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  1. Kamenetz Improves Procurement Process to Increase Competitive Bids for County Contracts

    Executive Order Also Aids Minority and Women-Owned Businesses to Compete

    Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced a streamlining of the County procurement processes that will increase competitive bids and help smaller firms — especially minority and women-owned businesses — to have the opportunity to bid on County contracts for professional services and construction trades.

    “We realized that the County’s contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses weren’t as accessible as they could be for growing businesses, so we did a top to bottom review of the whole process and have made changes that expand opportunities for minority and women-owned firms, and others who may be new to the government contracting arena,” said Kamenetz.

    Changes to the County’s “Open for Business Initiative” include a streamlining of the prequalification process that reduces application processing time from 90 days to 30 days. Kamenetz also created a Small Business Purchasing Program that establishes a tier-based system that will provide opportunities for small firms to bid as prime contractors.  The changes to the Executive Order for Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise will now permit self-performance in meeting 50% of subcontracting goals.

    Kamenetz will speak at a procurement workshop this evening, providing details and updates on the County’s procurement process. The event, which will take place at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, features a 4 p.m. networking reception followed by a 5 p.m. program and break-out sessions by project category. The workshop is designed for contractors, offering them the opportunity to learn about the prequalification process, potential contracting opportunities, surety bonding requirements, and more.

    The text of the Executive Order is below.

    # # #

    EXECUTIVE ORDER

    USE MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES AND WOMEN'S
    BUSINESS ENTERPRISES IN COUNTY CONTRACTS

     

                WHEREAS, Baltimore County, Maryland recognizes the important contributions made by Minority Business Enterprises and Women's Business Enterprises to the overall economic health of the region; and

     

                WHEREAS, it is the goal of this Administration to provide maximum opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises and Women's Business Enterprises to participate in all phases of procurement in the county, including construction, purchases of goods and services, architectural and engineering agreements, consultant contracts and other professional service agreements;

     

                NOW, THEREFORE, it is this 27th day of July, 2017, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, ordered that the June 4, 2009 Executive Order, Use of Minority Business Enterprises and Women's Business Enterprises in County Contracts, is hereby repealed and replaced by the following:

     

                SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS.

                In this Executive Order, the following words have the meanings indicated:

                            (A)(1) "Discretionary dollars" means dollars spent in county procurements from county capital funds and county operating funds.

                                        (2)(i) "Discretionary dollars" does not include dollars spent on procurements or classes of procurements for which the county is not able to control or influence the utilization of MBE or WBE firms.

                                                    (ii) These procurements are likely to include or involve:

                                                                (a) other governmental or quasi-governmental agencies;

                                                                (b) utilities;

                                                                (c) proprietary items;

                                                                (d) emergency procurements; and

                                                                (e) operating grants to arts entities.

     

                            (B) "Minority Business Enterprise" or "MBE" means a business enterprise that is owned, operated and controlled by one or more minority group members (African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American) who have at least 51% ownership and in which the minority group members have operational and managerial control, interest in capital, and earnings commensurate with their percentage of ownership.

     

                            (C) "Women's Business Enterprise" or "WBE" means a business enterprise
    that is owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women who have at least 51% ownership and in which the women have operational and managerial control, interest in capital and earnings commensurate with their percentage of ownership.

     

                            (D) "Waiver" means an adjustment to the MBE/WBE goals established by the
    Procurement Review Group for a solicitation that may be requested by a bidder at the time of bid submission.

     

                SECTION 2. MINORITY AND WOMEN'S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE GOALS.

                            (A) An overall goal of 15% of the cumulative total of all discretionary dollars spent in a fiscal year of county procurements is to be awarded to and/or performed by MBE and MBE firms.

     

                            (B) All county offices and departments shall make good faith efforts to equitably use the services of MBE and WBE firms.

     

                            (C) The  Minority Business Enterprise Unit shall submit to the County Executive an annual written report on the efforts made in accordance with this section.

     

                            (D) All contracts or other agreements between Baltimore County and other governmental agencies, quasi-governmental agencies, developers, or any other parties, involving the provision of discretionary dollars from or through the county for the purpose of contracting with such entities to acquire and build, renovate, rehabilitate, demolish or otherwise perform a public works function shall include provisions regarding participation by MBE firms and WBE firms consistent with this Executive Order.

     

                SECTION 3. PROCUREMENT REVIEW GROUP

                            (A)(1) There is a Procurement Review Group that, at a minimum, shall consist of at least one representative from:

                                                    (i) The Purchasing Division of the Office of Budget and Finance;

                                                    (ii) The Department of Public Works; and

                                                    (iii) The Minority Business Enterprise Unit  of  the Office of Budget and Finance.

