.
COVID-19 Update

According to the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Howard County’s positivity rate is 2.28% and our 7-day moving average case rate per 100k is 6.6. In the past week, Howard County has reported 142 cases. There are currently 7 COVID-19 patients in both the ICU and Acute Care units at Howard County General Hospital. We’re still seeing a steady decline in our COVID-19 metrics.

To date, sadly, we’ve lost 349 of our residents to COVID-19. We mourn their loss, and we send their families and friends our prayers.

Howard County has high vaccination rates with 90.4% of our residents 5+ fully vaccinated. Approximately 34% of our eligible residents have not yet received their booster shot. Please get boosted if you have not yet received a booster shot. Vaccination, including boosters, work by significantly reducing serious illness, hospitalization, and death.

The CDC has released new guidance for determining COVID-19 community levels and when masking is recommended. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. When the county’s COVID-19 Community Levels are low or moderate, masking is optional. Masking remains a prevention measure at the high level. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should always wear a mask. Howard County is currently in the low category.

Getting vaccinated continues to be the best way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. Please get vaccinated and boosted if you have not already. Find a vaccine near you at
Women's History Spotlight: Delegate Jessica Feldmark

Women’s History Month is an opportunity for us to honor the impact and innovation curated by women throughout history, and this year, we’re highlighting our local trailblazers. Another remarkable innovator is my friend and colleague Delegate Jessica Feldmark. An experienced and knowledgeable County leader, prior to being elected, she previously served as former County Executive Ulman’s Chief of Staff and afterward, the Administrator for the Council. 

Since being elected in 2018, she now represents our community in District 12 in the Maryland House of Delegates. Always committed to her policy priorities and goals, Delegate Feldmark serves on the Ways and Means committee and the joint committee on cybersecurity, information technology, and biotechnology within the House. Join me in this acknowledgment of Jessica’s hard work with almost as much enthusiasm as she puts into her work for the community every day. This is #HERstory
Taking Care of You!

Every family is affected by mental health challenges, whether temporary or long-term. Unfortunately, prolonged and untreated issues can result in tragedy, most of which can be prevented

You are not alone and help is available. Chat services are available 24/7. Start by texting 211 today! With help, comes hope.
Government Updates
Department of Community Resources and Services
March Issue of The 50+ Connection Now Available
Our Department of Community Resources and Services’ (DCRS) Office on Aging and Independence’s (OAI) The 50+ Connection newsletter is now available online. Published monthly as a two-page insert in the Howard County Beacon, this newsletter provides valuable information regarding programs, services and events of interest to older adults. You can find the current and past issues on OAI’s “Publications & Reports” website or join OAI’s email subscriber list to receive the current issue each month straight to your inbox. Subscribe today to ensure you are among the first to hear about upcoming OAI special events and informative programs.
2022 Youth REACH Count Survey
Every night in Maryland, thousands of youths are living in cars, vacant buildings or couch surfing with family or friends. That’s why, as I announced this past week, DCRS is once again participating in the annual Youth REACH (Reach out, Engage, Assist, and Count to end Homelessness) Count. This Count is a statewide effort to address – and ultimately prevent – youth homelessness in Howard County and across Maryland. To best identify this hidden population, Howard County Youth REACH activities will take place across the county during the first two weeks of March. These activities will strive to obtain information on the number, characteristics and needs of youth ages 25 and under who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
Once such activity is a brief and confidential survey to help identify housing needs and services for youth and young adults who are on their own because everyone should have a safe, reliable place to sleep. If you are under 25, on your own and stay with friends or couch surfing, we encourage you to take a brief moment to participate in this survey. Again, your answers will remain completely confidential.
For questions or more information, visit or contact Candace Ball with DCRS’ Office of the Local Children’s Board at 410-313-6552 or
A Recap of Tips Offered During National Consumer Protection Week
In case you missed it, this past week was National Consumer Protection Week and all week long DCRS’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) was offering up helpful tips and informative information on how to protect yourself as a consumer.
Such as, before signing a lease, be sure to read the lease in its entirety, making sure you know whether application fees are refundable. Also, do not pay a security deposit until both you and the landlord have signed the lease. For more helpful landlord/tenant information, click HERE. Also, OCP emphasized the importance of being able to spot imposter scams, as criminals often pose as representatives from government agencies, tech support, debt collectors, your bank and even retailers like Amazon. They might tell you there is a warrant out for your arrest, you owe money, or something is wrong with your account. It is important that you do your homework and know how to spot scams like these so that you or a loved one does not fall victim to them.
Finally, to make sure you stay informed all year long, be sure to check out OCP’s website.
Department of Fire and Rescue Services
When Springing Your Clocks Forward, Be Sure to Also Check Your Smoke Alarms
With the start of daylight saving time yesterday, our Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is reminding residents to be sure to check their smoke alarms to ensure they are in working order. As HCDFRS reminds us, our first line of defense against a house fire is a working smoke alarm. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 65 percent of home fire deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms or with smoke alarms that do not work. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. So, whether you have the sealed-in, 10-year/long-life battery-operated smoke alarms or hardwired smoke alarms (with battery backups), remember, it is always good to check your smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.
Office of Human Rights and Equity
Reading Human Rights Monthly Book Discussion Group, Featuring The Island of Sea Women
Facilitated by our Office of Human Rights and Equity (OHRE) and hosted by the Howard County Library System (HCLS), Reading Human Rights is a monthly book discussion group that encourages community dialogue on issues of race, displacement and religious bias. The monthly event also fosters conversation on how different community’s approach human rights advocacy and community engagement.

