This afternoon, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will deliver his final State of the County address at Turf Valley in Ellicott City.
According to a draft of the speech, Ulman will look back on his seven years in the county's top post and reflect upon accomplishments, including the construction of an intercounty broadband network, public/private sector partnerships forged by the county's Economic Development Authority, environmental efforts such as the creation of a food scrap recycling program, opening of new school facilities, planning for revitalization of the Route 1 and Route 40 corridors and progress on improvements in historic Ellicott City and development in downtown Columbia.
Ulman will credit the county's successes to "smart investments," "bold initiatives" and "ambitious goals" during his term, which began after the one-term County Council member was elected to the county executive seat in 2006 at age 32.
He will point to the county's low unemployment numbers and nationally ranked schools and library system to make his case.
The county executive, whose final term will come to a close at the end of this year, will also announce plans to include funding for mental health first aid training and additions to the police force in his fiscal year 2015 budget, in response to January's shooting at the Mall in Columbia that left three people dead, including the shooter, who police have said had mental health issues.
Ulman's speech is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. The annual event is sponsored by the county's Chamber of Commerce.