     

                            (2) The Chairman of the Procurement Review Group may request the

    presence and participation (without voting rights) of representatives from other agencies.

     

                            (B) The representative from the Minority Business Enterprise Unit  shall serve as Chairman of Procurement Review Group.

                            (C)(1) The Procurement Review Group shall review bid solicitations

    involving discretionary dollars to determine whether opportunities exist for MBE or

    WBE participation or both MBE and MBE participation.

     

                                        (2) The Procurement Review Group may make recommendations for dividing total requirements of a solicitation into smaller contracts or shorter terms to allow maximum MBE or WBE participation or both MBE and WBE participation.

     

                                        (3)(i) The Procurement Review Group may recommend that the

    minimum MBE or WBE participation or both MBE and WBE participation in an individual procurement or class of procurements be more or less than the 15% overall goal established in Section 2, as appropriate.

     

                                                    (ii) Any recommendation that the minimum MBE, or WBE

    participation or both MBE and WBE participation in an individual procurement or class

    of procurements be more or less than the 15% goal established in Section 2 shall be reasonable and shall reflect the number of willing and able firms available to perform the items of work to be subcontracted.

     

                            (D)(1) The Procurement Review Group may adopt rules of procedure for
    the conduct of its business.

                                        (2) The rules may include:

                                                    (i) rules and standards for evaluating and determining MBE and

    WBE goals for solicitations;

                                                    (ii) rules for evaluating requests for waivers; and

                                                    (iii) refinements to the definition of “discretionary dollars.”

                            (E) The Procurement Review Group shall meet regularly as determined by the Chairman.

     

                SECTION 4. SOLICITATIONS OPPORTUNITIES.

                In accordance with the recommendations of the Procurement Review Group, the Office of Budget and Finance and the Department of Public Works shall:

                                        (1) To the extent practicable and consistent with other provisions of this Executive Order, take the steps outlined in this Section to ensure that MBE firms and WBE firms have maximum opportunity to participate on county contracts;

     

                                        (2) Use best practices (which may include, but. not be limited to, use of the county website, advertisement in newspapers, and other media outlets) to notify MBE and WBE firms of bid solicitations in accordance with Section 6 (Formal Bid Procedure) of the Purchasing Manual;

     

                                        (3) Inform all prospective bidders of the county's policy concerning

    MBE and WBE participation during the solicitation phase of the bid process; and

     

                                        (4) To the extent practicable, divide total requirements of a solicitation

    into smaller contracts or shorter terms to allow maximum MBE and WBE participation.

     

                SECTION 5. AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.

                (A) It shall be the responsibility of the Minority Business Enterprise Unit to ensure that

    county offices and departments adhere to the procedures and provisions of this Executive Order.

     

                (B) The Purchasing Division  shall:

                                        (1) Post a list of certified MBE and WBE subcontractors on the county
    website;

                                        (2) On request, provide a list of certified MBE and WBE subcontractors to prospective bidders; and

               

                (C) The Department of Public Works shall:

                                        (1) Post lists of pre-qualified consultants and contractors on the county website; and

     

                                        (2) On request, provide a list of pre-qualified consultants and/or contractors to MBE and WBE subcontractors.

     

                (D) The Minority Business Enterprise Unit shall:

                                        (1) Assist county offices and departments in identifying qualified
    certified MBE and WBE firms ready and able to provide services, equipment, materials and supplies to the county;

     

                                        (2) If applicable, attend pre-bid meetings and bid openings to provide

    information to prospective bidders about the county's policy with respect to MBE and

    WBE participation;

     

                                        (3) Review MBE and WBE participation plans submitted by general
    contractors to determine whether goals are being achieved;

     

                                        (4) Provide outreach services to MBE and WBE firms by working
    closely with the Department of Public Works; and

     

                                        (5) Provide periodic reports to the County Executive and County
    Council.  

    (6) Assume primary responsibility for reviewing, on a continuing basis, all

    aspects of the use of Minority Business Enterprises and Women's Business Enterprises in county contracts to assure that the purpose of this Executive Order is being achieved.

     

                SECTION 6. BID REQUIREMENTS.

                            (A)(1) All bidders shall submit a list of all subcontractors contacted in
    preparation of their bid package or proposal.

     

                                        (2) The list shall include the service to be performed, bid amount, and

    the race/ethnicity/gender of the business owner(s).

     

                            (B)(1) All bidders shall submit a list of all subcontractors to be used on a
    county contract in the bid package.

