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Letter: County Executive Calvin Ball’s veto of ICE contract bill is disappointing | READER COMMENTARY

Disappointed by veto of ICE contract bill

I am writing regarding CB51 sponsored by Liz Walsh and Deb Jung and supported by Christiana Mercer Rigby, and to express my displeasure of the rejection by Opel Jones, David Yungmann, and veto by County Executive Calvin Ball (“Howard County Executive Calvin Ball vetoes council bill that would have ended county’s contract with ICE,” Oct. 9).

CB51 was passed by our three female council members. What a profound difference in leadership between men and women. Women are intuitive, take initiative and promote the wellness of their communities. They lead by moral and ethical reasoning. It would behoove our male council members to listen. It baffled me why Opel Jones ignored the testimony from his district, which overwhelmingly supported the bill. His constituents clearly expressed that they did not want Howard County to have a contract with ICE.

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David Yungmann was the most transparent in his no vote, indicating it was all about the money the county receives from ICE. This likely was the case with Ball and Jones, although a bit more nuanced with a wink and a nod. All three displayed more of a transactional thought process; they seemed to focus on the money, not the will of their constituents. I believe this to be a grave mistake.

People move to a community based on values. How a community presents itself speaks volumes. Those who have chosen to live in Howard County want to live in a tolerant community where many different races and nationalities peacefully coexist, not one that promotes fake “law and order,” sells fear and demonizes those who are different. There is no upside to Howard County residents by this veto. It ignores the moral high road we have come to expect in Howard County. Money, as the saying goes, is the root of all evil. This veto was evil. ICE is not the good guy, and our residents are not the bad guys.

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Mr. Ball, please rethink your position. Our community will sigh with relief. Liz Walsh, Deb Jung and Christiana Mercer Rigby, I applaud your courage. Bringing this bill forward was a humanitarian action, exemplifying the moral leadership Howard County residents expect from the council.

Nadine Bernard

Laurel



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