Baltimore City Council | WYPR

Baltimore City Council

SCREENSHOT VIA EMILY SULLIVAN, CHARMTV

The Baltimore City Council held its third virtual meeting last night as coronavirus containment methods keep legislators at home. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterer discuss a bill that aims to establish a permanent home for the city's Children and Youth Fund and divert up to $13 million from that fund to fund internet access and technology for children as well as boxed meals.

 

screenshot via Emily Sullivan/WYPR


    The Baltimore City Council heard a series of coronavirus measures during its second-ever virtual meeting Monday night. 

City Council President Brandon Scott introduced an ordinance that would make the acts of impersonating an official and issuing “false statements” during a declared state of emergency a misdemeanor. 

AP/Patrick Semansky

The Baltimore City Council met for the last time this month on Monday night. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss a charter amendment to change the makeup of city council, an ordinance that would require the city to abide by state recordkeeping standards, the repeal of a portion of city code that bans play in the streets and changes at the Board of Ethics.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a $2,500 property tax credit to make homeownership more feasible for the lowest-paid rung of city employees at its Feb. 10 meeting. Councilman Bill Henry introduced a charter amendment that would reduce the size of the City Council and add at-large members. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

People of color have been barred from jobs and schools for wearing their natural hair for centuries, and legislation across the country — including Baltimore — is just now catching up. Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would ban hair discrimination throughout the majority-black city.

 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

After former Mayor Catherine Pugh's self-dealing, City Council President Brandon Scott introduced a city charter amendment to adjust the makeup of the Board of Estimates at Monday's council meeting. The council also passed the Trauma Responsive Care Act and saw the introduction of Scott and Councilwoman Shannon Sneed's labor agreement bill. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what those bills are, and how they came about.

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

After a tumultous year of multiple elected officials stepping down amid corruption charges, Councilman Ryan Dorsey introduced a new bill that would prohibit those in office from accepting or soliciting gifts at a City Council meeting Monday night. City Council President Brandon Scott introduced resolutions to examine possible solutions to the opioid crisis in Baltimore. The Council also pushed Councilman Zeke Cohen's Trauma Responsive Care Act further along in the legislative process. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what these bills are and how they came about. 

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In the spring of 2019, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid the fallout from the “Healthy Holly” scandal, where she struck more than $800,000 in deals to sell copies of her self-published children books. Although she’d lost the support of the City Council, they had no power to remove her unless she was convicted of a crime. 

That incident led many to question the way the Baltimore City government is structured. Mayors of Baltimore have a lot of power relative to mayors in many other cities because of our so-called strong mayor system. And some on the City Council are trying to change that through charter amendments that would make major changes to how the city government is run.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a plastic bag ban Monday evening, meaning those plastic bags found at the grocery store or your favorite takeout place will disappear next year. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

  The Baltimore City Council passed the Water Accountability and Equity Act Monday, paving the way for water bill discount programs and Department of Public Works oversight measures.

Baltimore City Hall

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed has joined fellow council member Leon Pinkett in the Democratic primary race to be Baltimore’s next City Council President and drive city legislation.

The freshman councilwoman announced her run for the office on Thursday.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee approved on Thursday a measure that would create several programs and offices to make low income residents’ water bills more affordable. 

The committee passed the Water Accountability & Equity Act without of the 14 pages of amendments that Department of Public Works Director Rudy Chow submitted less than a half hour before the meeting, which was supposed to be the last committee work session on the bill.

Baltimore City Hall

 

After months of speculation, Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott has officially entered the 2020 mayoral race, becoming the first elected official to do so.

 

The 35-year-old announced his campaign in north Baltimore on Friday morning, surrounded by family members and a group of leaders from the second district, which he represented as a councilman, as well as other city leaders.

 

Paul Sakuma/AP

 

Legislators in Baltimore have tried and failed to ban or highly reduce plastic bag use eight times in the last decade. A plastic bag ban bill appeared on the City Council’s docket for the ninth time this summer, and because of a progressive council it could finally pass, according to Councilman Bill Henry, the bill’s lead sponsor.

Baltimore City Hall

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is pitching a wide-ranging plan designed to change the shape of city government. The proposal lays out a roadmap full of policy changes the council and other government officials can take to “deliver for Baltimore’s residents and bring greater transparency to the way we operate,” Scott said Wednesday.

AP/Patrick Semansky

Bryonna Harris, Jaionna Santos and Damani Thomas were eating lunch at Frederick Douglass High School when a hall monitor was shot.

