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Baltimore County News

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Report identifies a lack of transparency and antiquated systems as factors that stifle innovation

The Commission on Fiscal Sustainability, created by County Executive Johnny Olszewski on his first day in office to examine the county’s budget and budgeting practices, has released an interim report with preliminary recommendations related to transparency, financial management, and improving budget formulation practices.

“In just over a month, the commission has identified a number of areas where Baltimore County can improve, including how it manages spending and how to more meaningfully engage constituents in the budget process,” Olszewski said. “The commission’s report makes it clear that we have inherited some antiquated systems and outdated methods. In the short term I am focused on crafting a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2020 that is due in less than two months, but in the long term I am committed to making the changes necessary to bring Baltimore County’s budget practices into the 21st century.”

Immediately after his inauguration on December 3, 2018, Olszewski signed an executive order to create the Commission, which he tasked 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 commission’s members were named in January, and have held weekly meetings, which have been open to the public.

“The commission’s work is an extension of County Executive Olszewski’s commitment to an open and transparent budget process,” said Don Mohler, the chair of the commission. “The interim report is the first step in our effort to provide the County Executive and County Council substantive information to be considered during the upcoming budget process.”

The Commission on Fiscal Sustainability is one of a number of steps the Olszewski Administration has taken to address the county’s near-term fiscal challenges and long term budget needs. Other steps include a series of community town halls, one in each council district, to gather input from county residents on their priorities; plans for a county-wide performance audit to identify efficiencies in government operations; and tasking agency heads with identifying opportunities for savings, including eliminating ineffective or redundant programs, streamlining services, or other innovative ways to more efficiently spend taxpayer dollars.

The county executive must deliver his budget proposal to the county council by April 15.

Read the interim report here.

The Commission will release its final report in May.

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Final budget town hall, police community town hall meeting details released 

TOWSON, MD — In the latest effort to promote open and accessible government, County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced details for additional town hall meetings to directly engage with residents.

As part of the ongoing national search for a new chief to lead the Baltimore County Police Department, the County is hosting Public Safety Community Forums to offer residents to provide input into the selection process.

Community Public Safety Community Forum Details

  • East County Policing Town Hall: Tuesday, February 26, Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center Auditorium, 323 Sollers Point Road Dundalk, Maryland 21222; 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • West County Policing Town Hall: Thursday, February 28, Milford Mill Academy, 3800 Washington Ave, Baltimore, MD 21244; 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

In addition, residents can also send written comments to policechiefsearch@baltimorecountymd.gov. A number of comments have already been received.

The confidentiality of all applicants will be maintained throughout the search process. A new police chief will be in place by June 2019. More information about the police chief search process is available here.

Final Budget Town Hall Meeting Scheduled 

Baltimore County today also announced a new date and time for the final of seven town hall meetings focused on Baltimore County’s current fiscal climate.

The District 1 meeting co-hosted by Council Chairman Tom Quirk will be held on Wednesday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at UMBC’s Fine Arts Recital Hall (1000 Hilltop Circle, 21250).

The meeting was postponed last week following inclement weather.

To date over 1200 residents have attended town hall meetings across Baltimore County.

“We’ve seen overwhelmingly that community members want to hear from—and speak directly to—their government. I’m committed to making that reality,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We remain focused on continuing to work collaboratively with stakeholders in every community to overcome our shared challenges and build a better Baltimore County together.” 

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Stacy L. Rodgers becomes first African-American appointed to the position

TOWSON, MD — County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced the appointment of Stacy L. Rodgers as the County Administrative Officer. The C.A.O. is a critical leadership position in County government, responsible for directing the County’s day-to-day operations, including overseeing the work of all County agencies. Rodgers brings with her a broad range of management experience in both the private and public sectors.

She has more than 28 years of experience in working with federal, state, and local government agencies and non-profit organizations. Rodgers has successfully designed and implemented innovative human service programs and initiatives for municipal and state agencies. Most recently, Rodgers served as the Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), the largest of the Maryland Department of Human Services local departments serving more than 245,000 individuals and families annually. She oversaw the agency’s portfolio of programs, including adult services, child welfare services, and financial assistance programs.

Previously, Rodgers served as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) during the Obama Administration. In December 2014, Rodgers became SSA’s Chief of Staff, providing oversight for day to day operations for the agency’s more than 64 thousand member staff, 1,400 field and hearing offices nationwide, and 12 billion operating budget. She has also served as the Deputy Director for Program Operations at the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, and in a variety of roles at the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Rodgers is a graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Leadership Institute, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators' (NFBPA) Mentor Program and Executive Leadership Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

“Stacy is a proven and dynamic leader who I am excited to have join our team,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Her vast array of skills and leadership will assist us in building a better Baltimore County.”

Rodgers becomes second woman and first African-American to hold this position.

She will start her new job in April.

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Revised September 11, 2017