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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Praise of Government--Really!

The political culture today is that the government is the problem with what we are experiencing in our country today. The "reduce the government and solve all our problems" crowd seems to be following the Tea Party philosophy. Haven't we been here before? As Ronald Reagan once said "Government is not the solution government is the problem." Demagoguery about government is popular. In this political climate it is refreshing to have our County and State elected officials quietly going about the job of governing without the dramatics. As we look at the scandals that have hit Baltimore and Prince Georges County we can appreciate the good government officials here in Howard County. I can’t really remember ever hearing of any hint of scandal from one of local elected officials. And maybe Maryland can finally get over our sad past of the Mandel and Agnew time.

Having been a Howard County employee for over 25 years and getting to know many of the elected officials I found them to be dedicated and accessible. I will never forget how Chuck Ecker was so down to earth. We used to have Office on Aging staff member on the lookout for him when he would come to visit one of our senior centers because he would come in in his quiet manner, mingle with the seniors and be gone sometimes before we knew he had been there. Not many officials would be as uninterested in being formally recognized. Plus he even invited every County employee to his office for coffee just to hear their comments about how things were working in the County. Republican or Democrat our County Execs and County Council have been models of what you want in our officials.

The excellence of our schools has many causes but the diligence and hard work of the dedicated School Board members should not be overlooked. I have never talked to any of them without sensing how dedicated to our students they were.

The quality of elected officials that represent Howard County at the Federal level is equally noteworthy. Our past senators like Mathias and Sarbarnes and our present senators Mikulski and Cardin set an example that I wish the rest of the country would imitate.

So as we hear the childish behavior of officials in DC, which will only intensify as we approach the next election season in 2012, we can be proud that we don’t contribute to the low standard of Congressional politics. If you see one of our elected officials in the near future tell them you appreciate the work they have been doing that has brought Howard County so much positive recognition.

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