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The Grapes of Math - Howard Hughes Style

There are several proposals out there regarding how the development of Downtown Columbia will proceed. The Howard Hughes Corporation (HH) has presented information in the deal they would like to have that reminds me of the Howard County School System's budget request. HH was authorized to build 5500 residential units in downtown Columbia, and supposedly needs big favors from the County to do it. Even though 5500 units is already high-density development, and will be very lucrative for the developer, HH is demanding the following perks: an additional 1000 units, reduction of the typical requirements for provision of affordable housing, waiver of Housing Commission fees of $30 million, and a l

Highlights for Sharing!

Thursday night, hundreds of people showed up for the Board of Education's public hearing on several topics, including the budget. Teachers and staff wore red, parents and supporters wore blue. Many held signs outside asking the Board not to attempt to alter the negotiated contract with teachers, claiming it wasn't funded, which isn't true. It was truly a magnificent evening of community consensus the likes of which I haven't seen since, well since April's primary. In the aftermath Friday morning, Dr. Foose was quoted in the press saying that they never intended not to keep the teachers' contracts intact. HUH? Nevermind what they have been saying for weeks, including O'Connor's Council tes

Budge It... Fudge it...

As you may have seen, Superintendent Foose asked for a massive increase in the School Budget, which already receives 60% of the Howard County budget. I support, as do most others, fully funding all the necessary expenses needed to run our stellar school system (which will remain stellar due to the change in the Board of Education members from the Primary Election, but that's for another post). For now, the Council is reviewing the Executive's budget for the HCPSS, and will vote soon on whether or not to pass it. All this raises the question of what expenses are actually "necessary"? This is the question facing the Council, as CE Kittleman feels there is a lot of fat that can be cut from the