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Howard County, CR10-2018 Rule Change, County Council Hearing

Hiruy Hadgu

On January 16th 2018, the County Council held a hearing on a resolution to reduce the testimony time allowed representatives of a group to three minutes instead of the current five minutes in order to make meetings “efficient”. I think it will have the reverse effect and aggravate groups.

Watch video here:


Looking at the four bills that took up a lot of time and were considered contentious in 2017, this rule would have saved a meager 74 minutes out of the nearly 22 hours that the Council was in session holding hearings on those bills. Reducing this time will not make meetings efficient.

I did suggest to the Council they make a rule to prevent special interest participation during work sessions. In 2017, I watched in bewilderment as the builders groups and developers sat at the same table as the County Council during work sessions and provide talking points to influence outcome. While this may have taken place inadvertently, it still exists and needs to be addressed.