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.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. today submitted a $3.4 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 that supports the County’s commitment to quality education, economic opportunity, sustainability, healthy and safe communities, and transparent and accountable government. The proposed budget for FY 2020 addresses a structural shortfall while making record investments in education, investing in sustainability and diversity, and providing funds for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward.
In his address to the County Council, Olszewski emphasized his unwavering support for education, saying, “Investments in our kids are investments in our future. This budget proposes historic investments in education. It invests more than $32 million in new money in our schools, one of the largest ever increases over Maintenance of Effort.”
He also highlighted new investments in sustainability and diversity, addressing the opioid crisis, supporting public safety personnel, the first-ever line item for bike lanes and pedestrian features, and record investments in road resurfacing and traffic calming.
Below are highlights of the fiscal year 2020 budget County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.
The budget proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski for FY 2020 addresses a structural shortfall while making record investments in education, sustainability and diversity, and supporting key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward. The total proposed FY2020 Operating Budget is $3.4 billion.
“This budget is about what I’ve learned to value growing up here. It’s about the kind of Baltimore County I want to live in, the kind I want to raise my daughter in,” said Olszewski. “It focuses on the right policies and programs that will build the better Baltimore County we all want.”
The County Council will hold a hearing on the budget on April 30 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The vote on the budget is scheduled for May 23.
View the full text of the Baltimore County Executive’s FY2020 budget address.
Joanne Rund will serve as the county’s first permanent female fire chief
County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated individuals to fill several key roles on his leadership team. He has nominated:
“We are working to make Baltimore County more innovative, transparent, and responsive to the needs of residents and communities, and that requires assembling a top notch leadership team. These individuals will play a critical role in our efforts to build a better Baltimore County together,” Olszewski said.
Rund joins Baltimore County after serving for 32 years with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, most recently as Howard County’s Assistant Chief of The Bureau Occupational Safety & Health. She brings decades of experience in the emergency services field in a career/volunteer combination system. Before joining the fire service in 1987, Rund served as a volunteer Emergency Services Provider (EMS) in Carroll County. She holds numerous certifications in the field of health and safety, has obtained the National Fire Academy’s Advanced Safety Officer Program certification, and serves as Associate Faculty at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, and Region III Coordinator for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Advocacy programs. Rund is the first permanent female Fire Chief in Baltimore County’s history.
Gutwald joins Baltimore County following decades of planning and land use experience. He most recently served as Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Annapolis, following nearly 10 years of service as the Director of Planning and Zoning for Harford County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.
Lykens has served as the department’s acting director since December 2018, after previously serving as deputy director since December 2014. He has worked in Baltimore County since 1988, starting as a Natural Resource Specialist before working his way up to Director. Lykens holds bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Natural Science and a master’s degree in Biology from Towson University.
Blades will serve as acting director of Budget and Finance following the retirement of Keith Dorsey, who has served in the role for 35 years. Blades has worked in Baltimore County government since 1993, beginning in the Office of Budget and Finance as a Budget Analyst and has served as deputy budget director since 2012. In that capacity he has implemented various budget and financial software system upgrades and developed reporting structures to generate efficiencies in data collection and analysis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UMBC and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Baltimore County is well-positioned to significantly increase the economic impact of tourism in the County, and should step up marketing and promotion efforts in order to attract more visitors and maximize its potential according to a new study (PDF) conducted by Johnson Consulting for the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
Citing Baltimore County’s strong foundation of resources and assets, the study projects that expanded investments and strategic improvements to the tourism sector of Baltimore County could generate approximately $7 billion in tourism spending over a 10-year period.
“The results of this study could not make it more clear: Baltimore County can—and should—be a world-class tourist destination and I’m committed to making that a reality,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Baltimore County must do more to take advantage of our vibrant, diverse opportunities so that we can expand economic opportunity in every community and transform our County into the destination we know it can be.”
While Baltimore County is a large, diverse community which boasts a number of historical sites and unique attractions and a convenient location to waterfront, the Johnson Consulting study found that the County is behind other markets in terms of amenities like bike and hiking trails, regional performing arts, convention-expo facilities and sports-recreational facilities.
The study performed a comprehensive economic and market analysis of Baltimore County’s tourism sector and made a number of recommendations to improve the County’s competitive tourism position and enhance the County’s tourism products and assets, including:
To accomplish these recommendations, Baltimore County must embrace the emerging tourism industry as a fundamental pillar of economic development for the County.
“We’re thrilled to see that the new administration understands the clear ROI that investing in tourism can bring to Baltimore County’s tax base. We’re clearly entering a new era in economic development in our County,” said Hal Ashman, Chairman of the Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion Advisory Council. “Our tourism stakeholders, which represent hotels, restaurants, craft, marine trades, waterfront industry, and arts and cultural interests, are excited to work beside the County Executive to move Baltimore County into the next generation of tourism success.”
County Executive Olszewski is carefully reviewing this study ahead of submitting his first budget on Monday, April 15.
Review the complete study (PDF) and other reports and publications on the Department of Economic and Workforce Development website.
Every year, 911 calltakers and dispatchers around the country are honored during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week—a week-long recognition of their commitment to public safety.
From April 14 through 20, we pay tribute to the vital work these civilian men and women perform, as well as their unending spirit to serve our community. Baltimore County Emergency Telecommunicators are no different. These unsung heroes are the men and women working behind the scenes, taking your calls and working with Emergency Medical Services, Fire and Police units to send the right help to the right location. As such, telecommunicators are called the “first of the first responders.”
It’s no secret that 911 emergency personnel work in a stressful environment—they work with frightened or traumatized callers and deal with life-and-death situations every day—and that’s a lot of responsibility to shoulder.
Learn more about the work our calltakers and dispatchers do.
Baltimore County is a national leader in land preservation. Building on the first easement of 34 acres in 1975, the County now has over 66,000 acres of protected farmland, waterfront, stream valleys and natural lands. This successful effort is built upon the County’s growth management program, support for the farm industry and collaboration with the land preservation community.
The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Easement (MALPF) Application for Fiscal Year 2020 is due by Wednesday, May 1.
Land Preservation provides land owners with assistance on land preservation programs, stewardship of existing easements, applications for easement modifications and applications for agricultural zoning requests. Baltimore County’s nationally acclaimed Land Preservation program provides landowners the opportunity to receive income, estate or property tax benefits while maintaining ownership and privacy.
The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation is seeking applications for the current easement cycle. Staff encourages landowners who may be thinking about an easement sale to apply now. If you applied last year and have not been extended an offer, you are encouraged to reapply. Baltimore County staff is ready to assist landowners with their applications. The application period is open and the deadline is May 1. To be eligible, the land must be rural, meet minimum soil criteria and be at least 50 acres in size or adjacent to an already preserved farm. Funding is limited so selection will be based upon the quality of the farm land, development potential, discounted asking price and other factors.
Completed applications may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Department of Planning, Attn.
105 West Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 101
Towson, Maryland 21204
Once received the applications will be reviewed for eligibility and then ranked by the Baltimore County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board for Administration and County Council approvals.
Learn more about application forms for the State program. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Joe Wiley or Kaylee Justice at 410-887-3480 before completing the application.
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.