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.
In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to build out our transition process, prior to the December 3 Inauguration. We did this together. From the beginning our journey has been a people-powered campaign that speaks to what’s possible in Baltimore County.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.
As he continues his efforts to modernize County government, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today provided an update on his transition team’s progress, releasing the full rosters of his transition team work groups and schedule of work group meetings.
“We’re proud to have recruited a diverse coalition of thoughtful leaders from across the Baltimore region to lead our work groups and begin building a better Baltimore County,” said County Executive Olszewski. “We are laying the foundation to set goals and priorities and provide every resident access to the 21st-century government they deserve.”
Each transition work group is developing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will inform policy priorities, reform how Baltimore County does business and improve the delivery of services and resources provided by county government.
The Education Work Group is co-chaired by Diana Morris, Director, Open Society Institute and Ed Gilliss, Partner, Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid LLP.
The members of the Education Work Group include:
The Jobs & Economic Development Work Group is co-chaired by Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University; Freeman Hrabowski, President UMBC; and Shina Parker, CEO Integrity Title.
The members of the Job Creation & Economic Development Work Group include:
The Public Safety Work Group is co-chaired by Sheryl Goldstein, VP, Abell Foundation and Carl Jackson, Community Activist.
The members of the Public Safety Work Group include:
The Health & Human Services Work Group is co-chaired by Talib Horne, Executive Director, Bon Secours Community Works; Gill Wylie, President, Johns Hopkins Medical Management; and Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities.The members of the Health & Human Services Work Group include:
The Diversity, Inclusion, Quality of Life Work Group is co-chaired Vicki Almond, County Council, District 2 and Chuck Tildon, VP, United Way of Central Maryland.
The members of the Diversity, Inclusion & Quality Of Life Work Group include:
The Government Reform & Innovation Work Group is co-chaired by Beth Blauer, Executive Director, JHU GovEx; Lisa Hamilton, President & CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Roy Meyers, Professor, UMBC.
The members of the Government Reform and Innovation Work Group include:
The Sustainability, Transportation, Infrastructure workgroup is co-chaired by Anwer Hasan, Senior VP, Louis Berger and Tim Regan, President, Whiting-Turner.
The members of Sustainability, Transportation & Infrastructure Work Group include:
In order to develop these recommendations, work group members are reviewing department data and consulting with policy experts and community members.
Each work group will continue their work, meeting throughout December and January and will issue a final report on January 31, 2019.
The full schedule of work group meetings is available online.
Residents can continue to monitor the transition team’s progress, submit ideas, and find information about workgroup meetings on the County’s website.
Community members can continue to submit ideas for the transition online or by emailing email@example.com. These community suggestions will be reviewed by the transition team and incorporated into the final report.
County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. reached out to the head of General Motors (GM) to emphasize the value of the state-of-the-art White Marsh manufacturing facility, both to GM and to the Baltimore region. In a letter sent yesterday afternoon, he called on GM Chairman and CEO Mary Teresa Barra to find a product or alternate use for the plant that will keep all of its 300 high-performing employees working.
“We know that Eastern Baltimore County is one of the most competitive areas for manufacturing on the East Coast with our highly skilled workforce and proximity to transportation networks,” Olszewski said. “I wanted to make sure that the leadership at GM understands the importance and value of this facility to their bottom line and to Baltimore County.”
The full text of his letter is below:
December 11, 2018
Ms. Mary Teresa Barra
Chairman and CEO
General Motors Company
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, Michigan 48243
Dear Ms. Barra,
As the newly-elected County Executive of Baltimore County, I was shocked to learn about General Motors’ (GM) decision to cease production at GM’s White Marsh facility. This facility has been an anchor and source of pride within our County since it opened in 2000. The facility’s importance to the region became even more significant upon the opening of the $245 million electric motor facility in 2012. Hundreds of millions of federal, state, and local dollars have been invested since its opening and it has been lauded as a “state of the art” facility that embodied American resiliency in the wake of the great recession.
As you know, our region has strong and deep roots in manufacturing. Our proximity to major highway and rail networks and the Port of Baltimore has made eastern Baltimore County one of the most significant areas for logistics and manufacturing – and we continue to remain competitive. We attract talented and qualified workers and have demonstrated our commitment to embracing 21st century workforce solutions through bolstering trades, job training and workforce development. And we will continue to do so.
Therefore I respectfully request that GM find a product or alternative use for the plant that will keep all 300 of those employees working in Baltimore County. I understand that according to GM’s own corporate metrics, the employees at White Marsh are among the top performers across the entire company. Furthermore, I understand these employees have had very few grievances with GM management. The facility is both modern and effective, and I know these hard-working men and women remain committed to achieving high performance standards.
If GM does not reverse the decision to cease production in White Marsh, we must work collectively with our state and federal partners to do everything we can for the employees and families impacted. As such, I have asked my team to immediately engage with local GM and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 239 in an effort to protect the career-paths of affected GM workers. At my direction, Baltimore County’s Department of Workforce and Economic Development will serve as the central agency responsible for communications, coordination with area employers interested in recruiting GM workers, and hosting career fairs. We will also offer workshops and direct career counseling, assist with resume development, interview preparation, and other unemployment essentials.
Earlier this week, a team of economic and workforce development professionals from my administration met with GM’s human resource manager, Erin Spitzer, to discuss collaboration on these efforts. I have every confidence that we will continue to have GM’s cooperation and partnership in these efforts.
