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Baltimore City Hall

AP/Patrick Semansky

  


  Members of Mayor Jack Young’s administration would have spent Wednesday morning explaining their official preliminary budget to Baltimore’s spending board -- but because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that proposal has become “largely irrelevant” according to the city’s budget director.

 

Instead, Michael Cenname used the Board of Estimates meeting to explain Baltimore’s fiscal outlook to city officials, warning them that the budget must be almost totally revamped before it is finalized in May.

 

AP/Patrick Semansky

The Baltimore City Board of Ethics’ plays a multifaceted role: it sets ethical standards for elected officials, keeps track of lobbyists and financial disclosures and is supposed to help guide City Hall employees away from unsavory influences.

But it’s also, according to many City Council members, woefully understaffed. The last time the Board of Ethics submitted an annual report, which demonstrates both an agency’s accomplishments and financial needs, was 2014. 

Maureen Harvie/WYPR

Playing a game of tag or tossing a ball on the streets of Baltimore is, thanks to current city laws, illegal. A new City Hall measure introduced by Councilman Ryan Dorsey is trying to change that.

Section 50-41 of Article 19 of the City Code makes it unlawful for any person to “play ball, fly a kite or throw a stone or other object or missile while in any street, alley, lane or other public thoroughfare” in Baltimore. Doing so could land you a misdemeanor and a $50 fine, thanks to another part of city code.

PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates has awarded a $13 million contract to the company of a businessman connected to the “Healthy Holly” scandal.

At a meeting Wednesday morning, the board approved a noncompetitive contract worth more than $13 million for radio equipment under a long-standing master lease agreement with J.P. Grant’s financial services company, Grant Capital Management.

nickjmosby.com

Delegate Nick Mosby formally launched his campaign for Baltimore City Council President on Tuesday. 

In a campaign video, the Democrat highlighted his experience at City Hall as a former councilman and in the House of Delegates in Annapolis.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council approved Monday a bill to establish public campaign financing for candidates running for city offices. The Fair Election Fund would distribute matching funds to candidates who agree not to accept individual donations larger than $150 or donations from corporations, unions and PACS.

The fund’s proponents say it will give candidates who don’t receive hefty checks from corporations a fighting chance as well as boost the impact of donations from Baltimore City constituents.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Last fall, Baltimore voters approved a public financing fund for elections throughout the city. Now, the City Council is considering a bill that spells out the rules and regulations for that fund.

BPD Audit Reveals No Control of Officer Overtime

Oct 24, 2018
Patrick Semansky / AP

This post has been updated.

Baltimore’s Police Department has little, if any way to track and control the amount of overtime its officers work. That’s according to the first phase of a long-delayed audit of police overtime practices.

Mayor Catherine Pugh called for the audit in her state of the city speech in March after federal court revelations of rampant overtime abuse by members of the now disbanded Gun Trace Task Force.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about legislation to provide a $2500 property tax credit to public safety officers that reside in Baltimore City. Council President Jack Young and District 11 Councilman Eric Costello proposed the bill as incentive for more public safety officers to reside within Baltimore City lines. Currently 23 percent of police officers, 30 percent of firefighters, and 53 percent of sheriffs reside in the city.