Thomas P. Carbo

Howard County Hous­ing Com­mis­sion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor ad­vo­cated for af­ford­able res­i­dences in down­town Columbia

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Thomas P. Carbo, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Howard County Hous­ing Com­mis­sion who worked for af­ford­able hous­ing in down­town Columbia, died of a heart at­tack Friday at his Bear Creek-Dun­dalk home. He was 57.

Born in Bal­ti­more and raised in Ca­tonsville, he was the son of Ed­ward and Bar­bara Ann Carbo. He was a 1977 grad­u­ate of Ca­tonsville High School.

He earned a de­gree in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence de­gree from the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more County. He was also a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land School of Law.

He met his fu­ture wife, Jean Mi­lani, at a meet­ing of the Young Democrats of Bal­ti­more County.

He joined the of­fice of the Mary­land at­tor­ney gen­eral in 1984. In 1989, he be­came a Howard County so­lic­i­tor. He went on to be­come Howard County’s la­bor re­la­tions co­or­di­na­tor and a hear­ing ex­am­iner for the county’s Board of Ap­peals.

In 2006, then-County Ex­ec­u­tive Ken Ul­man named him deputy di­rec­tor of the county’s Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment. In 2012, Mr. Ul­man ap­pointed him di­rec­tor of that depart­ment and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hous­ing Com­mis­sion.

As a county at­tor­ney, Mr. Carbo helped write the law that cre­ated the com­mis­sion, whose mis­sion in­cludes cre­at­ing lower-in­come hous­ing.

“He com­bined smarts and the ded­i­ca­tion of a true pub­lic ser­vant,” said Mr. Ul­man. “Find­ing av­enues to af­ford­able and work­force hous­ing is a hard thing to do. Con­duct­ing that con­ver­sa­tion with com­mu­nity groups is not an easy task.

“I saw him stand­ing in front of com­mu­nity groups. He did it with a great de­meanor, and he de­liv­ered re­sults,” Mr. Ul­man said. “He had the tem­per­a­ment for it, and he had a trans­ac­tional mind.

“I can take you to places in Howard County that would not be there with­out Tom’s work,” he added. “He left us too young, but he left his mark on Howard County.”

In 2011, Mr. Carbo ap­peared at a pub­lic meet­ing in El­li­cott City to ex­plain the re­con­struc­tion of the 43-year-old Hill­top pub­lic hous­ing com­plex. The Bal­ti­more Sun re­ported: “The key, Carbo said, is to build high-qual­ity homes in a de­sir­able lo­ca­tion and hire strong man­age­ment.”

Howard County Ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan H. Kit­tle­man said in a state­ment, “Tom was a passionate ad­vo­cate and cham­pion who worked tire­lessly to cre­ate and ex­pand af­ford­able hous­ing pro­grams in Howard County.

“Un­der his lead­er­ship, the Hous­ing Com­mis­sion made con­sid­er­able strides, de­vel­op­ing model com­mu­ni­ties such as Monarch Mills and Burgess Mill Sta­tion, dou­bling home own­er­ship dur­ing the last eight years, ex­pand­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams and op­por­tu­ni­ties to new home­buy­ers and those seek­ing fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, and award­ing af­ford­able rental and own­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties to those in need,” Mr. Kit­tle­man said.

Mr. Carbo re­cently worked for a down­town Columbia af­ford­able hous­ing agree­ment. A 2015 Sun ar­ti­cle said he sup­ported such a plan “be­cause it would break up the con­cen­tra­tion of af­ford­able hous­ing else­where.” His col­leagues re­called Mr. Carbo’s per­son­al­ity.

“He was jovial, easy­go­ing and a ta­lented guy,” said Lon­nie Rob­bins, Howard County’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer and a friend for many years. “He was quite a good writer, too. He had a quick wit. He liked to help peo­ple and was a very car­ing per­son. I think that’s why he took the hous­ing job. He was a creative prob­lem-solver.”

He coached his daugh­ters’ soft­ball teams and en­joyed play­ing golf at Di­a­mond Ridge, at Deep Creek Lake and the Spar­rows Point Coun­try Club.

He was a de­voted Bal­ti­more Ori­oles fan and at­tended nu­mer­ous games.

A memo­rial foun­da­tion has been es­tab­lished in his name at the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Howard County.

A fu­neral Mass will be of­fered at 11 a.m. Satur­day at Sacred Heart of Mary Ro­man Catholic Church, 6736 Youngstown Ave., Bal­ti­more.

Sur­vivors in­clude his wife of 31 years, an ex­er­cise equip­ment re­pair ad­min­is­tra­tor; a son, Daniel Carbo of Bal­ti­more; two daugh­ters, Jaime Carbo of Glyn­don and Kris­ten Carbo Allen of Lau­rel; five brothers, Ed­ward Carbo of Clin­ton, Tenn., Wil­liam Carbo of Ca­tonsville, Paul Carbo of Cross Junc­tion, Va., Robert Carbo of Clay­ton, N.C., and Gor­don Gray of New York City; and two sis­ters, Mary Jane Carbo of Wash­ing­ton, N.C., and Su­san Bauer of Dublin, Ire­land. Thomas Carbo “was jovial, easy­go­ing and a ta­lented guy,” a long­time friend said.

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