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
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
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
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
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
By Peta Richkus. Editor’s note: We are pleased to publish testimony presented by Ms. Richkus to the Baltimore County Council during their June 25, 2019 Work Session concerning the proposed contract award: Agenda Item FM-17, Economic Consultant to the County Council. The proposed award would be a Sole Source contract to Sage Policy Group, Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO. The contract award will be voted … Continue reading Time for a New Baltimore County Economic Analyst?
by Corey Johns. High school overcrowding issues are not a new topic of conversation in Baltimore County. In fact, it’s been going on way too long. The biggest hurdle in attempts to address the issues has been the way communities are going against each other in attempts to get the first capital project—and all it has done has made everything grind to a halt. It … Continue reading Communities Must Work Together As High School Capital Plan Develops
By Peta Richkus. Tuesday evening, April 30,2019, the hearing on the budget proposed by County Executive John Olszewski was held in the Council chambers in front of a standing-room-only crowd. Residents were invited to testify, and the “sign-up sheet” filled five pages. Over the next two weeks, County agency budgets will be reviewed. All of the budget meetings are open to the public. Budget deliberations … Continue reading Executive’s Budget Paves Way for Better, Stronger Baltimore County
by Liz Brown. The Maryland General Assembly legislative session adjourned Monday night, finishing with the usual rollercoaster of last-minute legislating but also mourning the death of House Speaker Mike Busch, who passed away Sunday. This week is now filled with the usual post-mortems of what bills passed, what bills did not pass, and what exactly happened. We at Forward Baltimore look back to see how … Continue reading Baltimore County School Construction—What Happened?
It sounds like a crazy idea, but Baltimore County might soon be giving tax payer money to candidates running for County Council or County Executive — but only if voters approve. A bill passed by the Council recently adds a charter amendment to the 2020 ballot asking citizens if they support the creation of a Citizen’s Election Fund that candidates for county office could choose … Continue reading Should We Pay Politicians to Get Elected?