While we are bracing for a possible closure, I would like to reiterate my strong request to maintain operations at the White Marsh facility. As soon as possible, I invite you and/or members of your senior leadership team to join me in a tour of the White Marsh operation to observe the world-class operation there firsthand. I am available to discuss this matter at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.
John Olszewski, Jr.
Eric Shelhorn, Plant Manager, GM White Marsh
Erin Spitzer, HR Manager, GM White Marsh
John Blanchard, Director of Local Government Relations, GM
Will Anderson, Director of Economic & Workforce Development, Baltimore County
Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce
The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland
The Honorable Katherine Klausmeier, Senate of Maryland District 8
The Honorable Eric Bromwell, Maryland House of Delegates District 8
The Honorable Joe Cluster, Maryland House of Delegates District 8
The Honorable Christian Miele, Maryland House of Delegates District 8
The Honorable Cathy Bevins, Baltimore County Council District 6
Harry Bhandari, Delegate-Elect, District 8
Joseph Boteler, Delegate-Elect, District 8
The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” offers an overview of the County’s winter storm response, resources for people who need help paying energy bills and a quick life-saving CPR demonstration.
Winter Storm Response – Learn all about the County’s winter storm operations and how you can help.
CPR is Easier than Ever! – No more complicated counting or breaths… find out how hands-only CPR and automatic defibrillators make saving a life simpler than ever.
Need Help Paying Your Energy Bills? – Find out about assistance available through the Baltimore County Office of Home Energy Programs.
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.
County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. announced today that he plans to retain a significant number of current County officials as members of his government leadership team. He has nominated the following individuals to serve as County department and office heads, subject to confirmation by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the County Council:
In addition, Olszewski announced that he has nominated David Lykens to serve as Acting Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, where Lykens currently serves as Deputy Director.
“These individuals have been on the front lines of serving county residents, and they are well-qualified to help us build a better Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “As we work together to make Baltimore County more innovative, transparent and responsive to county residents, they will be empowered to lead change and modernize our government.”
Chief Sheridan has announced that he plans to retire in six months. He will remain on the job while the County conducts a national search for his successor. Sheridan has served a total of 13 years as the County’s police chief from January 2017 to the present, and previously from 1996 to 2007. He served as Maryland State Police Superintendent from 2007 to 2011, and prior to his role as County Police Chief, he served in the Maryland State Police for 30 years.
“Chief Sheridan is a first-class public safety professional who is well-respected by his officers and the community,” said Olszewski. “We are very grateful for his service and that he has agreed to continue in his role as we take the time to select someone to replace him who will maintain the same high standards of service to our constituents and will achieve the consistently positive results we have come to expect in Baltimore County."
Olszewski also named Dori Henry to lead his Office of Communications, which will play an integral role in his efforts to expand government transparency and foster open communication and collaborative decision-making with residents and other stakeholders. She will begin on December 17.
Henry now serves as Communications Director for the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. Previous positions include Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor and Director of Communications at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, now known as the Maryland Department of Health. She worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as a special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General, and has been a speechwriter and a reporter covering the Maryland General Assembly. She has a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University.
On his first day in office, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. issued an Executive Order creating a new blue ribbon commission tasked with studying the County budget process. The commission will recommend changes to improve fiscal sustainability, while identifying opportunities for enhanced transparency and increased public engagement in the budgeting process.
“Given current economic concerns, this group of fiscal and policy experts will put fresh eyes on the County’s budgeting process and priorities in a way that follows national best practices and opens up financial decision-making to public input like never before,” said Olszewski.
The seven-member Commission on Fiscal Sustainability will consist of four voting members appointed by the County Executive and three voting members appointed by the County Council. The volunteer members will serve one-year terms at the pleasure of the County Executive. The commission is charged with studying the County’s budget in detail and identifying deficiencies and improvements, as well as suggesting changes to significantly improve transparency and boost community engagement in the budgeting process.
The County Executive has charged the commission with issuing interim recommendations to him and the County Council by February 15, 2019, in time to be considered as part of the FY 20 budget cycle. Final recommendations are due by May 15, 2019.
Olszewski also announced today that he is directing the County’s budget and information technology departments to quickly execute a plan to release budget information online for County residents to review and consider. Prior to releasing his first budget proposal, the newly elected County Executive committed to working with every member of the County Council to host public forums called “Cabinet in the Community” meetings where members of the public may interact directly with County officials to discuss budget priorities and weigh options.
“In order to best serve the families and businesses of Baltimore County, we need to reach out in meaningful ways to find out what matters most to people,” Olszewski said. “We plan to work collaboratively with all stakeholders so that we can overcome our challenges and build a better Baltimore County for everyone.”
The text of the Executive Order is below:
BALTIMORE COUNTY COMMISSION ON FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY
Whereas, making government more transparent and accountable to all residents of Baltimore County is a central priority of this Administration; and
Whereas, Moody’s downgraded the County’s credit outlook from “Stable” to “Negative” in February 2018, and Fitch identified several risks to the County’s rating in March 2018;
Whereas, there is an emerging consensus among economists that the slowing global economy could have adverse consequences on the American economy in the next year;
Whereas, Baltimore County must address its existing fiscal challenges and develop sustainable budgeting practices amid ongoing economic uncertainty.
Now, therefore, it is this 3rd day of December, 2018, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, ordered that the Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall be created and charged as follows:
Section I: Membership, appointment, terms of office, officers, and compensation of members.
Section II: Meetings, quorums.
Section III: Duties and Responsibilities.
The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall perform the following duties:
Section IV: Staff Assistance.
Staff assistance shall be provided by the Department of Budget and Finance and the Baltimore County Executive’s Office.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.
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.