Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on the city's conduit deal with BGE
It’s Midday with the Mayor. As he does each month*, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott joins Tom Hall for an unrehearsed conversation about key issues on the city's agenda.
Top officials in the city are at loggerheads about a deal that the Scott Administration negotiated with BGE to manage the city’s elaborate, 741-mile underground conduit system, which houses electric and fiber optic cables for BGE and other companies. The draft agreement was first reported in January by the Baltimore Brew.
After we hear from the Mayor today, we’ll hear from the other two city-wide elected officials in Baltimore: Comptroller Bill Henry and Council President Nick Mosby, both of whom oppose the deal.
On Wednesday, March 1, the Board of Estimates was scheduled to vote for the second time on the deal, but that vote has been delayed until April 5th.
The Board of Estimates voted to approve the deal on February 15. The Comptroller and Council President skipped that meeting, thinking their absence would leave the board without a quorum. But the remaining three members of the board, the Mayor and his two appointees, voted without the two opposing members. Henry and Mosby assert that that vote is not valid because they did not participate. City Solicitor Ebony Thompson, one of the people voting for the measure, declared in a legal opinion that the vote was, in fact, valid.
The Mayor, the Council President and the Comptroller disagree about several aspects of this deal. We’ll talk with each of them today. (Tom's interviews with the City Comptroller and City Council president will be combined in a separate Web post/podcast).
And we’ll start with Mayor Brandon Scott, who joins us on Zoom during a break in his visit to Northwood Elementary School, the Baltimore City public school on Loch Raven Boulevard.
*Scheduling conflicts prevented the mayor from joining Midday in February.