Baltimore County Council | WYPR

Baltimore County Council

John Lee

It might sound mundane, but a proposal to change the start time of one of its meetings sparked weeks of debates and arguments behind closed doors by the usually mild mannered Baltimore County Council.

John Lee

The Maryland Department of the Environment in April will begin notifying downstream localities about plans for wastewater discharge permits.

This is a direct result of last year’s controversy over plans by a Harford County mega church to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have discharged into Little Gunpowder Falls, according to Baltimore County Delegate Dana Stein.

John Lee

Owners of donation bins in Baltimore County would be more tightly regulated under legislation the county council will consider Tuesday afternoon.

Council members say the bins have become dumping grounds.

John Lee

 

This week, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will begin holding town hall meetings on the budget for this coming year.

Last year, the county raised taxes for the first time in a generation to close an $81 million shortfall. But officials say that does not mean the county is out of the fiscal woods yet, and tough decisions lie ahead.

WYPR’s John Lee joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about what is at stake.

Baltimore County

Gun shop owners in Baltimore County will have to make their stores more secure under controversial legislation passed Tuesday night by the county council. WYPR’s  Baltimore County reporter John Lee joined Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner to give the details.

Baltimore County

  

The Baltimore County Council Tuesday night is expected to approve the hiring of the county’s first executive director for ethics and accountability.

 

 

The Associated Press

Baltimore County gun shops would have to beef up their security under a proposal that was before the county council Tuesday. 

 

County Executive Johnny Olszewski said more has to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But some council members raised concerns the proposal would put too much of a burden on small businesses. 

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins Monday night was tapped to be the chairwoman of the council for the coming year. Democrats control the council and take turns being chair.

 

 

John Lee

The Mountain Christian Church controversy, which caused a rare public disagreement between Baltimore and Harford Counties, is leading to legislation in the General Assembly. It would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to contact localities that would be directly affected by proposed wastewater discharge permits. 

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has gotten the green light from the federal government to require most landlords to accept housing vouchers, also called section 8.

 

According to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, the controversial legislation passed by the county council last month has been approved by The Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Thursday that he is nominating Kelly Madigan, a career prosecutor, for the job of rooting out corruption, fraud and abuse in county government. 

 

Madigan will be the first leader of the county’s newly created office of ethics and accountability.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski begins his second year in office this week. 

 

Challenges ahead for Olszewski in 2020 include getting state money for the county’s old, crowded schools and dealing with a rising crime rate. 

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County will prohibit landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use housing vouchers, also known as section 8. 

 

The Baltimore County Council approved the controversial legislation Monday night in a vote that went straight down party lines.The four Democrats on the county council voted for it. The three Republicans voted against. 

 

 

John Lee

It was standing room only in the Baltimore County Council Chambers Tuesday afternoon, as the council heard from both sides of the controversial issue of housing vouchers. 

 

Meantime, the odds may be improving that the legislation will pass the county council when it comes up for a vote next week.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Housing vouchers, also known as section 8: are they a helping hand for people in need or do they threaten neighborhoods? 

 

The Baltimore County Council has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on legislation that would forbid landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use the vouchers. 

 

Thousands of people in Baltimore County find themselves on opposite sides of the controversy.

 

 

John Lee

Mountain Christian Church, a mega-church in Harford County, has backed off plans to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have released its discharge into a tributary of Little Gunpowder Falls.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether it will sue Monsanto Company for contaminating the county’s environment with Polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.

 

WYPR’s Baltimore County reporter John Lee and Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner hashed out the details.

 

 

John Lee

It appears the live music ban in Catonsville and Arbutus will be lifted. 

 

Following a public hearing Tuesday, The Baltimore County Council is poised to make a change in zoning law to let songs fill the air legally in those two towns.

 

 

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

 

 

Baltimore County is looking to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes or any other tobacco product from 18 to 21.

 

Legislation being proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski also would ban the sale of e-cigarette devices to anyone in Baltimore County under the age of 21.

 

 

John Lee

 

Counties usually stay out of each other’s business, but the Baltimore County Council voted unanimously on Monday night to oppose a Harford County megachurch’s plans to build a wastewater treatment plant.

 

 

John Lee

At the Maryland Marina on Frogmortar Creek in Middle River, workers were recently moving a lift into place to pull a boat out of the water.

 

“These guys would not be working here if there wasn’t a waterfront,” said Robert Palmer with the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County.

 

 

Baltimore County

The nominee to be Baltimore County’s next police chief served more than 20 years in the Baltimore Police Department. And it was Melissa Hyatt’s time in a police force rife with corruption that got the most attention from the county council, as it quizzed her Tuesday afternoon about becoming the county’s top cop. 

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

“Excruciating,” “trying,” “the most difficult in recent memory” — that’s how Baltimore County Council members described the process of finalizing the $3.43 billion budget they passed Thursday morning.

The budget for the next fiscal year included the first income tax hike in more than a generation and other tax increases in an attempt to close an $81 million county deficit.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

 

There's no way around it. Tax hikes are coming to Baltimore County. But the specifics are still being worked out days before the Baltimore County Council is set to vote on them.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

 

 

Baltimore County Council meetings are usually civil affairs. But Thursday afternoon’s meeting broke out in to partisan warfare over the proposed county budget. It was a classic fight over tax hikes, new schools and budget cuts.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

The Baltimore County Council has a little more than a week to decide whether to go along with tax increases being proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski. The county executive says the money raised is needed to deal with an $81 million shortfall, as well as fund new initiatives. 

 

The Council and Olszewski are considering changes on two proposals: a cell phone tax and impact fees on developers.

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County, facing overcrowded schools and congested roads, is considering charging developers impact fees. It’s a way to raise money to spend on the problems that developments create.

 

The Baltimore County Council is looking at dueling plans that differ on how the money would be spent.

 

 

John Lee

 

Taxes, whether to raise them or not, drove Tuesday night’s budget public hearing before the Baltimore County Council.

 

County Executive Johnny Olszewski is proposing a package of tax increases to help deal with an $81 million shortfall and pay for initiatives like a pay raise for teachers. WYPR’s John Lee was there and talked about it with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner.

 

 

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski wants to create a new cell phone tax. It’s part of a package of tax increases and fees he says is needed to make up a budget shortfall while at the same time provide the money to pay for pressing needs in the county. 

 

The cell phone tax idea is shaping up to be one of Olszewski’s most controversial proposals.

 

 

John Lee

A tax increase in Baltimore County is now a foregone conclusion. That’s according to County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who said the tax increase has to happen because the General Assembly did not deliver additional school construction money to the county.

 

 

 

 

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