At inaugurals for new county governments around the region, much of the talk centered on how government will have to make do with less.
When Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker assumed office last night at Howard High School in Columbia, he also assumed a projected deficit of $18 million. He promised a "lean government."
"It will not be easy," Ecker told the 800 people who attended the inaugural ceremonies for Ecker and the County Council. "Some of the public wants more and more services, yet they want the taxes cut. We all know this is impossible."
He asked for patience.
"There are no quick fixes, no Band-Aid solutions to the problems we face," Ecker said. "I wish I could wave a magic wand and come up with Utopia. But I can't."
Instead, he said, we must enlist all of our energies and creative abilities to find solutions.
Ecker said he has started by making cuts in his own office.