Mosby Halves Committee Structure At Term's First Council Meeting
Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby convened the 73rd term of the legislative body for its first meeting Thursday night and later announced his new committee structure, which includes half the number of committees of the previous term.
“Right now we're in a special time of fighting for our city and fighting for our lives,” Mosby said.
I’m really excited to see the work that comes along.”
Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, who represents Northwest Baltimore, was unanimously re-elected as City Council Vice President. Eric Costello was elected to represent the council at the Planning Commission.
Voters passed in November a charter amendment that reduces the number of votes needed to override a mayoral veto from 12 to 10.
Mosby was due to assign new and returning members to the committees that manage legislation, but said technical difficulties prevented councilmembers from receiving an official email with the committees until after the meeting had concluded. Council meetings have been virtual since the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic; council presidents usually assign committees by leaving an official envelope on council members’ desks.
Council members received their assignments later that evening. Mosby halved the committees from 12 to six and created broader ones; for example, the Health Committee and Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness Committee are no longer, and the Health, Environment and Technology Committee Committee is in their place.
In a statement, Mosby said he modeled the council’s legislative process after that of the General Assembly.
“Eliminating committees of three members will drive a more democratic process,” Mosby said. “Larger committees will allow more members to weigh in on legislation before the proposals move to the full council for consideration to better represent communities and interests across the entire city.”
All of the new committees are chaired by incumbent councilmembers, except for Public Safety and Government Operations, which is chaired by freshman Mark Coway. Mosby's redevelopment of the committees stripped progressive councilmembers Zeke Cohen, Ryan Dorsey and Kristerfer Burnett of their chairs of the Education & Youth, Transportation and Health Committees, respectively.
Sharon Green Middleton will chair the Economic and Community Development Committee, which includes John Bullock, Mark Conway, Ryan Dorsey, Antonio Glover, Odette Ramos and Robert Stokes.
Eric Costello will chair the Ways and Means Committee, which includes Kristerfer Burnett, Ryan Dorsey, Danielle McCray, Sharon Green Middleton, Isaac “Yitzy” Schliefer and Robert Stokes.
Mark Conway will chair the Public Safety and Government Operations Committee, which includes Kristerfer Burnett, Zeke Cohen, Eric Costello, Antonio Glover, Phylicia Porter and Odette Ramos.
Robert Stokes will chair the Education, Workforce and Youth Committee, which includes John Bullock, Zeke Cohen, Antonio Glover, Sharon Green Middleton, Phylicia Porter and James Torrence.
Danielle McCray will chair the Health, Environment and Technology Committee, which includes John Bullock, Mark Conway, Ryan Dorsey, Phylicia Porter, James Torence and Yitzy Schleifer.
Yitzy Schleifer will chair the Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee, which includes Kristerfer Burnett, Mark Conway, Eric Costello, Sharon Green Middleton, Odette Ramos and James Torrence.
The council will next meet on Jan. 11.