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

Home Act Hearing Reveals Landlords Already Discriminating

By Forward Baltimore Editors. Our post from Corey Johns listed and debunked some of the myths that abound about the Home Act. At the Baltimore County Council work session this past Tuesday, we noticed an error in some testimony that we thought required addressing, as well. It was stated that landlords would have to install ramps for tenants if this bill passes, which would put … Continue reading Home Act Hearing Reveals Landlords Already Discriminating

Letter to Kach: Please Support Home Act

Dear Councilman Kach- I write as a relatively new member of your district because I understand from the Baltimore Sun that you will vote against the HOME Act. I am not aware of your specific reasons for voting against the bill despite trying to find something on your website.  If you have issued a statement that explains with specificity your position please send it to me so … Continue reading Letter to Kach: Please Support Home Act

Objections to Home Act Based on Myths

By Corey Johns. On October 7, 2019 the Housing Opportunity Made Equal (HOME) Act was introduced to the council council. The purpose of this bill is to prohibit housing discrimination based on source of income, such as alimony, child support, Social Security, disability benefits, inheritance, a pension, or, Housing Choice Vouchers. A housing voucher is a source of supplemental income that helps low income residents … Continue reading Objections to Home Act Based on Myths

Catonsville Live Music Bill is on the Right Track

By David A. Plymyer. Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk has proposed a change to county zoning law to allow live musical entertainment in restaurants, bars and other venues located in areas designated as the “commercial cores” of Catonsville and Arbutus. His bill, Bill 44-19, is a good example of how zoning law is best used when it builds upon existing resources in communities to strengthen … Continue reading Catonsville Live Music Bill is on the Right Track

The Gentleman from Towson: A Conversation with Steve Lafferty

By Pete Munsey. Through all the political changes in Baltimore County over the past 12 or 13 years, one thing, or more specifically one person, seemed a constant. No matter the ups and downs of this or that career, the redistricting tectonics from Annapolis which shifted whole neighborhoods into different districts overnight, or the national mood waxing locally, Steve Lafferty was the delegate from Towson. … Continue reading The Gentleman from Towson: A Conversation with Steve Lafferty

Chairman Quirk is Missing the Point about Sage Policy Group

By Peta Richkus. This article is a response to the August 7, 2019 Letter to the Editor written by Tom Quirk, Chair of the Baltimore County Council. Since my testimony before the Baltimore County Council during their June 25, 2019 Work Session prompted Council deliberation about the proposed Sage Policy Group contract referred to by Council Chairman Quirk (“Some Baltimore County Council members are questioning … Continue reading Chairman Quirk is Missing the Point about Sage Policy Group

Residents Have a Right to Know What’s in County Legislation—BEFORE the Vote

By Liz Brown. Early this month, I was compelled to speak (my first time doing so!) after a Baltimore County Council legislative session—not about legislation that was pending, but about legislation passed last month: Bill 16-19, which dealt with the issue of so-called “impact fees” for developers. Like many, many people in the County, I was and am very much in favor of impact fees. … Continue reading Residents Have a Right to Know What’s in County Legislation—BEFORE the Vote