     

                                        (2) This list shall include all subcontractors (both MBE/WBE and non-

    MBE/WBE) used, the service to be performed, the total amount to be paid, and the
    race/ethnicity/gender of the owner.

     

                            (C) All bidders (including certified MBE/WBE prime consultants and general
    contractors) shall make a good faith effort to meet the goals established in a bid for a project.

     

                            (D) Subject to subsection (E) of this Section, a bidder shall be deemed non-
    responsive if:

     

                                        (1) The bidder does not comply with Subsections (A), (B), and (C) of

    this Section; or

                                        (2) The bidder does not meet the goal established by the Procurement

    Review Group.

     

                            (E)(1)   If a bidder is unable to comply with the goals established in a bid for a

    project, the bidder may submit a request for a waiver at the time of bid submission.

     

                                        (2)The request for waiver shall include documentation that demonstrates the bidder's good faith efforts to comply with the goals, including:

     

                                                    (i) Signed unavailability statements from all MBEs and WBEs that the bidder solicited for participation; and

     

                                                    (ii) Copies of solicitation documentation to all potential subcontractors, including:

     

                                                                (a) Emails, letters, facsimile transmittals and confirmations containing plans, specifications, and anticipated time schedule for portions of the work to be performed and meeting notes and agendas clearly identifying the certified  MBE or

    WBE classification and dates that the bidder contacted each; and

     

                                                                (b) Telephone logs containing names, addresses, dates, telephone numbers, work to be performed, anticipated time schedule and classification of certified MBEs and WBEs contacted.

     

                            (F) All bidders (including certified MBE/WBE prime consultants and general contractors) shall make a good faith effort to pay subcontractors promptly.

     

                            (G) All bidders (including certified MBE/WBE prime consultants and general contractors) shall make a good faith effort to submit monthly reports as required.

              

                SECTION 7. CERTIFICATION.

                In calculating the county's success in achieving the goals established in this Executive Order, the county may include the following:

                                        (1) On contracts that have MBE/WBE contracting and subcontracting requirements, only the participation by contractors and subcontractors certified by the Maryland Department of Transportation or Baltimore City's Minority Business Office Certification shall be counted;

     

                                        (2) For contracts by the Office of Budget and Finance, contracts with
    non-certified prime contractors who certify their status as an MBE/WBE under oath or Prime contractors certified by any jurisdiction as an MBE/WBE shall be counted toward the  MBE/WBE participation;

     

                                        (3) For Public Works contracts, only contractors, subcontractors, and prime consultants and general contractors certified by Maryland Department of Transportation or Baltimore City's Minority Business Office Certification programs shall be counted toward the MBE/WBE participation; and

     

                                        (4) Certified MBE/WBE prime contractors may count their participation on contracts with MBE/WBE goals up to 50% of the established contract goal.

    SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE.

                This Executive Order shall take effect on the day it is signed by the County Executive and shall continue in effect until changed by another Executive Order.

    Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:15:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/kamenetz-improves-procurement-process-to-increase-competitive-bids-for-county-contracts
  2. County Crews Stop Sanitary Sewer Overflow in Owings Mills

    Public advised to avoid contact with water while Department of Health monitors water quality

    A sanitary sewer overflow was discovered late Tuesday morning in a wooded area north of Coppermill Court in Owings Mills. Crews from Baltimore County’s Bureau of Utilities responded to contain the discharge from a sewer manhole. They worked through the day to establish a pump-around using three pumps. The release was stopped by 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night.

    The sewage overflow, estimated at 212,500 gallons, was apparently the result of damage from stream debris to two manholes which happened during recent, hard rains. Debris entered the damaged manholes and blocked an 18-inch diameter pipe.

    The overflow occurred in a densely wooded area, from a manhole located in a tributary to the Gwynns Falls. Utility crews are liming and cleaning up the area, but the public is advised to avoid contact with the water. The Baltimore County Department of Health is monitoring water quality in the area and has issued a water contact advisory on the Department's website:

    Please follow this link for more information: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/environmentalhealth/watersampling/alertadvisory.html

    Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:24:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/county-crews-stop-sanitary-sewer-overflow-in-owings-mills
  3. Take a cool hike this hot summer

    by Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Recreation and Parks

    Time to break away from that screen.

    How about a hike at your favorite Baltimore County Park?  There are easy trails to enjoy a brisk or slow paced hike and more challenging trails to test your stamina – all while sharing fun, beautiful views, and if you like, a quiet and serene time for reflection.  

