News

FYI, we find the articles below to be interesting.  Help yourself.  And please comment or email us your choice of articles you think are worth posting.

From the Baltimore Sun, January 16, 2016…
The reality of Governor Hogan’s Baltimore investment

The Governor’s high profile gift to Baltimore needs work and could be a huge waste of money.  What are his advisors thinking?


From the Baltimore Sun, November 16, 2015…
Report details ‘major shortcomings’ in Baltimore police response to unrest

Is everything about our city government, even the Police Department,  broken?


From the Maryland Reporter, November 15 2015
Rascovar: The ‘Trump effect’ in Baltimore>

You know, this isn’t a game. Can everyone running for Mayor seriously think he or she can win or do a good job running the city government if a miracle happens and he/she gets elected?  Do qualifications no longer matter?


From the Baltimore Sun, November 12, 2015…
Five years in, city Vacants to Value program showing mixed results.

Vacants To Value Screenshot from The Sun article 111215

A few houses here, a few houses there?  It’s a good thing, to be sure, but big problems require big solutions.  Vacant To Value isn’t in the vicinity of being up to the task of dealing with Baltimore’s vacant property problem.


From the Baltimore Sun, November 7, 2015…
Some riders aghast at Hogan’s proposed bus changes

Balimore People Waiting For A Bus

A supporter of Baltimore Rising recently observed that many of the rush hour buses in the city were barely half full.  “Why are so many people complaining about buses they aren’t even using?  It would be a problem if they were over-crowded, but clearly they’re not.”  And she’s right, party.  We do have underutilized capacity (empty seats and isles), but that’s probably because the buses we do have aren’t efficiently connecting workers to their workplaces, particularly for those of us who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods and are forced to spend excessive time commuting to jobs.  We should fix that.


 

From the Baltimore Sun, November 13, 2015…
Baltimore faces $75 million budget shortfall

In case you’re wondering, Baltimore is balanced budget city.  The city can’t borrow money to pay its operating expenses.  That’s a good thing.  It can borrow money – float bonds, for example – to build a bridge, pay for a TIF (Tax Increment Financing), but it can’t borrow to pay its costs of day-to-day operations.

Problem:  If the city is $75 million short and can’t figure out how to collect more money, its only choice is to cut back services, cut back the compensation and benefits it pays public employees (including teachers, police and fire personnel, sell off income-producing city-owned assets and/or postpone critically needed repair and maintenance of the city’s infrastructure.  The problem is, it can only cut back so far.


 

From the Baltimore Sun, April 4, 2015…  
Baltimore City Council members often miss votes and public comment hearings.

That said, some miss more than others.  (See the table in the article.)  In deference to Councilwoman Spector, she has a government-related conflict of interest which requires that she be in Annapolis at the same as her committee meets in Baltimore.  Otherwise, her voting record is nearly flawless.


Self-made lame duck…

Selfmade Lame Duck SRB - Screenshot

Here’s a roundup of Mayoral race, before Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake dropped out.  After the Freddie Gray mess, did no one see that coming?

From the Baltimore Sun, May 29, 2015…
Mayor could face tough race for re-election, analysts predict


From the Baltimore Brew, July 13, 2015…

Some still struggle with wildly inaccurate water bills from city

Somethings are easy to fix – if anyone were paying attention.  All they need is a couple of lines of code that compares the current bill to the customer’s usual consumption.  It’s the simple trick other jurisdictions use to check for signs of leaks or other problems before they get out of control.



Langston Hughes Elementary - Screenshot

When a City property is up for dispossession local residents should have a say.

From the Baltimore Brew, November 9, 2015…
Giving residents “a voice” on the fate of surplus city property


From the City Paper, October 7, 2015…
Can a strong Mayor resist a children and youth investment fund?

City Council President Jack Young wants to dedicate 3% of the City’s budget to youth programs.  Good cause, of course, but administratively it’s a bad idea.  If Mr. Young would like to be Mayor, he should announce and file like all the other candidates have.

Jack Young - Screenshot

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