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Promoting Cycling In Howard County

Do you remember your first bike? I do! It was a red secondhand bike that was a surprise waiting for me in the kitchen on my 10th birthday. Before that, I always rode my brothers’ bikes. As one of six children, biking was a part of our daily existence. Biking or walking was our primary means of transportation to our friend’s houses, to after-school activities and to our jobs. The County has grown tremendously since those days, and biking is making a comeback thanks to investments in trails and pathways, bike racks on buses and other initiatives guided by the creation of a Bike Master Plan.

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Stewardship of our Resources

Today I released my vision for becoming better stewards of our natural resources. Under my administration, Howard County would reduce landfill waste, boost water and land protection, and promote energy efficiency and agricultural land protection, solidifying the county’s sustainability leadership in Maryland.

My sustainability platform sets ambitious but realistic goals for the next generation of achievements in Howard County.

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Building on the successes of our public safety program

Today, I introduced my vision for public safety in Howard County. The comprehensive program provides resources and flexibility to respond to emerging challenges, while leveraging technology to bolster community protection and improve efficiency of first responders.

I believe that the backbone of our quality in life in Howard County is public safety. The progress we have made in the past eight years is admirable. Howard County’s public safety system received national recognition for its performance during times of crisis. Now is the time to reassess and refocus for the future.

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Common Sense Gun Laws DO Matter in Howard County

This week, I released a new television ad that highlights my opponent’s dismal record on common sense gun legislation.

I believe it is important to the voters of Howard County to know where candidates stand on important issues and although my opponent has tried to distance himself from his record, we are holding him accountable to his own words, “Live on your record, be accountable on your record.” My opponent has earned an “A” rating from the NRA for his consistent votes against common sense gun measures.  I attach just a few of those votes at the bottom of this post for your review.

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Open and Transparent Government

Since my election to the County Council in 2006, I have introduced or supported more than 30 pieces of legislation designed to help create a more open and transparent government. Ensuring that citizens have open access to information to protect and promote their meaningful participation in the governing process is a core belief that has informed my past actions on the County Council and informs my future vision for government.

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And the next County Executive should be...

The next Howard County Executive should be someone with a deep history of involvement in the county, preferably with years of elected service to the people here. I want to vote for a candidate who is accessible to the average resident and who listens and communicates well.

All those things are true of both candidates Allan Kittleman and Courtney Watson.

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A page from my notebook

I've been taking notes throughout the campaign for County Executive. When I sat down last night to put them into some kind of shape for a blog post, they stubbornly resisted the usual treatment. So I'm just going to give it to you straight. These are the qualities that keep coming up when I examine Courtney Watson's candidacy:

Confident

Willing to listen

Sound judgement

Grounded, Good roots, yet

Reaching upwards and outwards

Willing to invest

Risk and balancing risk

Willing to work toward creative solutions that mean good policy--

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So What is New (Post Sun Debate CE Edition)

It has been a hectic and (potentially) extremely productive 24+ hours.

I couldn't attend the most recent Howard County Executive forum in person, but I followed it via live stream.  The feed was a little choppy and there were some shampoo commercials interspersed between the back-and-forth (frankly, the candidates should have done live reads, Allan Kittleman pitching Prell in front of an audience - in the middle of his remarks - would have been a hoot).  But here are my primary takeaways:

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County Exec: Kittleman defends record in debate with Watson

Republican Sen. Allan Kittleman was on the defensive for much of an hour-long debate with Democrat Courtney Watson in the race for Howard County executive Tuesday night, defending his record on school funding and public safety against aggressive criticism from Watson.

Kittleman also took his shots at the Howard County Council member for her support of the “rain tax” and other local tax hikes.

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Howard executive candidates share goals, differ on execution

Howard County executive candidates Courtney Watson and Allan Kittleman agreed Tuesday night that this year's election is critically important to the county's future.

Where they differed was over whose vision would best serve Howard residents.

"We've talked about a lot of issues tonight, we've talked about differences in opinions," Kittleman, a state senator from West Friendship and the Republican candidate, said. "Some of those issues are going to change, so you need to elect a person you're going to trust."

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