    Safe summer hiking is common-sense hiking.  First, let your friends and family know where you’ll be going. Take your charged phone in case of emergency. Check the forecast and prepare for changes in the weather.  

    Summer hiking tips

    With a great day in mind, here are some basic tips to make your hike safer and more comfortable.

    • Plan your trip around the weather.  Early morning hikes are the best. Avoid the hottest time of day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
    • Hiking in shaded areas is safer than in the direct sunlight. Try a hike near water - dip your hat or bandana in the water to cool off.  
    • Wear loose, breathable clothes. Light colors reflect the sun.
    • Wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim all the way around.
    • Wear closed-toe, flat shoes and socks for comfort and safety.
    • Bring plenty of water, but don’t over-drink.
    • If you are hiking with your dog, don’t forget that pets need to be hydrated, too.
    • Remember sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours.
    • Listen to your body. Be aware of the symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and dangerous heat stroke. Learn the warning symptoms here before you set out on your hike.  

    Use the easy online Baltimore County Trail Finder to search for a walking trail near you. Now get out to your favorite Baltimore County Park and have a great time on the trails!

    Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:15:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/take-a-cool-hike-this-hot-summer
  4. Baltimore County is Ranked Fourth in the Nation for Use of Technology

    Award Highlights Innovation and Streamlining of Government Services

    Baltimore County is ranked among the top five most tech-savvy mid-sized county governments in the nation, according to the Center for Digital Government’s 15th annual 2017 Digital Counties Survey in conjunction with the National Association of Counties (NACo).

    Among the counties that participated, Baltimore County earned the fourth place ranking in the category for counties with populations from 500,000 to 999,000. The award recognizes counties considered to be “digital leaders” in terms of aligning technology initiatives with strategic priorities to provide significant cost savings and administrative efficiencies.

    “We are very proud to be recognized for our success in making the most of technology to maximize efficiencies in a way that helps us enhance public safety, improve our schools, and better serve our citizens,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “I appreciate the outstanding efforts of our talented technology staff here at the County,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

    Improving Government Services through Technology

    This year, the survey identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services. Some highlights of the survey’s criteria include practices that encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and reduce carbon emissions.

    Baltimore County was honored as a top-ranked county at the 2017 Digital Counties Survey Awards Reception during NACo’s Annual Conference & Exposition in Columbus, Ohio on July 22, and received the Digital Counties Survey Award. Additionally, winners will be featured in the Center’s best practices and thought leadership white papers.

    About the Digital Counties Survey

    The Digital Counties Survey is hosted by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The organization also provides government, education and industry leaders with decision support, research and educational services to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. This survey is conducted in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), a full-service organization that provides legislative, research, technical, and public affairs assistance to county governments.

    Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:47:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-is-ranked-fourth-in-the-nation-for-use-of-technology
  5. Kamenetz to Honor Henrietta Lacks’ Legacy in Turner Station on Saturday, July 29

    Program and Special Recognition Includes Free Movie Screening 

    Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is hosting a tribute to Henrietta Lacks next Saturday, July 29, in the Turner Station neighborhood where she lived. The program celebrates her legacy and will include a special and rare honor from the County Executive, as well as remarks from community leaders and a free screening of the movie, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” starring Oprah Winfrey.

    The program, which will take place at the Fleming Community Center, located at 641 Main Street in Turner Station, begins at 10 a.m. and includes refreshments. The public is welcome to attend.

    Sponsoring groups include the Lacks Family, Henrietta Lacks House of Healing, Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group, Turner Station Conservation Teams, Fleming Senior Center Council, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. William Wade’s family, Baltimore County Department of Aging, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, The Kingdom Economic System and Turner Station Heritage Foundation Committee. Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam was instrumental in ensuring that Henrietta Lacks’ contributions were recognized statewide and in Baltimore County. Media sponsors for the event include Radio One and the Afro-American Newspaper.

    Henrietta Lacks has been called by some “the most important woman in medical history,”  despite the lack of recognition while she was alive. An African-American Dundalk resident who lived in Turner Station, Henrietta Lacks was the unwitting source of an immortalized line of cells that will reproduce indefinitely and continues to be a source of invaluable medical data today. Her cells were used to test the polio vaccine, were a basis for cloning and in vitro fertilization and are helping to develop anti-cancer drug therapies.

    Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:22:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/kamenetz-to-honor-henrietta-lacks-legacy-in-turner-station-on-saturday-july-29
 
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County Executive Biography

The County Executive standing behind a podium.

Serving as Baltimore County’s twelfth County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz has established a three-pronged approach to governing by applying the principles of innovation, responsibility, and efficiency. Learn More.

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