Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski | WYPR

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski

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

Ben’s Run trickles through the Northwest Crossing Apartments property off Old Court Road in Randallstown. Volunteers on Monday fanned out and picked up all kinds of trash in the run: plastic bags, cups, even a tossed baby stroller. 

Baltimore County Monday launched a two-month attack on litter, to mark the 50th Earth Day.

 

 

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski put seed money in his proposed budget for a new Lansdowne High School.

 

That has supporters of new high schools for Dulaney and Towson wondering why they were left high and dry.

 

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Monday proposed raising the county’s income tax rate, taxing cell phone lines, charging developers impact fees, and hiking the county’s hotel tax.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

Audio will be posted Thursday morning.  

The audit of the Baltimore County Schools’ procurement practices, released to the public on Wednesday, shows no evidence of corruption.  But school board chairwoman Kathleen Causey said the investigation into the county school system is not over.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

 

 

Baltimore County’s school board is struggling to find its way as a newly partially elected, partially appointed board. At the same time, it has come under fire for not releasing a long-anticipated audit, rushing through a permanent school superintendent search and micromanaging Baltimore County’s school administration.

 

John Lee

 

Construction money for schools in Baltimore County is in trouble in the General Assembly.

 

If the legislation doesn’t pass, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said it likely will be years before any new high schools are built in the county.

 

 

John Lee

Teachers say it’s crunch time. 

The General Assembly session ends in less than one week. In two weeks, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski presents his budget to the county council. 

 

Teachers and their supporters rallied outside the Historic Courthouse in Towson Monday night, calling on the state and the county to come through with money for schools.

 

As several dozen people congregated at the courthouse, most wearing red, a sign of support for teachers, they were joined by Olszewski, who is a former teacher.

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

From a possible tax increase to new high schools, a lot is in play as Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski prepares to present his first budget to the County Council in about two weeks. 

 

Olszewski is receiving high marks for how he’s handled his first four months in office. But this era of good feeling could be tested once Olszewski lays out his budget.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski got blowback from members of the County Council Tuesday over his proposal for an election fund for candidates, paid for by taxpayers.

Council members questioned its cost and the details.

 

 

Rachel Baye

Thousands of teachers, parents and students marched in Annapolis Monday night, seeking more funding for public schools. The march, which was organized by the Maryland State Education Association teachers union, culminated in the largest rally at the State House in recent memory. 

Organizers say 200 buses carried teachers from across the state, as far as Garrett County in Western Maryland, about three hours away. They estimate that there were about 8,500 people filling the streets, many of them wearing red beanies and carrying red cowbells and signs.

Baltimore County

 

 

When Larry Hogan ran for governor the first time in 2014, he financed it by tapping a state public campaign fund. 

 

The Baltimore County Council Tuesday will consider a similar fund for county candidates. It will also debate whether to establish an Office of Ethics and Accountability.

 

 

Seth Sawyers/flickr

Republican Governor Larry Hogan has asked the General Assembly to approve a plan to spend nearly $2 billion in additional school construction money statewide over the next four years. 

 

And Baltimore County’s Executive, Democrat Johnny Olszewski, agrees. 

 

Olszewski painted a dire picture before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Wednesday of what might happen without the money.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is remaining mum about whether he will call for tax hikes to deal with a projected $81 million shortfall. But others in county government are making the case that now may be the time to do so.

 

Let’s start with the county’s income tax rate.

 

Currently it’s at just over 2.8 percent. A report by the county council’s spending affordability committee lays out the possibility of raising that to 3.2 percent, which is the highest allowed under state law.

 

John Lee

  A commission that’s been studying Baltimore County’s budget released a preliminary report Friday which says the county should consider raising taxes. The commission is also proposing major changes to the budget process to make the county more fiscally sustainable.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today tapped the head of the city’s social services department to be the county’s administrative officer.

 

Stacy Rodgers will be the first African-American to hold the job and is promising to be open and transparent.

 

 

Photo courtesy the Olszewski campaign

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said the budget passed by the county school board Tuesday night is not fiscally sustainable. 

 

 

Seth Sawyers/flickr

 

The Baltimore County School Board Tuesday night approved a budget to send to the county executive. It includes a pay raise for teachers and money to extend the school day by 15 minutes WYPR’s John Lee was there and talked about it with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Tuesday released a laundry list of more than 200 objectives for the next four years. But the report from his transition team did not include details on how to pay for any of it.

 

John Lee

Baltimore County is looking under every sofa cushion for money to help close a projected $80 million budget shortfall next year.

 

That’s led Republican State Senator Chris West to propose that the state allow the county to charge developers impact fees.

 

 

John Lee

Hundreds of Baltimore County teachers and their supporters rallied Tuesday night to push the school board to ask County Executive Johnny Olszewski to find the money for teacher pay raises.

 

They also want smaller classrooms and schools that are not in disrepair. WYPR’s John Lee was there and talked about what happened with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner.

 

 

AP Photo/Patrick Sison

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is considering appointing an Opioid Czar to be the point person as the county grapples with the second-highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses in Maryland. This comes as the county is being criticized for not doing enough to address a problem Olszewski says is ravaging parts of the county.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is telling his department heads not to expect any more money in the next fiscal year than they got this year. That’s because the county has a projected $81 million shortfall this coming year.

 

Meanwhile, constituents are giving the county executive a long list of things they say they need.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski last night appeared before the school board to give them a sobering presentation on the county budget. And part of his message to the board was that it will be years before three new high schools can be built in Baltimore County.

 

WYPR’s John Lee was there and spoke with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner about what happened.

 

 

Photo courtesy BCPS

The Baltimore County School Board is about to try again to find a permanent school superintendent.

 

This comes as the interim superintendent, Verletta White, said she still wants the job.

 

 

John Lee

With the General Assembly about to get underway, Baltimore County has high hopes of receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the state for school construction. And for the first time since his December inauguration, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski spoke with Governor Hogan about the county's schools. WYPR’s John Lee joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about the need for the money and the prospects of the county getting it.