Young, Pratt Say Farewell At Their Last City Spending Board Meeting
Wednesday morning marked the final city spending board meeting for Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and longtime Comptroller Joan Pratt, who will leave office next week.
“I just want to thank the citizens of Baltimore,” Young said in a brief comment before the Board of Estimates. “I enjoyed working with everybody and I wish everybody the best.”
Pratt, who is nearing the end of her 25th year in office, said she made history as the city’s second and longest-serving African-American comptroller.
“I thank you, the citizens of Baltimore, who had enough confidence in my abilities to elect me for six terms,” she said. “I depart feeling confident that the determination and integrity of the very important work that newly-elected officials committed to on behalf of the city of Baltimore will continue and remain persistent through these trying times.”
Mayor-elect and City Council President Brandon Scott chaired the meeting. He praised the outgoing mayor, with whom he had a sometimes contentious relationship during their time in City Hall’s top two offices.
“We know when you think about public service and people who care and lead with their heart, Mayor Young is someone that pops up in the dictionary,” Scott said.
He also commended Pratt, saying she provided advice and feedback for him throughout his City Hall tenure.
“You worked tirelessly and selflessly for the citizens of Baltimore,” he said.
The board’s five members include the Mayor, the City Council President, the Comptroller, the City Solicitor and the head of the Department of Public Works. Scott will remain on the incoming Board of Estimates, to be joined by Council President-elect Nick Mosby and Comptroller-elect Bill Henry.
Acting City Solicitor Dana P. Moore praised Young’s handling of the the barrage of challenges he faced after he automatically took office, after ex-mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation amid her Healthy Holly scandal.
“There is no mayor who has had to experience coming to work one morning, while government officials had gotten there first,” she said, referring to an early-morning FBI raid on Pugh’s office last spring. “There is no mayor who has had to weather ransomware and then COVID. And you rose to the occasion.”
Scott, Mosby, Henry and other incoming elected officials will be sworn in next week. The board will be in recess next Wednesday amid transition and reconvene Dec. 16.