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IG Oversight Needs Transparent and Citizen-involved Approach

Indivisible Towson, a progressive grassroots, non-partisan organization with members from throughout Baltimore County, has urged County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. to expand his list of OIG work group members to include new, thoughtful voices. Their message to the County Executive follows. Thank you, County Executive Olszewski, for withdrawing the proposed bill intended to, among other things, establish an Office of the Inspector General Oversight Board … Continue reading IG Oversight Needs Transparent and Citizen-involved Approach

Developer Stranglehold Grows in Baltimore County

By David Plymyer. The Baltimore County Council seems gripped by a wave of nostalgia for the days of Spiro Agnew and Dale Anderson, former Baltimore County executives convicted of corruption. The council is stretching the limits of state law in an effort to install its seven members as de facto zoning czars in their respective districts. It is turning land use planning, zoning, and development review into … Continue reading Developer Stranglehold Grows in Baltimore County

Why Not Vote What You Mean?

By Peta Richkus. (In response to the Nov 20, 2020 Baltimore Sun article “Baltimore County Council rejects bill that affordable housing developer said would kill Towson project.”) The continuation of the Red Maple Place Development Hearing is next Wednesday, 12/16/2020, before a Baltimore County Administrative Law Judge. The virtual meeting is open to the public: anyone interested in testifying or presenting evidence at the hearing … Continue reading Why Not Vote What You Mean?

Bill No. 96-20: Important Step in Right Direction

By David Plymyer. I commend Councilman Julian Jones, Jr., and the other sponsors of Baltimore County Council Bill No. 96-20, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt for putting together a bill proposing meaningful, sensible reforms to policing by the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD). I believe that the proposed reforms will measurably improve the professionalism of the department without impeding its effectiveness. … Continue reading Bill No. 96-20: Important Step in Right Direction

Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

By Elizabeth Brown. This morning, August 28, 2020, Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. held a press conference to announce the introduction of seven distinct bills covering important aspects of police reform. After the Baltimore County Council unceremoniously tabled Jones’s earlier police reform bill, Bill 73-20, at the August 3, 2020 session, I was glad to hear that Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. would try again … Continue reading Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

Real Police Reform Needed Now

By Peta Richkus. You might think, with a single law that applies to all 142 law enforcement agencies in Maryland (LEOBR: the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights), there would be uniformity in policing. You would be wrong. The only thing that is uniform is the lack of oversight and accountability. Because of LEOBR, those police officers who do violate their oath to “protect and … Continue reading Real Police Reform Needed Now

A Chance to Reduce Crime: An Open Letter to Councilman Marks

By Fergal Mullally. On Tuesday, January 21st, Baltimore County Council will vote on the SAFE Act. If passed, the SAFE Act will require gun retailers in Baltimore County to make reasonable efforts to properly secure their stock of weapons. Legislation about guns is always controversial, and sends people to running to their ideological corners. But I urge you to consider this legislation from outside of … Continue reading A Chance to Reduce Crime: An Open Letter to Councilman Marks

Time to get rid of a relic of Baltimore County’s checkered past

By David Plymyer. Anyone unfamiliar with the extensive history of corruption in Baltimore County should read  Eyes of Justice, the recently published book by James Cabezas, a long-time investigator for the Maryland State Prosecutor. Baltimore County’s quadrennial “Comprehensive Zoning Map Process” (CZMP) is a throwback to that checkered past, when government actions like zoning changes were bought and sold. The CZMP must be replaced with … Continue reading Time to get rid of a relic of Baltimore County’s checkered past

Private School Bond Vote Should be Postponed

By Fergal Mullaly. As a resident of Towson, and the parent of two students attending Baltimore County Public Schools, I was concerned to learn about Resolution 145-19 introduced at the Council Work Session last Tuesday. Briefly, this bill would grant the ability to McDonogh School, a private fee-paying institution, to issue a 16 million dollar tax free bond (see page 9 of the Notes to … Continue reading Private School Bond Vote Should be Postponed

Scrutiny Required for County Attorney Nominee

By David Plymyer. The appointment of James R. Benjamin, Jr. by Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski to be the new County Attorney is subject to confirmation by an affirmative vote of at least four of the seven members of the County Council. If fewer than four members vote in favor of confirmation the appointment is rejected. The council has scheduled a public hearing on the … Continue reading Scrutiny Required for County Attorney Nominee