Jon was elected to the Howard County Council in 2014. He has been selected by his colleagues to serve as Vice Chairman during his first two years and as Chairman in his third year on the Council. Jon’s time in office has been highlighted by his independent leadership style, working hard to represent his constituents and the best interests of the whole county. Jon prides himself on thoughtfully and thoroughly considering the many sides of every issue, proposed legislation, and ideas from the community and colleagues. As Chair, he has presided over some of the most contentious and largest attended public hearings in recent memory. People participating during these hearings have commented on Jon’s approach and commitment to making sure anyone wanting to be heard has the opportunity. Jon’s leadership and stamina were tested, though proved undaunted during the recovery efforts since the tragic flood in Ellicott City in July 2016. His approach to his first term is indicative of his commitment to working hard for the people in District 1 and throughout Howard County.
A bit about Jon’s first term on the County Council…
Jon believes that the role of elected officials is to provide “Responsive and Responsible Representation.” The opportunities and challenges facing Howard County require a Council member who has the ability, credibility, and relationships to work effectively with constituents, community leaders, elected representatives, and government personnel around the county and state. Jon’s years of experience as a business owner, consultant, and facilitator working to improve local, state, and federal government organizations makes him uniquely qualified to serve on the County Council. He has demonstrated this approach to public service by working closely on issues, policies, and legislation important to District 1 and Howard County with his Council colleagues, County Executive, and members of our State and Federal Delegations.
Jon will continue to listen carefully to the needs of our community and will work closely with other County, State, and Federal officials to benefit our district. He has been the only member of the County Council to establish a “Community Cabinet” with representatives from District 1 HOAs, informal neighborhood associations, and relevant county-wide groups; meeting regularly to exchange information and ideas on important issues.
As an elected public servant, Jon will continue to…
Work tirelessly to make sure education remains a top priority for our county. He has pushed successfully for funding for a new high school, promoting state legislation to restructure the Board of Education to be more responsible and representative of the communities they serve, and more.
Make sure our public safety personnel have the training, tools, and resources they need to be the best in the state and keep pace with the demands of our growing and diverse community. Jon took a bi-partisan approach to promote successfully new state legislation and co-sponsor new local legislation to combat human trafficking, supported funding for a body camera pilot program, and more.
Promote and expand Howard County’s economy and making it a focal point for investment in business and the advancement of emerging industries and research in the areas of biotechnology, cyber-security, and renewable energy. Jon supported several efforts to increase renewable energy projects and programs, and created a county-wide “Economic Opportunity and Prosperity Task Force” to conduct a comprehensive review and present recommendations for policies, programs, and legislation to improve the County’s economic environment for all its residents and businesses.
Apply his experience and expertise to improve the efficiency, accountability, and transparency of our government. Jon passed legislation and a change to the Howard County charter to enable greater transparency and better decision-making in the budget process.
A bit more about Jon’s background…
Jon and his wife, Margaret chose Howard County as the best place to raise their two sons, Zach (Mt. Hebron HS 2009) and Ben (Mt. Hebron HS 2014). Jon’s experience as a parent, volunteer, and as a business owner has helped bring a unique perspective to the Howard County Council. Our quality of life is good, and Jon worked to make it even better. That’s why Jon has worked tirelessly to represent you.
Jon has embraced leadership roles starting in high school and throughout his adult life. He enrolled in Dickinson College after graduating from Wantagh High School in New York. Jon was inspired by two people early in life his grandmother, Bess and an actor, Hugh O’Brian . Grandma Bess was a Russian immigrant who shared her love for America and her belief that citizens should give back to their country and community. Jon met and then worked for Hugh O’Brian through his youth leadership organization [www.HOBY.org]. Hugh, like his grandmother, encouraged Jon to seek a life of service. Bess and Hugh fueled Jon’s desire to serve and led him to join the Army ROTC program. He discovered his passion for service and politics while at Dickinson, where he hosted a political commentary radio show and was active in campus political organizations. Jon later transferred to Boston University, where he organized students to become active members of the college community. Graduating in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, Jon was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. Soon after college, Jon married his high school sweetheart, Margaret.
Jon then moved to Washington, D.C. to earn his Master’s Degree in International Studies at American University. During this time he began his service in the Military Police Reserves. Jon served as a company training officer in the 220th MP Brigade HHC, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
He has served in leadership positions for local and statewide community organizations, including the Maryland Youth Leadership Seminar (Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation), HopeWorks, and local youth sports organizations. Jon was honored by HOBY in 2017 with their national Alumni Excellence Award, given to a alumn who has demonstrated leadership in their community. In 2005, Jon co-founded Line of Sight, a management consulting firm focused on improving performance in government organizations. In 2017, Jon achieved one of his key goals in starting Line of Sight, to give his employees a chance at ownership. His company merged with an employee-owned firm, becoming a division of The Newberry Group where Jon serves as the Executive Director.