In conjunction with Women’s History Month, this month’s book discussion next Tuesday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at HCLS’ Central branch will feature The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. The Island of Sea Women explores the complexities of female friendship and introduces readers to the remarkably strong and spirited female divers of Jeju Island. It’s also an eye-opening portrait of a country ravaged by decades of conflict and unrest, and a searing examination of the effects that foreign intervention can have on the evolution of a nation and of course individual lives. As spacing is limited, I encourage you to reserve your virtual seat today!
“Until I Am Free” – A Conversation on Women in Leadership Championing Civil Rights
This Women’s History Month, OHRE is excited to offer a virtual discussion, “Until I Am Free”, on March 24th about women in leadership – like Fannie Lou Hamer, championing civil rights. Panelists Claudia Allen (OHRE’s Community Outreach Supervisor), Dr. Denise Boston (OHRE’s Equity and Restorative Practices Manager) and Glendora Hughes (General Counsel for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights) will explore the challenges and contributions of women in the work of civil and human rights. This event will streamed live on the OHRE’s Facebook page and the Howard County Government’s YouTube channel at noon on the 24th.
Test Your Knowledge of Women’s History Trivia
In celebration of Women’s History Month, I invite you to join OHRE and OAI’s North Laurel 50+ Center on March 29th for trivia game event! Come test your knowledge on and showcase what you know about the contributions of important women in history. The fun will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will take place at the 50+ Center located within Recreation & Parks’ North Laurel Community Center at 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road. To register for this event, either call 410-313-0380 or sign-up at the 50+ Center’s front desk.
Bystander Intervention and Cultural Awareness Training
ORHE offers a quarterly certification training in Bystander Intervention and Cultural Awareness (BICA). This is an excellent training that will help participants learn how to protect and promote the humanity of those who are being targeted or harassed in their presence. This quarter’s upcoming BICA training will take place virtually on April 5th. As space is limited, reserve you spot today by clicking HERE
Department of Planning and Zoning
HoCo By Design Launches its Draft Theme Chapter Public Meetings
Once each decade, we update the County’s General Plan, a long-range, visionary document that guides land use, growth and development decisions. As part of its process to create a new General Plan, called HoCo By Design, our Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) has been leading a community outreach effort to ensure we hear from every voice as it strives to create one vision for our county's future.
As part of the process, throughout the coming year, DPZ’s HoCo By Design project team will be releasing draft HoCo By Design planning theme chapters one at a time for community review and feedback. The policies presented in each chapter are draft statements based on data, best practices and community feedback DPZ has received to date. Feedback we receive from you, our community, will further be used by DPZ to refine the draft policies.
Next week, DPZ’s project team will hosts its first planning theme chapter meetings. The first chapter – “Dynamic Neighborhoods: Maintaining and Supporting Vibrant Living for a More Equitable Future”, contains draft housing policies to address the needs of current and future residents and create more equitable neighborhoods for all.
The first meeting, a hybrid (in-person and virtual) meeting, will take place next Monday, March 21st from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The in-person portion of the meeting will be held in the Columbia/Ellicott City Room of the George Howard Building, located at 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City. As space is limited for this meeting, registration is required. To register for this in-person option, click HERE. To attend this meeting virtually, participants are encouraged to register by no later than noon, March 20th. For those who register in advance, WebEx will send you an auto-generated link prior to the meeting. However, if you do not register in advance or do not receive the auto-generated link, participants will need to go to the HoCo By Design website for the meeting link.
In addition to the March 21st hybrid meeting, DPZ will also host a Dynamic Neighborhoods Evening Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, March 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Again, participants are encouraged to register by noon on March 20th to receive an auto-generated link prior to the meeting from WebEx; however, pre-registration is not required. Those who do not register in advance, will again want to go to the HoCo By Design website for the meeting link.
For more information on DPZ’s HoCo By Design’s Draft Chapter Release: Dynamic Neighborhoods, visit, or contact DPZ’s Community Planner’s Kate Bolinger at or Sarah Latimer at
Police Department
HCPD Now Accepting Applications for its 2022 Youth Summer Programs
If you are looking for a great summer activity for your high schooler, I encourage you to check out Howard County Police Department’s (HCPD) P.L.E.D.G.E. Summer Leadership Camp and Youth Police Academy (YPA).
Geared towards Howard County students heading into the 9th grade, HCPD’s P.L.E.D.G.E. (Pride, Leadership, Education, Diversity, Growth, Evaluation) Leadership Camp is a FREE, one-week day-camp that helps participants develop leadership skills prior to entering high school. Lessons and activities challenge campers’ ability to make critical decisions, focus on core beliefs and values, recognize diversity, and work toward a common goal. This year’s P.L.E.D.G.E. Leadership Camp will offer two sessions, the first from June 27th to July 1st and the second from July 25th to July 29th.
For residents age 15 to 18 who are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience this summer, HCPD’s YPA is for you. YPA is a FREE, one-week overnight-camp (July 10th to July 15th) that introduces campers to what it’s like to be a police officer. Campers will train and learn like HCPD’s Police Academy recruits, while exploring career and leadership opportunities and building life skills.
For more information about either program and/or to submit an application, visit today. Please note, applications are DUE by April 15th.
Scam Alert Warning
Our Howard County Police Department (HCPD) and the Howard County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) are warning residents about an ongoing phone scam in which the scammer pretends to be from HCSO. The scammer uses the name of a REAL HCSO deputy and in some recent cases, even used Sheriff Harris' name to seem more legitimate. The scammers tell callers there is a warrant for their arrest for missed jury duty and they must pay a fine over the phone. The caller is directed to use Green Dot or ReLoadIt prepaid cards.
Please remember, HCPD and HCSO will NEVER demand payment over the phone. If you receive a call like this, IT IS A SCAM. Hang up and do not provide any personal information.
If you believe you may have been a victim of this scam, please contact HCPD's non-emergency number at 410-313-2200 to report it.
Members Sought for Animal Matters Hearing Board
If you are interested in serving on the County's Animal Matters Hearing Board, I encourage you to apply today as we are currently seeking applicants. Comprised of seven voting members, the Board is responsible for ruling on appeals for animal control law violations, issued orders and declarations related to the enforcement of animal control laws. Members also make recommendations to the County’s animal control facility and review the facility’s proposed budget. To learn more about this Board, eligibility requirements and how to apply, click HERE. Please note, the deadline to apply is Friday, April 1st.
Department of Public Works - Construction Report

