January 2018 Meeting Minutes

January 9, 2018

In attendance: 28

Meeting opened @ 7:30 p.m.

Glory Days Restaurant, Rt. 40, Ellicott City

A.  President Report – Sue Geckle welcomed and introduced all the elected officials, as well as the candidates. Ward Marrow announced he is running for the Orphan’s Court.

Sue read a synopsis of the proposed change to section three of the by-laws regarding voting on endorsements. Discussion ensued about specifying attendance at meetings in the same calendar year. The change was approved, with four people voting against it. It may be addressed in the future to be amended, again to specify a number or meetings rather than meetings in the calendar year.

November 2017 minutes are on the website and were approved.

Next three meetings will be held at Linden Hall in Columbia because we expect a large crowd due to the forum and endorsement process. If we cancel a meeting due to bad weather, we will move the endorsement meeting to May.

A committee is being formed to determine the format of the endorsement meetings. Rick Corkran and Bryan Coster will serve and are looking for more members.

This club will automatically endorse an unopposed Democrat running for office, unless there are extenuating circumstances. We will invite District 12 candidates, as well as the Central Committee (but may only have the CC speak but not vote to endorse them.) The CDC is not endorsing Central Committee candidates this year.

B. Treasurer's report – Balance is $2,172.23; $305 in dues collected in December. We took out an ad in the Unity Dinner Program (1-10-18) for $225. We also have a new host of the website, for a fee of $275 for two years, plus a maintenance fee.

C. Program - Howard County Council chair Jon Weinstein, District 1, presented a wrap up of the council’s 2017 business. He is up for re-election and his website is: (www.vote4jon.com)He was the chair of the council in 2017. These are the highlights:

  • Encouraging aging in place
  • CB30 – formalizing campaign finance bill
  • Tax credits for seniors
  • Main Street (and elsewhere) flood recovery
  • Formed the Economic and Prosperity task force – look at county holistically, started in October 2017 (meetings are public)
  • FAA issue regarding the plane noise occurring along the Route 1 corridor - to sue the FAA
  • Laws to improve the way in which police can investigate human trafficking in Howard County, including the massage parlors
  • Mulching bill is being amended; zoning process requiring zoning and planning personnel to attend meetings; strengthening the rental community as the county doesn’t have a strong advocacy process; increasing the fines for animal abuses – law enforcement needs to witness the problem
  • Board of Education: four seats are up for election on the board of education. The two candidates who receive the most votes will serve for four years and will be at- large members. The two new members will serve for two years, along with the other members on the board.
  • Capital Projects: the former Bendix building on Route 108 is being repurposed as the Howard County courthouse. The current courthouse could be repurposed for something else. A new detention center will be built behind the current detention center.
  • New Federal Tax Lax: hard to predict what the implications will be. The state will be paying the county much less over next few years, so it is a big concern.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lisa B. Coster, secretary