Guide to Howard County 2021: Government and elected officials

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball speaks at the dedication of Heroes Grove at Howard County General Hospital to the caregivers and staff who are on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball speaks at the dedication of Heroes Grove at Howard County General Hospital to the caregivers and staff who are on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Howard County’s government operates a school system, a police department with nearly 500 sworn officers, a fire department, a water and sewer system, a landfill and six branch libraries that have the highest per-capita circulation rate in the state.

The county raises money principally from property and income taxes and employs more than 3,000 people in government services, public safety, facilities and community services. Fifty-one percent of the county’s budget of almost $1.2 billion this fiscal year will pay for the county’s public schools, which are overseen by seven elected members of the Howard County Board of Education. The school system employs more than 8,500 people and serves nearly 59,000 students.


County Executive Calvin Ball and members on the five-seat County Council were elected in 2018 for four-year terms.

Columbia Association

The Columbia Association is a private, nonprofit corporation that resembles a local government, recreation business and civic organization rolled into one. Its board of directors is elected by property owners and the residents of Columbia’s 10 villages.


Supported by two major revenue sources — annual property owners’ fees and membership fees charged for programs and services — CA operates a broad scope of facilities such as parks, pathways, pools, tennis courts and golf courses, and maintains nearly 3,600 acres of open space, including 95 miles of walking, jogging and biking pathways.

CA owns all the village community association offices and neighborhood centers, and its covenants filter down to the neighborhood level. Each Columbia village has its own community association and resident-elected village board, which addresses neighborhood issues and can serve as advocates on behalf of residents.

County executive

Calvin Ball, Democrat



County Council

410-313-2001, cc.howardcountymd.gov

Liz Walsh, D-District 1, @WalshforOne

Opel Jones, D-District 2, @OpelJones

Christiana Mercer Rigby, D-District 3, @councilwomancmr

Deb Jung, D-District 4, @CouncilDeb

David Yungmann, R-District 5, @YungmannDavid


County citizens are represented in the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis by three senators and eight delegates from three legislative districts. Each serves a four-year term.

Local members of the Maryland General Assembly

410-841-3000, mgaleg.maryland.gov

District 9

State Sen. Katie Fry Hester, Democrat, 410-841-3671, @katiefryhester

District 9A

Del. Trent M. Kittleman, Republican, 410-841-3556, @TrentKittleman

Del. Reid Novotny, Republican, 410-841-3582, @reidnovotny

District 9B

Del. M. Courtney Watson, Democrat, 410-841-3077, @courtneywatson1

District 12

State Sen. Clarence K. Lam, Democrat, 410-841-3653, @ClarenceLamMD

Del. Eric D. Ebersole, Democrat, 410-841-3328, @ericebersole

Del. Jessica Feldmark, Democrat, 410-841-3205

Del. Terri L. Hill, Democrat, 410-841-3378

District 13

State Sen. Guy J. Guzzone, Democrat, 410-841-3572, @GuyGuzzone

Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, Democrat, 410-841-3471, @VAtterbeary

Del. Shane Pendergrass, Democrat, 410-841-3139

Del. Jen Terrasa, Democrat, 410-841-3246, @JenTerrasa

U.S. Senate

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat, 202-224-4654, @ChrisVanHollen

Sen. Ben Cardin, Democrat, 202-224-4524, @SenatorCardin

U.S. House of Representatives

Maryland 2nd District

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Democrat

202-225-3061, @Call_Me_Dutch

Maryland 3rd District

Rep. John Sarbanes, Democrat

202-225-4016, @RepSarbanes

Maryland 7th District

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Democrat

202-225-4741, @RepKweisiMfume


Office of Public Information

410-313-2022, TRS 711, howardcountymd.gov/departments

Animal Control & Adoption Center

8576 Davis Road, Columbia

Board of Elections

Bureau of Environmental Services (trash and recycling)

Alpha Ridge Landfill, 2350 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville

Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits

Fire and Rescue

410-313-6000 (non-emergency), hcdfrs.org

Maryland Access Point

410-313-1234, howardcountymd.gov/map

Motor Vehicle Administration

Columbia Express Office, 6490 Dobbin Road, Columbia

Office of ADA Coordination

410-313-6431, howardcountymd.gov/ada

Police Department

General inquiries: 410-313-3200

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