QUESTION: Should members of the Howard Coutny Council generally follow the lead of the county executive?
D. Susan Scheidt is unopposed
Charles C. Feaga
John W. Taylor Charles C. Feaga 11305 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City Age: 57 Incumbent
Partner, beef and grain farm, Maribeth Farm, Ellicott City; elected, Howard County Council, 1986; sponsored, CB-28 Bicycle Helmet Legislation; CB-22 Howard County Right to Farm Legislation; CB-35 Legislation requiring notification of adjacent property owners before constructing water/sewer projects; past president, Howard County Farm Bureau; Howard County Republican Club; past chairman, Howard County Election Board; past member, Howard County Charter Review Commission; civic association memberships, Glenelg PTSA, St. Louis Home School Association; Glennwood Lions; West Howard Civic Association; Cancer Society; Agricultural Land Preservation Criteria Commission; educated, St. Louis Parochial School, Clarksville; graduated, Ellicott City High School.
A. No. Our charter government is designed to sustain and promote two branches of government. The council should be legislative in nature. The executive should be managerial, primarily in budget expertise. The two bodies then offer checks and balances where appointments to commissions, approval of expenditures and legislation are concerned. A council obligated to support the executive branch lends itself to machine politics and two branches of government would not be needed. An independent council is more responsive to citizen input. The council also sits in quasi-judicial matters such as the Zoning Board and the Liquor Board. This is healthy as the five council members represent five distinct areas of the county free of executive influence. The executive, in turn, can focus his expertise in areas such as highway improvements, construction of schools and the infrastructure needed by county residents. John W. Taylor 6528 Prestwick Dr., Highland Age: 35
Manager, advanced systems development, Westinghouse Electric Corporation; MBA, 1985; BS, business administration, 1980; BS, electrical engineering, 1978; experience in engineering, planning, budgeting, and resource management; president, Howard Countians for Responsible Growth, 1989-90; president, Rural Conservation Coalition, 1988; secretary, Howard County Citizens Association, 1989; board member, Coalition of Community Associations, 1990; member, Fulton/Highland/Clarksville Civic Association, 1989-90; married; one child.
A. Cooperative efforts between the County Council and the county executive are desirable. I feel, however, that the first obligation of each council member is to regularly meet with and represent his or her constituents, not simply to follow the lead of the county executive. In several cases over the last four years in Howard County, the lead of the executive has been inconsistent with the best interests of the citizens. The County Council has often served as a check and balance on the executive, and should continue in that role. As a councilman, I would take the lead in working toward slower growth, rural conservation, and stricter ethics legislation for Howard County. I would not wait for the executive to introduce legislation on those topics. I would take the lead in those areas, and work vigorously for them.