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Baltimore County News

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Date: Feb 26, 2019

All three major ratings agencies affirmed Baltimore County’s creditworthiness despite fiscal challenges

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that Baltimore County has retained its triple-A bond rating from all three major rating agencies, allowing the county to continue to issue bonds at the lowest possible interest rate, saving millions of dollars for Baltimore County taxpayers. Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings have each affirmed the county’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 45 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.

“Our county’s strong and diverse economy allows us to maintain the coveted triple-A rating, which is good news for taxpayers and for our ability to continue to borrow at the lowest possible rate for critical capital projects like school construction and infrastructure,” Olszewski said. “The agencies all acknowledged that, while we are facing fiscal challenges, we are taking important steps to address them.”

“Maintaining Baltimore County’s creditworthiness is critical for ensuring we can continue to borrow the capital dollars we need at a low cost to taxpayers,” said County Council Chairman Tom Quirk. “I look forward to working with the County Executive and my colleagues on the council to ensure we can continue to maintain our triple-A ratings.”

In their reports, the agencies noted Baltimore County’s strong economy and diverse tax base. However, all three also noted the county’s impending budgetary gaps, and Moody’s gave the county a negative outlook, noting the mounting challenges and additional capital needs in the coming years.

Since taking office in December, Olszewski has taken a number of steps to share information about the county’s fiscal challenges and to address the $81 million deficit projected for the coming fiscal year.

On his first day in office, Olszewski signed an executive order to create the Commission on Fiscal Sustainability, tasked with taking a top to bottom look at the county’s budget and fiscal management practices, and making recommendations for how to improve the budgeting process and make it more transparent. In addition, Olszewski has held a series of town hall meetings to share information about the impending budget deficit with county residents, and to hear their thoughts and concerns about how the county should prioritize its spending. The final town hall meeting is scheduled for next week. He has also announced plans to conduct a comprehensive performance audit in order to ensure the county’s taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively.

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by Tammy Price, Chief, Baltimore County 911 Center

911 has been featured in television shows (Rescue 911, and 9-1-1) and movies (Operator and The Call) so you may be pretty familiar with the profession, but there are some things you may not know about your local Baltimore County 911 Center. 

Did you know? 

We are only 39 years old!  It seems like 911 has always been around, but The Baltimore County 911 Center has only been in operation since January 15, 1980.  In fact, the very first 911 call was made a mere 12 years before -- in Alabama on February 16, 1968.   

We’re the 3rd largest 911 center in Maryland! As such, we handle over 800,000 calls for service each year – that’s an average of about 2,200 calls per day.   

We are a civilian organization.  While we work in conjunction with the Police and Fire Departments, we are a separate agency. 

We have over 200 employees. Our dedicated men and women are the FIRST of the first responders.     

Answering our questions doesn’t delay help. The location of the emergency is the most important piece of information you can give us.  Once we have the location, we will dispatch the call and then ask the rest of our questions while help is on the way. 

Our non-emergency number is 410-887-2222.  This is a 24 hour number that you can use to report non-emergency situations in Baltimore County.   

Young children call 911 too!  Early education is key, so we attend community events and teach an elementary education program to help young children learn about 911. 

In our profession, we are known as telecommunicators. However, each 911 Center’s job title may vary. In Baltimore County, our calltakers and dispatchers are called Emergency Communications Technicians (ECTs). 

National Telecommunicators Week celebrates our calltakers and dispatchers.  Each year, a week in April is designated as National Telecommunicators Week to recognize the work our men and women do.  Just as the police and fire departments have the thin blue and red lines, our profession is identified by the Thin Gold Line.  
 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017