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Baltimore County News

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Date: Dec 2018

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,” 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.


Retains Many in Key Leadership Positions

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:

  • Laura D. Riley, Director, Department of Aging (currently serves as Deputy Director)
  • Keith A. Dorsey, Director, Office of Budget and Finance
  • Gail M. Watts, Director, Department of Corrections
  • Michael E. Field, County Attorney
  • William G. Anderson, Director, Department of Economic and Workforce Development
  • Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., Director, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Services and Health Officer
  • Robert W. O'Connor, Director, Office of Information Technology
  • Terrence B. Sheridan, Chief, Police Department
  • Steven A. Walsh, PE, Director, Department of Public Works
  • Barry F. Williams, Director, Department of Recreation and Parks

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.”

Police Chief Transition

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."

Dori Henry to Serve as Director of Communications

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.


Commission to Recommend Improvements, Opportunities for Public Engagement

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.

Public Meetings and Online Access to Foster Transparency, Invite Feedback

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:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

No. 2018-005

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.

  1. Membership. The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall consist of seven voting members. Four of the members shall be appointed by the County Executive, and three of the members shall be appointed by the County Council.
  2. Terms. The term of a member appointed under subsection A of this section is one year. Members of the Commission shall receive no salaries but shall be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties in accordance with appropriations approved by the County Council. All members of the Commission appointed by the County Executive shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. All members of the Commission appointed by the County Council shall serve at the pleasure of the County Council. At the end of a term, a member continues to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
  3. Chair. The Chair of the Commission shall be selected by a majority of its members.

Section II: Meetings, quorums.

  1. Meetings. The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall meet at the request of the Chair as frequently as required to perform its duties, but not less than once every month.
  2. Quorum. A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and an affirmative vote of the majority of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action.

Section III: Duties and Responsibilities.

The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall perform the following duties:

  • Study the Baltimore County budget, identify deficiencies, and formulate recommendations for improvement;
  • Study the Baltimore County budget process and identify opportunities for greater transparency and increased public engagement;
  • Issue interim recommendations to the County Executive and County Council not later than February 15, 2019; and
  • Issue final recommendations to the County Executive and County Council not later than May 15, 2019.

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.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017