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Fiscal Sustainability

With the goal of boosting community engagement and identifying budget deficiencies, the County Executive has created a new blue ribbon commission tasked with studying the County budget process.

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Johnny O and his family.

"I grew up in the shadow of a steel mill. I saw firsthand the detrimental effects the mill’s closure had on my friends and family. But like so many in Baltimore County, I didn’t give up, I went to work."

- John Olszewski, Jr.

Johnny O and his family.

"I spent 7 years teaching in the Baltimore County Public School System. I know what needs to happen to bring our children’s schools into the 21st century."

- John Olszewski, Jr.

Johnny O and his family.

"For nearly a decade I served in the state legislature working to improve education, bring jobs to Maryland, and improve the quality of life for all Marylanders."

- John Olszewski, Jr.

In The News

 

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
  1. Baltimore County Offices Closed for Presidents’ Day Holiday

    Trash and Recycling Collection Normal, Drop-off Facilities Open

    Towson, MD – Baltimore County government offices, and the District and Circuit Courts, will be closed on Monday, February 18 in recognition of the Presidents’ Day holiday. Health Department clinics, libraries and senior centers will be closed, and CountyRide vans will not operate. Parking meters must be fed and Baltimore County Revenue Authority parking garages will be open as usual. 

    Trash and Recycling Collection is Normal, Drop-Off Centers are Open

    Trash and recyclables will be collected according to the normal schedule.  The County’s trash and recycling drop-off facilities will be open.  Residents can log onto www.baltimorecountymd.gov/solidwaste for more information about recycling and trash collection, including schedules and drop-off center locations and hours. Residents may also call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at 410-887-2000. Collection schedules are also available on the County’s new BaltCoGo app, available on mobile phones. The app is offered free of charge to Android and iPhone users and may be downloaded from their respective app stores.  

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 19:13:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-offices-closed-for-presidents-day-holiday-2
  2. Engineers—The Original Environmentalists

    By Steve Walsh
    Director of Public Works

    Next time you take a drink of nice cool, clean water; flush away something nasty or take a pleasant drive, think of the engineers over time who have made our modern comforts and sanitation possible. Engineers are the original environmentalists who have toiled for centuries to protect us and our surroundings by coming up with ingenious ways to keep raw sewage, rotting garbage, pollution and disease under control and from affecting our daily lives.

    The History of Engineering

    Photo of an aqueduct

    Ancient engineers developed the aqueducts and water treatment, starting with the ancient Egyptians who collected rainfall and designed copper pipelines to dispose of sewage. Around 2000 B.C., Hindus figured out that water should be stored in copper vessels, exposed to sunlight and filtered through charcoal. The early Romans created drains and sewers and fostered hygienic processes. The “filth, pestilence and plague” of the Dark Ages helped inspire further innovations in engineering.

    In the 1600s, English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon conducted thousands of experiments on the treatment of water, including boiling, distillation and percolating it through filters. In the 1800s, hydraulic engineers worked out methods to deliver abundant clean water to the developing cities and reduce the choking pollution from industrial smokestacks. In the 20th century, American engineers sent Neil Armstrong to the moon to take his “giant leap for mankind.” For more of these historical nuggets, check out the interesting article "History of Environmental Engineering," by Washington University in St. Louis Professor Charles A. Buescher Jr., PE, DEE.

    The County's World-Renowned Engineering

    Photo of the shore of Loch Raven

    If you hike or bike around Loch Raven, Prettyboy or Liberty Reservoirs, you may be interested to know that our world-renowned reservoir and dam system for drinking water in the Baltimore region is thanks to engineer extraordinaire Abel Wolman. He was in the very first graduating class of the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering in 1915, and went on to become the architect of Baltimore City’s expansive water and sewage treatment plants built in the 1930s, which still serve some 1.8 million people in Baltimore City and County.

