Tuesday, August 21, 2018

All Things Great and Small

I’ve written before about how much I appreciate the regular newsletters from my county council representative, Calvin Ball. The combination of frequent communication from his office plus the high level of constituent service has served to keep me engaged with the important goings-on in my community.

Well, sitting in my email inbox right now is the pièce de resistance of newsletters. It is the annual, back to school edition.

The Calvin Ball Bulletin, Back to School Edition

All the schools. All the things you need to know in one place. And it even includes information about Howard Community College!

A few things you’ll find:
  • School supplies
  • PTA info
  • School closing links 
  • BOE cluster assignments
  • Kindergarten registration 
  • Redistricting updates
But, as they say in the infomercials, that’s not all! Wait, there’s more! 

Take a look for yourself. These annual education-focused newsletters go back to 2013, lest you think this is an election-year gambit. If you want to be really impressed, take a look at the newsletter page of Dr. Ball’s County website at all the newsletters he’s been sending out as a part of his service to the community while on the County Council. It’s mind-boggling.

Why is this important to me? These newsletters are a part of a record of constituent service and community engagement that have made a meaningful impact throughout Dr. Ball’s years of service on the Council. Seeing one’s council member at a council meeting or at a political function is such a thin slice of what they do. Leadership is not about going places to see and be seen, although the burden of being obliged to do so weighs heavily upon public servants and candidates. 

Often the most accurate measure of leadership is that quiet, unglamorous work that goes on behind the scenes: listening, bringing people together, educating, informing, responding. Howard County blogger Bill Woodcock of The 53 blog talks about innovation and courage as crucial qualities in the upcoming County Executive race.  I agree.

But innovation and courage need roots to be meaningful and successful.

I’d add that those aren’t stand-alone qualities when it comes to Calvin Ball. They are inextricably linked to his years of getting to know his community and making constituent service and constituent education a priority. This means a lot to me. I’ve always known that I can trust him in the big things because, time and again, he has done his homework on the small things.

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