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Thursday •  May 26, 2022

HoCo Watchdogs Newsletter

Issue # 6

Welcome to the sixth issue of the HoCo Watchdogs newsletter!  This newsletter provides a concise list of articles, videos & social media posts for you to stay well informed about important Howard County, Maryland issues such as public school policies, land use & development, and county governance.


Staying informed is a community effort! If you have content to recommend for a future HoCo Watchdogs newsletter, please send the title & link to .


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Articles / Blog Posts

authored by HoCo Watchdogs, 04/21/2022


An investigation of how Howard County Executive Calvin Ball hired and gave unusually generous pay increases over three years to his family member who was simultaneously being paid as Ball’s election campaign manager, and how this family member proceeded to repeatedly and wrongly deny the public release of hundreds of emails related to correspondence between the County Executive and private developer attorneys & lobbyists.

authored by HoCo Watchdogs, 05/12/2022


An initial examination of the legal deposition of Howard County Executive Calvin Ball’s Executive Liaison & election campaign manager, given as part of a lawsuit that resulted from her wrongly denying the public release of hundreds of emails related to correspondence between the members of the Ball Administration and a private land use attorney & developer lobbyist.

authored by Bryan Renbaum, 04/14/2022


A discussion about how Howard County Executive Calvin Ball paid four county employees (members of his core Administration team) more than $101,000 to do consulting work for his re-election campaign with more than half of that money going to his sister-in-law.

authored by Allana Haynes, 05/17/2022


Details about a concerning study by HCPSS that anticipates that at least 30 Howard County public schools will soon be over-capacity (by the standards set by the county’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance) if residential development trends continue as planned.

published by HoCo by Design, May 2022


HoCo By Design is Howard County’s next General Plan update, providing a long-term vision for the next 20 years in the County. This is the latest draft chapters for this plan, released for community review and feedback, with the theme of “Respecting and Prioritizing Community Character”.

published by Lisa Markovitz, May 2022


A critical examination of the first draft chapter of Howard County’s next ten-year General Development Plan (“HoCo By Design”), entitled ““Dynamic Neighborhoods: Maintaining and Supporting Vibrant Living for a More Equitable Future”.

Videos & Other News

2022 PTA Council of Howard County Board of Education Candidate Forum

May 11, 2022

2022 Asian American Communities Candidate Forums

May 14, 2022

County Executive Candidates

County Council Districts 1 & 4 Candidates

HCPSS Board of Education Candidates

Deciphering Campaign Finance Reports in MD 

In partnership with Our Revolution Howard County (ORHoCo), the Progressive Democrats of Howard County (PDHC) present this two part series on how to find and decipher what’s in a campaign finance report.

By law, candidates running for elected office are required to submit campaign finance reports disclosing who is donating to them and how much. In this two part series, Nicole Dvorak walks participants through the process of finding the reports and understanding what’s in them.

Part 1

Part 2

No Developer Money / No Dark Money Campaign Pledge

“I pledge not to accept developer or dark money during the 2022 election cycle.”


Special interest political donations have been corrupting both major political parties and decision-making processes in Howard County politics for far too long.  All candidates running for public office in Howard County are encouraged to sign this pledge and commit to not accepting political campaign donations from past & present Howard County real estate development companies, their affiliated principal, legal, public relations & political partners and any other anonymous/dark money sources.


So far, the following local political candidates have signed the No Developer Money / No Dark Money Campaign Pledge:

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