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Highlights County’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Program

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler was a recipient of Bmorenews.com’s Joe Manns Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented yesterday, November 8, during the National Black Wall Street Summit 2018. The daylong event, presented by Bmorenews.com in conjunction with the Greater Baltimore Urban League, featured business and civic leaders who came together to discuss viable, proactive solutions to the challenges facing African American-owned businesses.

“I am honored to receive this special award from Doni Glover who continues to celebrate African American entrepreneurs and professionals and provide resources and networking opportunities for their success,” said Mohler. “Baltimore County will continue to take a leadership role in fostering access to economic opportunity for all businesses, including those that are minority and women-owned.”

As Mohler accepted his award, he highlighted the County’s Minority and Women's Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) program, noting:

  • 2018 Disparity Study (for period 2013-2018)
  • Achievement of the highest MBE/WBE subcontracting participation, since the inception of the program, by reaching 20% participation from all departments collectively in FY 2018
  • 2018 “Meet the Primes” event boasted highest attendance since its inception. The purpose of this event is to facilitate a business-to-business networking venue to open the dialogue between primes and potential subcontractors.  Primes come prepared to discuss their prequalification requirements and upcoming projects. Potential subcontractors come to market their business.

Additional award recipients include Baltimore Council Chairman Julian Jones, former U.S. Congressman and former NAACP CEO Kweisi Mfume, former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon and AFRO American Newspaper Publisher and CEO Emeritus Jake Oliver.


County Prepares to Launch OpenBaltCo as Phase I of Open Data Initiative

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler is asking citizens what information and data they would like to see displayed in an easy-to-use format on the Baltimore County website at www.baltimorecountymd.gov. Effective immediately, County citizens may share their suggestions as to what data should be easily available on the County website by sending an email to transparency@baltimorecountymd.gov 

“Our staff will evaluate and discuss every single suggestion that is received,” said Mohler. “The time is long overdue for Baltimore County to become more open and transparent and move toward being a truly open government. Our team is creating the OpenBaltCo page on the County’s website that will be available by the end of the month. We will not wait until all of the data is compiled before starting this initiative. We will begin by displaying data that is complete and then look to expand that information as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this fall, Mohler initiated the first community survey of County citizens in a decade, and those results will be available in several weeks. OpenBaltCo is the first phase of the County’s full commitment to open data and community engagement. “Step one is to get a large amount of important information about government operations on the web and make it easily accessible to citizens,” said Mohler. “Step two will be to use that information in an interactive way to help people participate in a meaningful way in their government.”

“I am very pleased that County Executive Mohler is beginning the County’s transformation to engage the public in a meaningful way,” said County Executive Elect John Olszewski, Jr.  “This is a great first step, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running to build on this effort and truly become a more open, accessible, and transparent government.”

“I was very supportive of the community survey, and I am very supportive of this latest effort to engage our communities in their government,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr.  “How can you improve if you don’t know what the people that you represent think?”


$200,000 in Funding to Leverage Grants for New Bike Trails and Bike Lanes

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced a plan to jump-start the development of new bike trails and bike lanes linking neighborhoods, parks and schools around the County. This funding initiative supports a county-wide master planning process for improving bicycle and pedestrian access and safety intended to add to the livability and sustainability of Baltimore County communities.

“People want to live in communities where they have easy access to bike trails and bike lanes so they can safely pedal to work and school and can enjoy a weekend bike ride with family and friends,” Mohler said. “Our BaltCoBike 2030 initiative is a planning and grant-making process that will prioritize funding for recreational off-road bike trails and bike lanes that will be strategically located to help provide more transportation options for residents in the County and surrounding jurisdictions.”

The initiative will allocate $200,000 in County funding that would supply matching funds as required by state, federal and private grant programs including, but not limited to, the Maryland Bikeways Program; the federal Recreational Trails Program; and the Transportation Alternatives Program. The program could leverage as much as $1 million in funding for County projects. The initial funds will be identified in the existing budget in the Department of Public Works. Beginning in FY20, we are hopeful that there will be a line item in the County’s budget to support this program. “I am pleased that for the first time we will actually identify funding to expand biking opportunities in Baltimore County,” said Mohler.

 “Creating environments that support biking and walkability is increasingly important to maintaining the County’s attractiveness and quality of life for our residents,” said Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale. “Promoting walking and bicycling also helps to address the national obesity problem, supports environmental sustainability and helps to strengthen people’s sense of connection to their neighbors and communities.”

“Dedicated public funding is key to delivering bike and pedestrian projects that our residents can enjoy,” said Public Works Director Steve Walsh.

“This is a very positive initiative because I know that community leaders around the County are interested in having more bike trails and bike lanes as desirable amenities that offer great opportunities to ride for fun and for getting around,” said County Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr.

“This is a very generous and proactive step by the County that will be put to good use in providing safe accommodations for people to walk and bike, providing   multiple benefits including recreation, fitness and easing traffic congestion,” said Sheldon Epstein, the Chair of the County’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. “We are seeing national trends where walking and riding a bike are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to driving for short trips.”


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017