    Modern-day engineers come in all stripes, including civil, environmental, transportation, aeronautical, electrical, mechanical and chemical. They keep our bridges and roadways in working order, reduce stormwater run-off from roads and buildings, dredge waterways to keep them open, protect and restore our streams and shorelines, and much more.

    National Engineers Week

    Did you know that the word “engineer” derives from the Latin words, "ingenium," meaning "cleverness," and "ingeniare," meaning “to contrive or devise.” So if you know a clever engineer who is helping to keep our environment healthy and the gadgets, gizmos and systems of our society running smoothly, please take a moment to thank him or her during National Engineers Week, from February 17 through 23. (Sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers.)

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/engineers-the-original-environmentalists
  3. February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

    Baltimore County offers free HIV testing at multiple locations

    The Baltimore County Department of Health is hosting five, free HIV testing clinics in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD).The clinics will be held on Thursday, February 7 and are open to everyone, regardless of race.

    February 7, 2019 is the 19th annual observance of NBHAAD. This initiative aims to raise awareness of HIV – especially among African Americans. A primary focus of this annual observation is to encourage everyone to get tested and learn their status. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the more than 1.1 million people in the United States estimated to have HIV, approximately 15% are unaware that they are infected. Moreover, although African Americans represent approximately 13% of the U.S. population, they account for approximately 43% of the HIV diagnoses.

    “Even though these clinics are being held in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it’s critical for everyone ages 13 and older to get tested and to know their status,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. “What you don’t know can hurt you—and others. So take advantage of our free testing opportunities.”

    Testing is free, quick and conveniently provided at a Baltimore County Health Center near you. No appointment is necessary and your test results are provided within 20 minutes. Testing locations and times are as follows: HIV Clinic Schedule

    • Drumcastle Government Center | 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM 6401 York Road, Third Floor, 21212
    • Eastern Family Resource Center | 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM 9150 Franklin Square Drive, 21237
    • Lansdowne Health Center | 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM 3902 Annapolis Road, 21227
    • Liberty Family Resource Center | 1 PM to 4 PM 3525 Resource Drive, 21133
    • Essex Health Center | 2 PM to 7 PM 201 Back River Neck Road, 21221

    For information about our year-round HIV testing clinics, please call 410-887-2437 or visit our website at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/gettested.

    Wed, 06 Feb 2019 19:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/february-7-is-national-black-hiv-aids-awareness-day-3
  4. Latest “Hello Baltimore County” TV Show Features Sit-down with County Executive Olszewski, Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge

    Show Airs on Cable Channel 25 and Online

    The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” includes an in-depth interview with County Executive Johnny Olszewski, an overview of the County’s environmental health function and details on how you can join the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.  

    Clean, Green and Litter-free – Find out how your group can make a difference in your community and help a local school win the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.

    Meet Johnny O – County Executive Johnny Olszewski discusses his top priorities, and plans for open transparent government.

    What’s Up Doc? – Baltimore County’s top doc, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch explores environmental health issues like the cleanliness of restaurants, public pools and more.

    You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page. In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25 in Baltimore County, at the following times:

    Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

    Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

    Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

    Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

    Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

    Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

    Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

    Fri, 01 Feb 2019 14:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/latest-hello-baltimore-county-tv-show-features-sit-down-with-county-executive-olszewski-clean-green-15-litter-challenge
  5. Olszewski Announces Package of Reforms to Improve Ethics and Accountability

    Reforms include public campaign financing and the creation of the Office of Ethics and accountability

    County Executive Johnny Olszewski today proposed a package of reforms intended to improve accountability in county government and strengthen ethical standards. The proposed reforms, which must be approved by the County Council, include:

    • Public financing of campaigns: Charter amendment for the ballot in 2020
    • Creating an Office of Ethics and Accountability to audit, inspect, evaluate and investigate government operations in order to promote economy and efficiency and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse
    • Prohibiting certain county officials from lobbying county government for a period of one year following termination of employment
    • Posting all lobbyist registrations online and streamlining the definition of a lobbyist so the same standards apply to those who lobby the executive and legislative branches

    “Baltimore County residents put their trust and confidence in their local government to be good stewards of their tax dollars and deliver high quality services. They deserve a government that is held to the highest standards of ethics and accountability,” Olszewski said.

