Baltimore County’s businesses, its government, and its people share a common vision for a bright future — not merely over the next five or ten years, but for generations to come.
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.Learn More
"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.
"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.
"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.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s transition team today issued its final report, with dozens of recommendations that provide a blueprint for the work of the County Executive’s administration over the next four years.
“We have a lot of work to do to address our fiscal challenges while also advancing our shared priorities to move Baltimore County forward, and I’m grateful to our entire transition team for helping to chart the course,” Olszewski said. “Over the next four years, these recommendations will help guide our work to make county government more open and transparent, and to ensure we are providing the top notch services and programs that our residents expect and deserve.”
The Transition Team was co-chaired by Calvin G. Butler, Jr., CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, and Rachel Garbow Monroe, President and CEO of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
“The Olszewski administration has an opportunity to bring innovation to county government and progress for county residents, and I believe our report provides strong recommendations to help guide the county executive’s work,” Butler said. “It was an honor to help lead this effort to identify solutions to some of the challenges facing the county.”
“We had an inclusive process that brought together voices with a wide variety of expertise from around the region, and the result is a report that provides specific recommendations for how the Olszewski administration can build on the county’s strengths to expand opportunity in every community,” Garbow Monroe said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help lead this transition team, and I look forward to seeing the county executive and his team make these recommendations a reality.”
The process brought together more than 100 respected thought-leaders, practitioners, community leaders and policy advocates from both the public and private sectors to participate in seven work groups and develop recommendations for making progress in key priority areas affecting all residents of Baltimore County. The seven work groups covered the broad topics of Education; Public Safety; Jobs and Economic Development; Government Reform and Innovation; Sustainability, Infrastructure and Transportation; and Health and Human Services.
View the full Transition Report (PDF).
Due to expected inclement weather, the February 20 Commission on Fiscal Sustainability meeting is canceled.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Towson. View the full commission schedule for more information on upcoming meetings.
By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Communications Specialist, Department of Public Works
How dangerous is your job? When we think of deadly professions, we tend to think of mining, construction, law enforcement and firefighting. Oddly enough, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those jobs are not among the top ten civilian occupations with the highest fatality rates. In fact, the five civilian occupations with the highest fatality rates in 2017 were fishing, logging, piloting/flight engineering, roofing and refuse and recyclable material collection.
You read that right – the men and women who cart away more than 250 million tons of trash, recycling and organic materials generated by Americans each year have one of the nation’s deadliest occupations. In fact, waste collection has an incidence rate of 35 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers, ten times the national average! (I’ll keep that statistic in mind the next time the lid to my trash can goes missing.)
What makes solid waste collection such a dangerous profession? Falls, slips, trips, fires, explosions and contact with dangerous, heavy equipment all cause fatalities among collectors. However, across all occupations, transportation incidents were the most common cause of fatal injury, which is not news to waste collectors.
“Most people don’t realize just how dangerous the solid waste management field can be,” said Tim Dunn, Baltimore County’s solid waste superintendent. “It’s important to remember the hardworking people who perform this essential public service when you’re out and about. A little bit of extra care and caution behind the wheel can go a long way.”
In recent years, the National Waste and Recycling Association and the Solid Waste Association of North America made it a priority to pass “slow down to get around” (SDTGA) legislation in states across the country, including Maryland SB 445, which was signed into law last year. These laws require drivers to slow down and change lanes when approaching waste management vehicles from the rear.
In addition to following Maryland’s SDTGA law, you can take some simple steps to reduce the risk of injury for sanitation workers:
By following a few basic rules, being mindful and showing a little common courtesy, you can help reduce injury and fatality rates not only among waste collectors, but workers across industries.
Have questions about trash and recycling collection in Baltimore County? View a list of collection FAQs on the County’s website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article originally appeared in The Resource Newsletter. See past issues and subscribe at baltimorecountymd.gov/theresource.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.