© 2024 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newsmaker: Faith Leach, the city's new Chief Administrative Officer

Faith P. Leach is Baltimore City's Deputy Mayor of Equity, Health and Human Services, and oversees the city's Squeegee Collaborative initiative to provide employment alternatives to young squeegee workers. (photo courtesy Deputy Mayor's Office)
Faith P. Leach is Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott's newly appointed Chief Administrative Officer, or city administrator. The former deputy mayor for equity, health and human services replaces Chris Shorter, who stepped down in December after two years as the first city administrator, an office created by the City Council in 2020. (photo courtesy Mayor's Office)

Tom's Midday Newsmaker guest today is Faith Leach. She has served in Baltimore City government as theDeputy Mayor of Equity, Health and Human Services since April, 2021. In that role, she worked on programs for squeegee workers and she oversaw the implementation of a pilot program to provide some young mothers with a guaranteed monthly income, among other initiatives.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has now tapped Ms. Leach to be the next City Administrator. Scott championed the creation of the administrator position while running for Mayor in 2020, saying there was a need to “professionalize” city government with a non-political manager who runs the day to day operations of the city. Voters approved the creation of the position by referendum.

The position may have been envisioned as non-political, but politics were very much on display during Ms. Leach’s confirmation hearings. Last Thursday, after praising her job performance as Deputy Mayor and commending her for her responsiveness and competence, the Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee of the City Council, chaired by Councilman Yitzy Schlieffer, promptly voted against her confirmation.

Faith Leach gives opening remarks at her confirmation hearing at City Hall, in Baltimore, MD., on March 8, 2023.
Paul Newson/The Baltimore Banner
Faith Leach gives opening remarks at her confirmation hearing at City Hall, in Baltimore, MD., on March 8, 2023. (photo credit Paul Newson/Baltimore Banner)

One of the members of the committee, Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton told Ms. Leach, quote, “This isn’t about you.”

You may ask, if a confirmation hearing isn’t about the nominee, then who, or what, is it about?

Perhaps the Council, in their wisdom, will answer that question at some point. But after a weekend of reported arm twisting, the committee re-convened on Monday and reversed itself,approving the nomination of Ms. Leach. A vote of approval by the full Council followed that evening.

As Baltimore’s City Administrator, Ms. Leach will reportedly be paid just under $200,000 a year, making her one of the city’s highest paid officials. She replaces Christopher Shorter, who left the city for a job in Virginia after less than two years as Baltimore's first City Administrator.

Faith Leach joins us on Zoom from City Hall.

Stay Connected
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Teria is a Supervising Producer on Midday.
Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.