Below are details regarding new, upcoming, completed and/or delayed Capital Projects and/or maintenance project(s) that have been announced.
·        Snowden River Parkway Sidewalk Extension (Capital Project J-4222) – Project to install temporary asphalt sidewalk between 9325 Snowden River Parkway and Berger Road, connecting the existing sidewalks. Additionally, ADA ramps, a crosswalk and a pedestrian signal will be installed along the east leg of the Snowden River Parkway/Berger Road intersection. Signs will be posted in the area to direct traffic as the right lane of eastbound Snowden River Parkway will be closed at the site, as needed, during construction hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by early May 2022.
Past Project Updates – Completed
Ellicott City

  • Columbia Sewer Stabilization (Capital Project S-6601) – Project to stabilize an exposed public sewer at a stream crossing near 10907 Billingsgate Row.
  • Hudson Branch Sewer Stabilization (Capital Project S-6601) – Project to stabilize an exposed public sewer at a stream crossing located in a wooded area off Frederick Road adjacent to US 29.
Past Project Updates - Completion Date Change

  • Dayton Bureau of Highways Facility Stormwater Management (Capital Project C-0313) – Project to install curb and gutter, repave pavement and make improvements to the existing storm drain system at 4301 MD 32. Originally expected to be completed by late October 2021, weather permitting, the project is not expected to be completed by late March 2022.