    The public financing Charter Amendment, which will require voter approval in 2020, would create a system for public financing for candidates running for county council and county executive. The program would be voluntary, with candidates having the ability to opt in.

    “All public officials should be held to the highest ethical standards, and our county’s residents deserve a government that they can hold accountable. These proposals will go a long way toward achieving that end,” Council Chair Tom Quirk said.

    “Good government should concern people of all political parties, and I commend County Executive Olszewski for this comprehensive approach. I am particularly interested in the concept of public financing for campaigns,” Councilman David Marks said. “The voters deserve the opportunity to decide this charter change in the 2020 election.”

    The Office of Ethics and Accountability would provide increased accountability and oversight of county government by working to identify any fraud, abuse or illegal acts. The independent office would have autonomy from the county executive and county council, with an executive director appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the council by a vote of majority plus one. The proposal gives clear authority for the office to gain unrestricted access to records and information needed to conduct investigations. The Ethics Commission, now housed under the Office of Law, would be moved to the new Office of Ethics and Accountability.

    Under current law, the definition of a lobbyist is different for those who lobby the executive branch than those who lobby the legislative branch. The proposal will create one uniform standard. In addition, the proposal strengthens the “revolving door” restrictions. Current law prohibits former county employees from lobbying on matters in which they “participated significantly.” The proposal will add a restriction on any county lobbying for a former County Administrative Officer or department head for a period of one year after their employment ends.

    The proposals will be introduced to the County Council on February 19. The public financing charter amendment will require at least five votes – a majority plus one – in order to be added to the 2020 ballot.

    Fact Sheet: Better Government for a Better Baltimore County

    Citizens’ Election Fund System

    County Executive Olszewski is proposing a Charter Amendment to establish a public financing program for the offices of County Council and County Executive.

    • Similar to systems adopted by Montgomery County, Howard County, and Prince George’s County, this system aims to reduce the role of large private contributions and encourage individual small donor donations.
    • The program would allow candidates the ability to participate in an optional program that would provide matching County funds based on eligible contributions.
    • The bill does not establish complete details of the program, instead empowering voters to provide input in determining the final program. The Amendment would be included on the 2020 ballot.

    Office of Ethics and Accountability

    County Executive Olszewski is introducing a bill to establish the Office of Ethics and Accountability to provide increased accountability, accountability, and oversight in the operations of County government.

    • The Office would exist independently from the offices of the County Executive and County Council and would have unrestricted access to records and information, ensuring the Office can fully investigate claims of fraud, abuse, and illegal acts within any part of County government.
    • The Executive Director position of this new office would serve in a capacity similar to an Inspector General and would be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council.
    • The Office would publish a yearly report documenting investigations and efforts throughout the year.
    • This office would be included in the County Executive’s FY20 budget with plans to have Office in place by July 1, 2019.

    Lobbying Reform

    County Executive Olszewski is proposing policies to strengthen the County’s lobbying statutes, including:

    • Broadening the definition of lobbying to include both monetary and legislative lobbying.
    • Requiring lobbying registrations to be posted online for public review.
    • Introducing a “cooling-off period,” barring former County Administrative Officers or County Department Heads from lobbying Baltimore County for a period of one year following the employee’s termination.
    • Empowering the County Administrative Officer to expand staff required to receive County ethics training.
    • Requiring public officials required to receive ethics training to also file financial disclosure statements.
    Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:53:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-package-of-reforms-to-improve-ethics-and-accountability
 
Read more from Baltimore County News

County Executive Biography

County Executive John A. Olszewski, Jr.

A lifelong Baltimore County resident, Johnny believes in the power of public service and giving back to the community that has done so much for him. Learn More.