County Executive discusses his common sense, bipartisan approach and cites first term successes
COLUMBIA, MARYLAND – Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman officially declared his intention to seek re-election in 2018. Joined by several hundred Howard County residents, Kittleman discussed his accomplishments and laid out key priorities for his administration.
“I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished together [thus far]. And I am very excited about what lies ahead,” said Kittleman. “There’s more to be done. I will continue to work hard to maintain our strong education system, to help create and retain jobs, to improve health, human and public safety services, and yes, push the fast-forward button so that we no longer wait 20 years to address the challenges of today.”
In his remarks, the popular County Executive continued the bipartisan tone he’s long been known for. “We’ve worked across the aisle to reach compromise on issues. And when some discord and distrust got in the way, I encouraged dialogue and civility to demonstrate that in this community, we look out for each other, protect each other, respect each other. We don’t ignore problems, we try to solve them.”
Kittleman also expressed his displeasure at the discourse seen at the federal level in Washington – a feeling shared by many Howard County residents – noting, “We don’t need or want Washington-style politics in Howard County. We want results, not the discord and dysfunction in Washington. Unfortunately, the politics of negativity are used when people don’t have anything positive to say about their candidacy. It didn’t work in 2014 and it will not work in 2018.”
Kittleman was elected to serve as Howard County’s 9th County Executive and sworn into office on December 1st, 2014.
Since taking office, the Kittleman Administration has earned high marks for turning around an inherited $16M budget deficit and closing with a $28M surplus just 24 months later through effective management and fiscal prudence. Kittleman also made good on his promise to invest in public school education.
Three years in a row, he has funded the top-ranked Howard County Public School System at more than the state’s required Maintenance of Effort level.
Most recently, he helped mediate a long-standing feud between the Board of Education and the former School Superintendent.
As Howard County Executive, Kittleman is known as a steady leader when challenges surmount. In addition to the strong fiscal management while advancing new initiatives, the administration’s management of the response and recovery after the historic flood on July 30 is an example of that leadership.
The County Executive earned praise from residents for his hands-on approach, which was evident in remarks at Monday night’s announcement event.
“There was a lot of uncertainty when [the flood happened], but the communication [Allan] and his team had was absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t imagine anyone handling the flood any better than him and his team did,” said Simon Cortes, owner of Ellicott City’s La Palapa Bar and Grill.
Cortes was joined on stage by Tammy Biedeman, owner of Sweet Elizabeth Jane of Ellicott City: “In a manner of minutes, I lost everything that I had build in five years. It was shocking and it was devastating, but it quickly became clear that Howard County was ready to handle this emergency. The human kindness shown to me by Allan Kittleman and all of the county officials is what I remember the most.”
“I got to see, up close, an amazing story of strength and resilience…I saw our community come together like never before to assist friends, neighbors, and strangers. It was an experience that I will never forget,” said Kittleman.
“Over the past ten months, the residents, business owners and property owners of Old Ellicott City have taught me the meaning of resiliency. They inspired not just our community, but also the entire world, with their refusal to allow that terrible flood to break them. And, now, Old Ellicott City is being rebuilt stronger than before, and it will continue to thrive for future generations.”
Cortes and Biedeman were joined by Columbia residents Mike and Joanne Davis of Wilde Lake who spoke about the Kittleman Administration’s work to advance the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia Plan.
“Allan and his team has been very, very successful since taking office in 2014,” said Mike Davis, citing Kittleman’s progress bringing affordable housing to downtown Columbia, making the new Bridge Columbia a reality, the dedication of the innovation district at Columbia Gateway, and the redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center.
“Today, we are so pleased that Merriweather now belongs to the community. Our thanks goes to Allan Kittleman and his team for closing the deal with the Howard Hughes Corporation to transfer Merriweather to the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission,” added Joanne Davis, a board member of the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission which recently took over ownership of Merriweather Post Pavillion,
Also speaking was former Board of Education Member and Chair Diane Mikulus, who was joined by her son Rick, a former student member of the Board of Education. “Allan’s commitment to education goes back before he was an elected official….I was impressed with Allan’s integrity…and he is a good friend to the special needs community in so many ways,” stated Diane Mikulis.
“Allan’s commitment to education goes back before he was an elected official….I was impressed with Allan’s integrity…and he is a good friend to the special needs community in so many ways,” stated Diane Mikulis.
Reverend Doug Sands of Church also voiced his support for Allan Kittleman.
“I got to know the Kittleman spirit for public service. I’ve come to say again, that I think if want to do the right thing…you’ll vote for Allan Kittleman.”
-Reverand Douglas Sands
Kittleman was introduced by his wife Robin and was joined by his sons Robby and James, and his daughter Mary.