County Executive Ken Ulman proclaimed that Howard County’s investments in education, sustainability and public health have made it a model for the rest of the state in his State of the County address on Thursday.
Addressing a room filled with businesspeople at Turf Valley in Ellicott City, Ulman joked about social media and shouted-out to the Ravens. But he also focused on the county’s lowest unemployment rate in the state and its Triple-A bond rating.
“It is important to note that none of these accomplishments have been achieved by accident,” said Ulman. “They all happen by design. They are the result of the decisions we have made together.”
“Through our choices and our decisions, we have created a model for Maryland,” said Ulman.
In his speech, Ulman ran down the county’s recent accomplishments:
- Handling the derecho, superstorm Sandy and the Ellicott City train accident
- Distributing county news and information through social media
- Reducing violent crime and traffic fatalities
- Opening the new Glenwood fire station
- Attracting new business like ELTA and Accuvant
- Guiding development of Downtown Columbia
- Establishing a school safety task force and fighting bullying
Ulman expressed his gratitude to community members such as Cpl. Craig Ream, the Howard County police officer who selflessly pulled a woman from a burning vehicle while he was on his way to work, and Julie Rosenthal, the Columbia woman who organized a donation drive to help those in New York and New Jersey who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Throughout the speech Ulman used the tagline “model for Maryland” to describe the county's accomplishments.
“When we have a model for Maryland here in Howard County, we have an obligation to share it,” said Ulman, who may be a contender for governor in 2014. Ulman, 38, is term-limited and must step down from the county executive’s office in 2014.
“I thought the county executive did a really good job,” said Patrick Shurney, a senior vice president at Sandy Spring Bank in Columbia. “It sounded like he’s making his speech for governor.”
When Shurney was asked if he would vote for Ulman, he said, “I’m still undecided.”
Howard County Council member Courtney Watson said Ulman “did a great job highlighting everything that makes Howard County a leader in the state.”
The event, a tradition in the county, also doubled as a fundraiser for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
“It was fantastic,” said Duane A. Carey, chair of the Howard Chamber of Commerce’s board about Ulman's speech. “He’s a great leader and communicator.”
When Casey was asked if he would vote for Ulman for governor, he said, “I’ll let you know when he announces.”
To read Ken Ulman's full State of the County address - click here.