Ellicott City
  • Lot F Stream Restoration (Capital Project D-1165) – Project to restore approximately 1,100 linear feet of a stream near 3713 Fels Lane. Originally expected to be completed by mid-January 2022, weather permitting, the project is not expected to be completed by late March 2022.
  •  Old Willow Way Stream Stabilization (Capital Project D-1158) – Project to stabilize a portion of stream near the Centennial Park North Area pedestrian bridge. Originally expected to be completed by late December 2021, weather permitting, the project is not expected to be completed by mid-April 2022.
To learn about Department of Public Works (DPW) projects currently underway, visit Searchable by project category and street name, from this site you’ll find additional project details, including news releases about the project. You can also contact DPW’s Customer Service Office at 410-313-3440 or email for further assistance.
If you have questions or are interested in finding out about a State road (numbered roadway) project in your area, visit the Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) “Project Portal” website.
Department of Public Works' Bureau of Environmental Services

Yard Trim Curbside Collection Resumes this Month
Beginning Monday, March 28th, DPW’s Bureau of Environmental Services’ curbside yard trim collection will resume for the season for residents in yard trim collection areas. Please keep in mind, during our curbside yard trim season, the Bureau will only collect your yard trim items on your scheduled yard trim collection days. To find out your yard trim collection day, click HERE. To review the Bureau’s yard trim collection guidelines, including what is and is not collected and how to prepare your items for collection, click HERE.
County-Sponsored Document Shredding Dates Announced for 2022
Mark your calendars as our Bureau of Environmental Services has released its spring and fall County-sponsored document shredding event dates for 2022. They are as follows:

  • Saturday, April 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm. (OR until trucks are full) in Lot B at Howard Community College in Columbia;
  • Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (OR until trucks are full) at Long Gate Park and Ride in Ellicott City;
  • Saturday, October 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (OR until trucks are full) at Howard County Recreation and Parks' Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Cooksville; and
  • Saturday, October 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (OR until trucks are full) at Long Gate Park and Ride in Ellicott City.
Residents may bring up to three bags or boxes of paper to be shredded at each event; however, residents are asked to ONLY bring items that contain personal information. Junk mail, catalogs and office paper should be recycled with your curbside recycling collection.
SAVE THE DATE for GreenFest
Howard County’s 2022 GreenFest celebration will be returning to Howard Community College’s Dwight A. Burrill Galleria this year, on Saturday, April 9th to be exact. Howard County's largest celebration of Earth Day, our annual event aims to connect residents with the resources that local businesses, non-profits and government provide to help anyone be a good steward to the environment. From a native plant sale to rain barrel and compost bin giveaway’s and the oh-so-ever-popular document shredding event, this environmentally friendly event is sure to get you in the green spirit. To learn more about this year’s event, visit
Department of Recreation and Parks
Spring/Summer Activity Guide Now Available Online
In case you missed it, our Department of Recreation and Parks' 2022 Spring/Summer Activity Guide is NOW AVAILABLE online. Online, mail-in, over-the-phone and in-person registration for Howard County residents is now open. For non-Howard County residents, online registration begins this Wednesday, March 9th at 6:00 p.m., with all other registration methods beginning the following morning.
It’s a Gold Rush Scavenger Hunt!  
Join Recreation & Parks on March 26th for a Gold Rush Scavenger Hunt at its North Laurel Community Center (NLCC). The hunt will take place from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., starting at NLCC and then following the path through North Laurel Park where participants will be on the hunt for golden coins. Prizes are available to all participants after the hunt has finished. All ages are welcome and the cost to participate is $10 for NLCC members and $15 for nonmembers. For more information and/or to register to participate, visit 
Take a Nighttime Stroll with Recreation & Parks 
Embark on a nighttime, nature-based scavenger hunt at Recreation & Parks’ Robinson Nature Center on April 29th from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Using the GooseChase app, participants will complete a series of missions, learning about spring-time natural phenomena, including constellations, migrating animals and evening wildlife rituals, along the way. The evening will end with a program in Robinson Nature Center’s planetarium.
Participants must be 18 and older to participate and singles, couples and teams of up to five people are welcome. Tickets are $20 a person and preregistration is required as space is limited.
Calling all Coaches  
Recreation & Parks is looking for volunteers to help coach. If you enjoy working with others, thrive in a team setting and want to share your knowledge of a particular sport, I encourage you to sign-up to volunteer today to become a coach with Recreation & Parks. There are opportunities in a variety of sports including, but not limited to, baseball, basketball, field hockey, tennis and volleyball. To learn more, visit 
Looking for Activities on Days Schools Are Closed?
If you are a looking for activities for your child to participate in when schools are closed, I encourage you to check out the variety of one-day camps our Department of Recreation & Parks offers that your child is sure to love. For the Howard County Public School System’s upcoming spring break (April 11th to April 15th and April 18th), be sure to check out these camp offerings.
Park Closure News
Heads up, Recreation & Parks’ Centennial Park East Area, located off of Woodland Road in Ellicott City, will be CLOSED from Monday, March 14th through Friday, March 25th for resurfacing/repaving work.