Dividing Howard

Are you a current or past resident of Howard County, Maryland? Have you ever wondered how Howard County’s current system of local government came into being? If so, my book Dividing Howard is for you. It tells the story of Howard County politics of the last fifty years, going all the way back to the creation of the planned community of Columbia, viewed through the prism of the establishment of the Howard County Council and the subsequent creation and redrawing of County Council districts.

It’s an entertaining and even exciting story that includes heated disputes between the Democratic and Republican parties, internal fights between factions within the Democratic party, epic battles for political power between Columbia and the rest of the county, both failed and successful petition drives and referendums, multiple court cases (including one featuring a former U.S. attorney general), and provocative quotes from Howard County politicians past and present. It’s a must for anyone interested in Howard County politics or Maryland politics in general.

Dividing Howard is available as an ebook for the Kindle from Amazon.com and for the Nook from Barnes and Noble, for the low price of $0.99. All royalties from the book go to Voices for Children, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Howard County. Voices for Children recruits and trains volunteer advocates to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Howard County Courts.

If you don’t have a Kindle or Nook device you can read Dividing Howard using the Kindle or Nook applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets, available at no charge from the application stores for those devices. Don’t have a smartphone or tablet? You can use the Kindle or Nook applications for PC or Mac instead; just google “Kindle PC,” “Nook Mac,” and so on to find the application of your choice.

4 thoughts on “Dividing Howard

  1. Angela Beltram

    When the people voted to have districts, it was opposed by many people who realized that since the County Council sits as the Zoning Board, there was no way that four out of five could be held “accountable” for the actions of the majority. “Accountability” is the word people use who continue to support the Council as the Zoning board. There have been proposals to have a “Hearing Officer” who would be an “expert” in land use Maryland law and who would be much stricter that an elected Board who sometimes make “political” decisions on land use.

    There also has been some support for expanding the Council to 7 members with two running at large. That way, those two would have a “global” view of issues in the County and at the same time provide the citizens with a potential choice of voting for three ( a district represenative and two additional at large). I believe this will occur next time.

    For all the ballyhooing from the black community and the Republicans, they got what they wanted — districts. As stated by you and by me, personally at the hearings on the proposed idea of “districts” for School Board, I stated that C. Vernon Gray was elected over 25 years ago without “districts” and continued again to do so.

    So…I may not be around for the “next time” but you may remember these arguments.

  2. Pingback: Howard County executives and council redistricting « Frank Hecker

  3. Pingback: Beyond term limits for the Howard County Council « Frank Hecker

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