 

The students, who are now rising seniors at the West Baltimore school, later testified at City Hall about the February incident, as well as about the trauma they have experienced both inside and outside their homes in their short lives. 

Official photograph

Those plastic bags you get at your local supermarket, or just about anywhere you shop in Baltimore City, could be a thing of the past under a measure City Councilman Bill Henry plans to introduce at Monday’s council meeting.

The bill would ban plastic bags altogether and place a surcharge of five cents on other bags — like paper or compostable bags —at the point of sale or during pick up or delivery. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore residents who face the most severe impacts of increasing water bills are disproportionately black, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report, conducted by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is independent from the NAACP, comes as the Baltimore City Council considers the Water Accountability & Equity Act.

Emily Sullivan

Danielle McCray was sworn in as the 2nd district city council member by Mayor Jack Young in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon, capping the end of a series of office transitions that began after former mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation.

McCray served as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he represented the Northeast Baltimore district. She spent five years handling constituent and policy issues.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The second district vacancy committee tapped Danielle McCray out of 14 eligible candidates Thursday for an empty City Council position, filling the final seat in a round of political musical chairs that began when former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned.

McCray was the odds-on favorite to get the job. She had worked as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he held the second district seat, handling constituent issues for five years, and knew the second district neighborhood association leaders who made up the bulk of the committee.

AP/Patrick Semansky

A pool of 22 candidates has hopes of filling the Baltimore City Council seat vacated when Second District Councilman Brandon Scott became Council President.

 A 13-member committee that includes council members Shannon Sneed and Zeke Cohen as well as a variety of second district neighborhood association leaders will select the future council member.

Baltimore City Hall

City Councilman Brandon Scott has been unanimously elected as Council President by his colleagues after four days of leadership upheaval following the resignation of Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Scott and Sharon Green Middleton, the council vice president who had been filling in as president, had been tied in colleagues’ pledges for votes over the weekend, until Scott own over a few more members, including veteran councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

 

Last night, the city council introduced a package of charter amendments that would bolster its power throughout the city -- and over the mayor. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

 

Official Photo

 

Every elected leader in the city of Baltimore has been asked by the inspector general to provide a list of the boards and commissions they may serve on, according to the ex officio mayor.

City Council President and acting mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young told reporters during a Wednesday press conference that he has given the inspector general’s office his records. Comptroller Joan M. Pratt and the rest of the city council have also been asked to do so, said Young’s spokesperson Lester Davis.

All 14 of the district-representing City Council members have asked Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign from her office immediately.

Their two-sentence letter, released Monday morning, was blunt.

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore, for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” it read. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

Pugh’s office responded with a blunt statement of its own.

City Airbnb Hosts Caught Up in Council Bill

Dec 3, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Airbnbs and other short-term rental properties in Baltimore are liable to start costing a little more under a bill the city council is to vote Monday night. The bill would extend the city’s hotel tax to those properties and limit the number of short term rental properties an individual can operate.

Who is Doctor Ross McNutt?

Nov 19, 2018
https://www.pss-1.com/

Well, for starters, he’s the president of Persistent Surveillance System, a Dayton, Ohio, firm that operates aerial surveillance systems.

Shortly after the Freddie Gray riots in 2015, the city police department used private funds to have Ross McNutt set up an aerial surveillance system. The department didn’t tell the city’s elected leaders. The police squashed the program after a Bloomberg Businessweek article that created a public outcry. Now, Ross McNutt is back, trying to get approval for his plans for a camera-equipped drone and he’s no stranger to trial and error.

Council Members Ask for Swift Action on BPD Audit Recommendations

Oct 25, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore City Council committee got a look Thursday at the audit that found the police department has little, if any, way to track or control overtime costs. The council members want Mayor Catherine Pugh and the department to move quickly to implement the recommendations in the report.

As Finance Director Henry Raymond briefed the council’s budget committee on the recommendations, Council President Jack Young got caught up in the wording of the first one:

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval Monday night to a measure that would create a $20 million trust fund aimed at affordable housing. The vote resolved a debate that erupted last week between council members and housing advocates who feared some amendments would hurt the fund. Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner talks about those amendments and the council meeting with WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi.

BPD on High Alert for Three Days

Oct 1, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

After two city police officers were involved in a shooting more than a week ago and the number of homicides jumped last month, the Baltimore Police Department is going on high alert for three days.

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