June 2018 Meeting Minutes

June 5, 2018
Approx. 30 in attendance
Meeting opened @ 7:30 p.m.
Glory Days Restaurant, Ellicott City

A.  President Report – Sue Geckle

Member Al Leibeskind thanked everyone for their condolences for this son’s death.
New members introduced themselves.
Sue introduced elected officials and candidates running for office.
There was a motion and a second to approve the minutes from May 2018.
July event – summer picnic – July 15, 2018, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
August 7th – volunteer at Howard County Fair Democrat booth
Bryan Coster, Vice President, introduced the slate of officers running for the board of the club.
The new officers are Sue Geckle as president, Akbi Yusufzai as Vice President, Rick Corkran as treasurer, and Karin Emery as secretary. Sue thanked the board members rolling off, Lisa and Bryan Coster.
Lewis  – Democrat Club of UMBC, working for Rich Madaleno, also greeted the crowd.

B.  Treasurer's Report

May: Dues $115 were paid as the only income. One expense – Carroll County full-page ad for DCC Victory Dinner - $150. Balance $ 5,376.73

C.  Program

State Senator Ed Kasemeyer – update on the 2018 legislative session

Graduate of Howard High School and a former member of the HoCo Democratic Central Committee and the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. He is retiring after eight terms in the Senate. He is a self-described moderate.

Questions from the audience:

  1. Transfer tax for Howard County – the bill never made it out of committee, but he said it wasn’t a good idea.
  2. Evolution of Md taxes – Are state residents prepared for the increase? Only nine percent of residents will pay more than before when you net it against the federal cuts. Marylanders can still claim personal exemptions. 46% of residents itemize which is high for a state. Prediction is that 700,000 more state tax payers will take standard deductions. Also passed earned income tax credit. MD got $400 million from federal tax benefits.
  3. Election of the governor - Can we unite behind an attractive candidate? Lots of Democrats are voting for Gov Hogan. We need moderation in a democratic candidate to compete.
  4. Why don’t more democratic gubernatorial candidates talk about health care? He thinks they all care about health care.
  5. Kirwan Commission – Education recommendation known as Thornton passed 13 years ago. It needs to be updated. It is the successor, but it didn’t complete its task last year.  MD is the middle of the pack now, not at the top. Massachusetts is the envy of the county in education as number one. Kirwan Commission will cost up to $2 billion but how are we going to do it?
  6. What happened to all the gambling money? The lottery money was never dedicated – it just went into the general fund. Fifty percent of the casino money was supposed to go to education, but it went elsewhere.  There is a constitution amendment that says the monies must go to education. Sports betting is not a huge money maker.
  7. Education - we spend too much to be near the bottom. We need to be more rigorous. It’s not just about money.
  8. In what arenas do you see waste? He hasn’t seen ill-gotten gains. We have legislative auditors. But, there are weaknesses at local government level.
  9. Post-retirement plans – Joining the board of McDaniel College as he is an alumnus. He will also volunteer for Neighbor Ride.

Gary Smith – County councilman Jon Weinstein’s representative addressed the crowd. He says Weinstein is consumed with the flood recovery efforts. Handouts were provided to describe what is needed for the flood recovery efforts. This will be a different conversation than in 2016, i.e. What and if to rebuild and how. Councilman Weinstein did push for a freeze of development that didn’t pass.

D.  New Business

Meet and Greet for independent Central Committee candidates Thursday, June 7 at Linden Hall. 7 – 9 p.m.
Signs handed out from Rich Madaleno
Jan Oliver volunteered to chair the picnic in July.
Need a chair for precincts to act a liaison with campaigns.
New VP, Akbi, thanked Bryan Coster for his leadership.
The next meeting is the summer picnic, July 15, 4 – 7 p.m. Alpha Ridge Park.
The meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Lisa B. Coster, secretary