My first budget season as a Councilmember has been an intense experience. The County has unlimited need and limited resources. My job is to make sure that these resources are used wisely and responsibly. This requires attention to the macro and the micro level, from the high-profile school system to the lesser-known departments and government operations. I've dug deep into the numbers and have exhausted a lot of highlighters this month.

Thank you all to the constituents who have reached out during this process, expressing your concerns and priorities. The budget process is a complicated one and I hope that I've effectively communicated how the process works.

As usual, funding for the school system's operating budget dominates the headlines and Facebook posts. Developing a funding strategy for the school system is a challenge. Negotiated contracts, increased health-care costs, and parent expectations all come with a hefty price tag. Meanwhile, County revenues can’t keep up with these demands. It is time to face the tough budget decisions with a plan: an amendment to meet some, but not all of the needs coupled with conditions to create a realistic and sustainable blueprint for the future. Read more here .
Keeping Up with Deb
Below are some of the events and meetings I have recently attended. Let me know about your community activities so I can stop by, if my schedule allows.

05/02 - ACS Humanitarian Awards Luncheon
05/02 - Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military Families
05/03 - HCHS Spring Fundraiser - Classic Hollywood
05/03 - Swansfield ES Guest Reader Day
05/04 - FIRN 5K
05/04 - HoCo Cup Races
05/07 - Police Memorial Ceremony
05/09 - PFLAG Fundraiser
05/11 - Freedom Fund Jazz Brunch
05/11 - Gender & Politics Forum
Top to bottom : Police Memorial Ceremony, Swansfield ES Guest Reader Day, HCHS Spring Fundraiser; Bottom left: Freedom Fund Jazz Brunch
Community Affairs
click here for ticket information
May 18th and 19th, 11am
Symphony Woods (by Merriweather Post Pavilion)
5950 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia

Wine in the Woods is one of the premiere events in the region and a source of pride for Howard County. The entire Department of Howard County Recreation and Parks has worked together as a team to produce this event. The festival has been voted Best Outdoor event by Columbia Magazine in 1997 and 1998 and awarded Best Annual Festival in Howard County by Howard Magazine for the past five years. It has become a tradition and a mainstay for the local community and beyond, becoming a sparkling tourist attraction that brings visitors from far and wide. 
May 25th, 5:30pm
Merriweather Post Pavillion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
The film will be screened with subtitles during the songs so the whole audience can sing along together.

There will also be a pre-show vocal warm up, costume competition, and instructions for using the “magic moments” party pack that every guest will receive!

There will also feature a pre-show vocal warm up, costume competition, and instructions for using the “magic moments” party pack that every guest will receive!
For more information including FAQs, visit

Note: Seating is reserved and inside the pavilion only for this show. No lawn seating. 

Cost: $22

Howard County Government Closings for Memorial Day Holiday on May 27th
Howard County Government offices, courts, animal shelter, 50+ centers and Alpha Ridge Landfill will be closed in observance of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 27. There will be no trash, recycling, yard trim or food scrap pick-up on Memorial Day. The county’s holiday "slide” schedule will be in effect; click here  for more information.
County parks and the Roger Carter Community Center will be open; however, the Cedar Lane and Schooley Mill Activity Rooms, the Gary J. Arthur and North Laurel Community Centers, Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, Meadowbrook Athletic Center, Robinson Nature Center and county historic sites will be closed.
The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will operate on a “Sunday” schedule. Click here for more.
County offices will re-open on Tuesday, May 28.            
Closed on Monday, May 27                   
County Government Offices                                 
Animal Shelter                                                        
Landfill and all trash and recycling services
Cedar Lane and Schooley Mill Activity Rooms                                      

Gary J. Arthur and North Laurel Community Centers
County Historic Sites
Kiwanis-Wallas Hall
Meadowbrook Athletic Center
Robinson Nature Center   
Open on Monday, May 27
County Parks
Roger Carter Community Center
RTA will operate on a “Sunday” Schedule                        
All parking regulations and fees will be in effect 
Memorial Day Weekend - the Unofficial Start of Summer~
June 14th - 30th
Click here for the showtimes and events
June 14th -16th
Downtown Columbia Lakefront
10275 Wincopin Cir, Columbia
The FREE LakeFest Weekend includes three days of live music, an invitational arts and crafts show, strolling performers, festival food, a Clyde’s of Columbia Beer Garden and an array of activities and entertainment for all ages. One of the highlights of  LakeFest  this year includes  evening performance(s) and residency activities by Bridgman Packer Dance.
Click here to view schedule
June 29th, 11am-5pm
Centennial Park
10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City

Remember | Resist | Rejoice

Celebrate Howard County's first annual LGBTQ pride event.

click here for more information
Click here for more information.
June 30th, 2:30pm
Smith Theatre, Howard Community College
Campus Dr, Columbia

Celebrate the education of girls, the beauty of story, and the power of collective action featuring a talk by Aminatta Forna, one of the writers of Girl Rising, and the documentary film that inspired global awareness about the importance of education for girls. 
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Concert season has begun!
Check out the full 2019 calendar of live music for an endearing Howard County tradition.
Click here for the calendar.
Chrysalis Events
More outdoor shows, more intimate setting. Columbia is blessed with fine arts and cultural performances.
Click here for the calendar.