A Sustainable Future

Our people, our economy, our environment—

a sustainable future requires all three.

Joan testifying at a legislation hearing.
A voice for Howard County's residents.

County projects and policies that provide short term economic benefits to profit-driven interests should not overshadow the need to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Howard County. Joan Pontius will provide a voice for the county residents in the decision making process. Joan supports:

  • providing transparency by not accepting campaign donations from special interests;

  • increasing the weight of residents' input in county decisions affecting their neighborhoods;

  • strengthening the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) so that infrastructure is in place before the approval of new commercial and residential developments;

  • providing oversight to the enforcement of existing zoning regulations.

Environment and Land Use 

Joan believes we can meet the economic needs of the county without compromising our environment. The conversion of our open spaces to residential and commercial use is irreversible. Some changes have provided economic benefit only to special interests, while eroding the quality of life for many of the county's residents. ​Joan supports:

  • preserving our open spaces for agriculture, forest conservation, recreational use, and wildlife habitats;

  • protecting the safety of well-water and locally grown foods;

  • working with neighboring counties and the state to address the erosion of our waterways and negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay;

  • reduction of green house gas emissions as part of a climate action plan. 

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Education

Joan understands the importance of education for preparing students to succeed in college or in their careers.  Funding our public schools is consistently the county's largest budget item, yet school facilities remain overcrowded. Joan supports:

  • providing funding for new school construction to relieve overcrowding;

  • ensuring that homes and schools have access to high speed Internet for remote learning;

  • increasing technical training and opportunities for students who are not college-bound;

  • ensuring social diversity in our schools rather than approving housing developments that, through pricing or other restrictions, lead to segregated communities.

Housing

Residential development in Howard County has failed to provide economical housing for the majority of our residents, including essential workers, students, senior citizens, and individuals who are disadvantaged. Joan supports:

  • eliminating fee-in-lieu which allows developers to bypass requirements for low-cost housing;

  • strengthening the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) so that our infrastructure for new housing is in place before development;

  • promoting neighborhoods that reflect the diversity of our residents rather than segregated communities. 

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Local Business

Our small businesses are what make Howard County unique.  Residents are looking to our leadership to provide a vibrant marketplace that reflects the diversity of our residents. Joan supports:

  • incentives for local businesses, rather than outside interests;

  • promoting agriculture programs that increase food production and accessibility;

  • preservation of agricultural parcels to ensure farming as a livelihood for future generations in Howard County.