Listening Sessions

During County Executive Calvin Ball’s transition into office in December 2018 and January 2019, he held a series of listening sessions to learn from county residents about their hopes and dreams for the future of Howard County. A total of 828 residents participated in the process, with 235 sending in their thoughts online or via email; 25 participating in a live Twitter chat, and 568 participating in sessions held at 9 different locations throughout the county.

“The sessions brought to the surface individual concerns and ideas, as well as  themes and trends in specific regions and across the county. The information gleaned from the sessions will be extremely valuable. This wealth of information is helping to shape our shared priorities for the years ahead,” stated County Executive Calvin Ball. “I am beyond appreciative to the residents who took the time and energy to be a part of this process, and look forward to our continued collaboration as we prioritize projects and resource allocation in alignment with our collective vision for the county.”

While topics raised by residents crossed into almost every operational area of government, some of the most frequent themes (in order of prominence) were in the following areas:

  •   Community planning and development 
  •   Public school system programs and operations
  •   Environmental sustainability and stewardship initiatives
  •   Traffic, pedestrian, and bike safety
  •   Aging in place and programs for independent living
  •   Public works initiatives
  •   Affordable housing
  •   Ellicott City flood mitigation
  •   Public school system overcrowding


The insights from the listening sessions are summarized in the linked infographic.