Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Councilman David Rakes Will Resign Friday

County Councilman David Rakes, who represents the 2nd district, has announced he will resign Friday. You will remember Rakes switched control of the County Council to the Republicans when he was caught giving a liquor license to his campaign treasurer and failing to disclose that relationship. He got mad at his fellow Democrats when they refused to block an ethics investigation into the matter. The Republicans under the leadership of Chris Merdon then embraced Rakes’ corrupt ways and Rakes voted for Merdon to head the council. I thought this whole mess was rather sad. Sad to see elected official behave corruptly. Sad to see Chris Merdon embrace that corruption.

The question now arises who should fill Rakes’ seat until a new councilperson is elected in November. The Democratic Central Committee will get to pick the replacement. The clear choice is Calvin Ball, who came in a close second to Rakes in the last primary and who is already running for the seat with the backing of most of the counties Democratic activists who were using the primary as a means of showing the parties commitment to clean government by tossing out the corrupt Rakes. (Speaking of corruption, the best coverage of the corruption in DC is by investigative journalist Josh Marshall and with Jack Abramoff’s first sentencing today there will be a lot to cover.)

My letter to the Flier in 2002 about Calvin I think lays out why at the time I thought he stood head and shoulders above the other candidates then:

Shortly after I moved back to Howard County after completing grad school I met Calvin Ball at a community event. He impressed me with his vision for the future of Howard County. For a number of years I have watched with concern as the community I grew up in has seemed adrift. The visionary James Rouse had passed from the scene and new visionary leadership had yet to step forward.

After getting to know Calvin Ball, I believe he has the vision, energy and commitment to help lead Howard County forward. He will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the County Council and will be a strong voice in articulating the path forward for Howard County.


Though each of the candidates for County Council rightly focuses on issues of improving schools and public safety, Calvin Ball goes a step further and looks to issues of long-term planning. He realizes the importance of our location in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and how our planning for the future must take this into account. He also presents a long-term vision for serving the transportation needs of Howard County residents, including ideas that have the potential of easing the commuting burden of Howard County residence.

Calvin Ball will be a strong voice on the County Council in formulating a clear vision to serve the long-term needs of Howard County and is the best choice for County Council District 2.

Those were my thoughts in 2002 and since then I have been impressed by Calvin’s hard work that have achieved amazing progress in revitalizing Oakland Mills.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please remember that Howard County is more than Columbia - not everyone loves Columbia or wants to live there. His vision for Columbia may indeed be excatly what you are looking for and even need. But don't assume that vision should encompass the entire county. Howard county is wonderfully diverse notwithstanding Rouse's new town. Vote for him because he has a great plan to revitalize Columbia while intergrating it sucessfully with the rest of the county - not absorbing the rest of the county. We don't all want that.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

I don't think you read what I wrote. I was clearly talking about how Calvin "looks to issues of long-term planning. He realizes the importance of our location in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and how our planning for the future must take this into account. He also presents a long-term vision for serving the transportation needs of Howard County residents, including ideas that have the potential of easing the commuting burden of Howard County residence."

Now as to what you said, of course Howard County isn't just Columbia. I absolutely never said it was. A little over 166,000 of Howard Counties 266,734 residents don't live in Columbia. The two guest bloggers, who hopefully will be posting more often, are from Ellicott City and Elkridge. My first choice for guest blogger was from Savage (sadly he has decided he is a little to busy to blog right now). As this blog grows (it is only 3 months old) it will address and cover more issues. I am happy to take suggests from readers on what they think matters most to the county.

As for this divide you seem to create between Columbia and non-Columbia I just don't think it exists anymore (I hear at the start of Columbia there was some of that). I think all of Howard County values the county's diversity, tolerance, greenspace, well planned infastructure, etc.

A large part of county council district 2 is in Columbia so obviously who represents that district must be addressing the needs of voters there. But in my letter to the editor I highlight

12:24 AM  
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Keep up the good work »

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