“Smooth Jazz, Smooth Beverage, Smooth Ship….”
Those were the words in the cartoon accompanying the Howard County Times Editorial Board’s latest editorial used to describe the County Executive’s 2017 State of the County address given last week at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon.
Never mind that the County Executive himself prefers Diet Dr. Pepper to an adult beverage, news of the editorial board’s positive review was taken very well among the Kittleman faithful Wednesday night.
The County Executive’s address kicked off with a short video that detailed several key Administration initiatives and featured scenes from the historic July 30th flood that ravaged much of Old Ellicott City and tragically took three lives.
Main Street has come back to life. 75 business have reopened & 9 more are committed to reopening. #HoCoSOTC #ECStrong #HoCoMD
— Allan H. Kittleman (@HoCoGovExec) February 16, 2017
By all accounts, the rebuild of Old Ellicott City has gone very well considering the widespread damage, in large part because the hard work and tireless effort of the residents and business owners of Main Street.
In addition to thanking them, the County Executive used the State of the County address to thank several key members of the business community for their important contributions.
One such individual was Pete Mangione, President of the Turf Valley Hotel & Conference Center. In the weeks after the flood, Mr. Mangione made commercial space inside Turf Valley available to displaced shop owners so they could have a place to operate and generate revenue.
The County Executive also thanked the members of the Howard County Council, and the State and Federal delegations, for their bipartisan support, as well as Governor Larry Hogan for being a strong partner in Ellicott City’s recovery.
Without the bipartisan partnership of Howard County’s elected representatives, the Kittleman Administration’s progress in Ellicott City surely would have been slowed.
Allan Kittleman didn’t veer from tradition when he delivered his remarks last week, proving once again he is a seasoned politician who continues to navigate a moderate, fiscally responsible course with a deft hand at dealing with crisis, whether it’s a deadly flood, a polarizing County Council debate over immigration policy or the managed ouster of a sheriff.
– Howard County Times Editorial Board (Feb. 22, 2017)
The Editorial board also tipped its hat to the Administration’s recent economic development plans focusing on the Columbia Gateway business district.
He embraced a fresh vision for downtown Columbia as it celebrates a golden anniversary, supported jobs programs and is calling for a new branding of the Columbia Gateway business and technology campus as a center of innovation and commerce.
But if we know the County Executive, we can bet he’s looking into the Editorial Board’s constructive suggestions that his Administration focus new resources on a residential treatment center to further combat the very real opioid-addiction crisis that storming many Maryland counties including Howard.
The County Executive had already called for an outpatient center in his upcoming capital budget request.
Kittleman deserved the moment to bask in the glow from a successful, prosperous county with low unemployment, a top-shelf school system and quality services and amenities. The state of the county is sound.
To read the editorial in its entirety, click here.
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