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Keyword: work

To Improve Code Enforcement Efforts and Residents' Quality of Life

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the formation of a Code Enforcement Improvement Work Group to engage in a stakeholder-driven process to identify improvements to the County’s code enforcement program in order to better serve County residents.

“Baltimore County code enforcement has immense potential to significantly improve resident’s day-to-day quality of life,” Olszewski said. “Over the course of my first year in office, residents have consistently told us that they want to see more proactive and responsive code enforcement. This group will convene community voices from across our County to serve as partners in our efforts to improve customer service and better meet the needs of all residents.”

Baltimore County Code Enforcement is charged with investigating code and zoning complaints and identifying violations of the Baltimore County Code, International Residential Code and the Life Safety Code. Baltimore County’s 25 inspectors respond to over 18,000 code complaints each year.


Chaired by Mike Mallinoff, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections—which oversees the County’s code enforcement efforts—and co-chaired by Councilman Izzy Patoka, the work group will consist of community representatives from each council district:

  1. District 1—Valerie Schwaab
  2. District 2—Airuel Aingletary
  3. District 3—Eric Rockel
  4. District 4—Vivian Paysour
  5. District 5—Greg Bauer
  6. District 6—Caitlin Klimm-Kellner
  7. District 7—Cliff O’Connell

Aspects of Reform

The work group will be tasked with examining the following four areas of code enforcement, as well any additional aspects of code enforcement identified for reform:

  • Resource Allocation—Analyzing levels of department resources and staffing levels needed to deliver the level of service demanded by residents and the County Executive.
  • Response Timeline—Identifying best practice timelines for individual types of service requests.
  • Administrative Hearing Transparency—Ensuring that the code enforcement administrative hearing process is accessible and transparent to the public.
  • Vacant Properties and Blight Elimination—Identifying best practices or policies around vacant properties to most effectively eliminate blight in communities.

Upcoming Meeting

The Code Enforcement Improvement Work Group will host their first meeting on Wednesday, February 19, at 6 p.m. in the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse, Room 118. Meeting minutes will be recorded from each listening session. Additional meeting information will be available on the Work Group’s web page. Within 30 days of the last meeting, the Work Group will issue a final report with recommendations.

Outlines Key Recommendations to Accelerate the County’s Response to the Opioid Epidemic

The Opioid Response Working Group convened by County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released its draft report (PDF), which identifies 11 recommendations the County should consider as it continues its efforts to combat overdose deaths, expand access to treatment and prevent addiction.

The recommendations fall into seven categories, including:

  1. Stigma
  2. Prevention
  3. Treatment
  4. Recovery
  5. Family support
  6. Criminal justice
  7. Harm reduction

The draft report and link to the public comment survey are available online. Members of the public have the opportunity to provide feedback on the recommendations until Wednesday, October 2, and a final report will follow.

On Track for Fewer Overdose Deaths

“I’m encouraged that numbers so far this year show that we’re on track for fewer overdose deaths, but every overdose death means the loss of a son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor and friend. We have a moral obligation to direct our resources toward evidence-based strategies that will save lives and help people overcome the disease of addiction,” Olszewski said. “I’m grateful to the Working Group members for their efforts thus far and I look forward to hearing the public’s response to the proposed recommendations.”

Baltimore County has the second highest number of overdose deaths in the state—in 2018, 348 people died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 323 in 2017. Olszewski’s Transition Team made a number of recommendations (PDF) related to tackling the opioid epidemic, including the appointment of an Opioid Strategy Coordinator to spearhead efforts to address the crisis across the government.

About the Opioid Response Working Group

The Opioid Response Working Group was announced in May, and the group gathered public input through an online survey and two public meetings, as well as information from experts and stakeholders.

“The working group members were delighted to serve and are very grateful to the members of the public who came forward with their insights,” said John Chessare, President and CEO of GMBC HealthCare and chair of the Opioid Response Working Group. “We look forward to working with the County in implementing the recommendations to further reduce opioid addiction and its effects on our community.”

The Working Group has received technical support from staff at the Baltimore County Department of Health, and faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with support from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz 

“If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get a job, they look like they could fly.” This line from the film Dave captures feelings that go beyond putting a paycheck in someone’s pocket. Work brings with it dignity, respect and confidence. 

A job does not define who we are as individuals, but the jobs in a community help define what we value.   

This Labor Day, let’s honor the people who are putting their skills and passions to work.

The teachers getting ready for the first day of school. Police, firefighters and 911 specialists who work every day to keep us safe, regardless of holidays. The entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers whose imaginations and discoveries keep us healthier and more connected. The maintenance crews, tech geeks, accountants, construction workers, truck drivers, security guards, artists, mechanics, cooks and medical teams who make our daily lives better.   

What you bring to the job is the power of work. Thanks for all you do. 

Keywords: jobs, kamenetz, labor day, work

Revised October 16, 2020               
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