Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Don't want to wake up in Columbia County

A few years ago there were plans to revitalize Route 40 in Ellicott city, the resources were pulled away from that project, to be used in Columbia. The Ellicott City area is still waiting, the resources are still being used in Columbia

More than 2 years ago a couple friends in Glenwood were telling me of their concern that Columbia would stop them from having the recreational fields they wanted. I was surprised that they would even think that.

A year ago a farmer friend of mine told me that the best thing that could happen to western Howard County, would be if it could separate itself, using route 32 as the dividing line, from the rest of the county. I ask why, and he said, " Because they just don't care about us, it's those Columbia people, it's all about Columbia".

Now Council member Fox, who represents western Howard County, seems to think the council was misled because funding that was approved to overhaul government headquarters in Ellicott City, may be used to renovate and purchase new office space in Oakland Mills, Columbia.

Now I hear there are plans to sell county owned property in Ellicott City, near Rogers Ave and Route 40 to finance the new office space in Columbia, although there are no plans to prevent traffic, school crowding and infrastructure problems, in Ellicott City, should this property be turned into residential development.

A few nights ago at a meeting in the George Howard Building, Diane Butler ( candidate for the Board of Education, you got my vote Diane) told me about the change in the master plan for the Miller Library, in Ellicott City. Amenities to the Miller Library were cut in favor of adding frills to the Central Library in Columbia. Read about it in the Howard County Times, if you don't believe me.

Has it become so important to win votes, in Columbia, that the county surrounding the city, has to feel and become sub servant to the city. Lets hope this is temporary, and wiser and more mature minds will bring balance in such a way that all county residents will feel better as well as live better lives no matter what part of the county they live in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love for Columbia to incorporate as a city and leave the rest of the county to fend for itself. That way we could have a real city government and we could get rid of CA all together!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

I agree.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would even suggest that Greg Fox, living in Fulton, is not in touch with the Western part of the County.

Furthermore, the most telling thing (as you noted in this post) is how plans for a new library at Miller Branch was scrapped so that we can have, as Ulman put it, a "showcase library" in downtown Columbia. Paid for by all of Howard County, of course.

1:22 PM  
Blogger B. Santos said...


Maybe you could provide a little more research (i.e. what were the funds initially dedicated for Rt. 40 used for in Columbia?). And maybe you could do an analysis of Howard County revenues received from the Columbia areas. Do the County funds invested in those same areas exceed the revenues received?

7:17 AM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

b.santos. Your point is well taken, but the analysis you asking for is better done by some one with all the correct information

I would suggest Donald Stitely, Howard County Budget Office as a starting point, # 410.313.2077,or

Should you get in touch with Mr. Stitely, you might want to ask if he would put you on the mailing list for the "Howard County Economic Indicators".

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

The tax base is in "eastern" Howard County. Does "western" Howard County want to become Talbot County? I doubt you'd get much support for this argument when/if the numbers are revealed. This argument has been going on since 1968 when Jim Rouse started Columbia. It's going nowhere.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

Tom, thanks for making the point about the "eastern Tax Base", I think b.santos was moving in the same direction.

My point is, there is an eastern tax base, so why steal from out side of Columbia. Sell 25 acres on route 40 for Columbia,do a partial back out of the multi. year plan for the Miller Library because money is needed in Columbia, get approval to work on the headquarters in Ellicitt City, and then want to use it in Columbia.

I think this is going beyond the abstract of "tax Base", it is more like unkeep promises, and poor financial management.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea- I think we should do a similar thing on a broader scale. Remove power from the voters, and allocate funds according to what we perceive to be "fair". After all there is no reason why we should pay attention to antiquated notions such as "majority" or "democracy".

Besides, I'm sure that the non-city portions of the county provide less than their per-capita share of the tax base. They deserve more of the county funds!

7:38 AM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

Anonymous, you have added new definition to clear thinking.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the minority elect the governing body and the majority say nothing, is democracy efficient or fair?

8:14 PM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

Anon 7:14

There are anumber of ways to answer your question, I offer the following

Minority,(political bosses, electoral college, party delegates, or Supreme Court) normally elect the governing body.

The voters, who are the majority, never protest enough to change what the minority does, so it is the same as if they said nothing.

Neither of these groups do much to change the election process, and so by that measure it must be efficient and fair.

Rather sad commentary, don't you agree.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." W. Churchill

I'll never claim that Democracy is fair, and I earnestly pray that Democracy never becomes efficient. In fact I think that "fair" and "efficient" are substantially in tension.

However if the bulk of the people live in Columbia, then there is no problem; the entitlements are being disposed of by the majority of the voters. If you perceive that to be a problem, then you're not arguing for Democracy; not as I understand the term.

Let me make two admissions. First, I haven't consulted the census, so I don't know the population numbers. Second, I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea to spend more money on the Western & rural parts of the county. But the task is to persuade the voters that an investment in the Western/rural parts of the county is a good idea; not to usurp the power and "balance" expenditures.

RE: A minority elects the government. Yes, admitted. So what? If it weren't for the Electoral College, no national candidate would pay any attention to Wyoming, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, or for that matter Maryland. The Supreme Court doesn't elect anyone. And basic political theory shows that no election is "fair". Democracy is merely better than any alternative proposed so far. If I wanted to get hot and bothered about the structure of Democracy, I'd mention gerrymandering.

But now I've strayed way too far from the topic that Mr. Adams raised. My apologies Mr. Adams, every now and then my cantankerous side gets hold of the keyboard.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous jim adams said...

anon 7:05

Churchill is a good source to quote, more often than not.

It's a good thing, although rare when democracy is efficient, such as WW11. Of course it helped that we didn't just send our armed forces to war, we went to war as a country, and most of us agreeded in a democratic way, to do just that.

No I am not arguing democracy, but I am saying a promise made should be a promise kept, Yah I know it's an old fashion thought.

The purpose of the posting was to
persaude and solicit thoughts, just like yours.

Keep your eye on the Supreme Court, you may change your mind.

I think getting hot and bothered is a good thing, expressing passion, allows us to be creative, and identify ourselves as human.

You didn't stray from the topic, and being a little cantankerous is a good thing.

Thanks for taking the time to post, I didn't respond right away, because I wanted to read what you wrote more than once, so I could have a clearer uderstanding of how you felt.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it'd be great for Columbia to go off on its own - then we could elect a qualified mayor with a real resume of experience instead of "Secretary of the Cabinet" Ulman.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I apologize that this comment initially posted to the wrong article.)

There is good reason to be glad if you aren't a resident of Columbia (besides escaping the CPRA taxes). While Columbia may be getting preferential treatment in library funds, its children have the dubious honor of being sentenced to some of the lowest performing schools in the county (with the exception of River Hill).

Check out these videos:

(full length)

Click on the "On Demand" button below the TV screen, scroll down to "Choice Denied documentary" and click on the clip that comes up.

2:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home