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Baltimore County News

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  1. Shop Local with Free Holiday Parking

    Olszewski encourages local shopping  

    Baltimore County is making local shopping easier this holiday season with two hours of free meter parking. Parking will be free at 1,735 meters throughout Baltimore County December 21-25, just before Christmas.

    County Executive-Elect John Olszewski, Jr., with his daughter Daria, encouraged local shopping in a video recorded in downtown Towson.

    “We encourage everyone to get out and support locally owned shops and restaurants in this festive holiday season,” said Olszewski.

    Meters will be decorated with red “Seasons Greetings” bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Overlea, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh, and Dundalk.

    Fri, 14 Dec 2018 21:40:00 GMT
  2. Fire Chief Preis to Retire December 31


    Baltimore County Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III announced today he will retire on December 31, 2018 to begin a new career in the private sector. At the request of County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., he will serve for several months as a transition advisor to the County Executive.

    Olszewski has named Assistant Chief Jennifer L. Aubert-Utz to serve as Acting Fire Chief beginning January 1, 2019.

    “I want to express my sincere thanks to Chief Preis for his 28 years of service to the residents of Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “He has provided valuable insight into Baltimore County’s Fire and EMS operations, and I want to thank him for continuing to assist us in the coming months as we work to build a better Baltimore County.”

    Chief Preis, 52, informed County Executive Olszewski earlier this week of his decision to retire. He was appointed in 2017 by the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; he replaced John J. Hohman, who retired after a long tenure as Fire Chief. A life member of the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, Chief Preis has served on numerous professional boards including the Maryland EMS Board, which oversees budgets for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Shock Trauma, Maryland State Police Aviation Command and the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

    “I truly believe that the Baltimore County Fire Department has given me the most rewarding career one could have,” Chief Preis said.

    Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz, 45, is an 18-year Baltimore County Fire Department veteran. She began as a Firefighter/EMT and has held every rank in the Department up to Assistant Chief. Aubert-Utz holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Management with a focus on public safety and leadership. She also earned the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer designation.

    “In nearly two decades of service to Baltimore County, Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz has earned the respect of her colleagues and our residents,” Olszewski said. “She has the experience and talent to guide the Department through this transition, and I have great faith in her ability to lead the fire service.”

    Thu, 13 Dec 2018 21:08:00 GMT
  3. County Executive Olszewski Provides Update on Transition Efforts

    Transition team meetings, progress will be updated online prior to final report being issued in January

    As he continues his efforts to modernize County government, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today provided an update on his transition team’s progress, releasing the full rosters of his transition team work groups and schedule of work group meetings.

    “We’re proud to have recruited a diverse coalition of thoughtful leaders from across the Baltimore region to lead our work groups and begin building a better Baltimore County,” said County Executive Olszewski. “We are laying the foundation to set goals and priorities and provide every resident access to the 21st-century government they deserve.”

    Each transition work group is developing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will inform policy priorities, reform how Baltimore County does business and improve the delivery of services and resources provided by county government.

    The Education Work Group is co-chaired by Diana Morris, Director, Open Society Institute and Ed Gilliss, Partner, Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid LLP.

    The members of the Education Work Group include:

    • Abby Beytin
    • Allie Carter
    • Melissa Broome
    • Yara Cheikh
    • Tony Fugett
    • Marisol Johnson
    • Tam Lynne Kelley
    • Jennifer Lynch
    • Ligia Mardari
    • Sean McComb
    • Eric Washington

    The Jobs & Economic Development Work Group is co-chaired by Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University; Freeman Hrabowski, President UMBC; and Shina Parker, CEO Integrity Title.

    The members of the Job Creation & Economic Development Work Group include:

    • Kirk Baumgart
    • Rick Binetti
    • Brandon Bonnano
    • Dante Daniels
    • Linda Dworak
    • Chickie Grayson
    • Jessica Hack
    • Marci Hunn
    • Joe Jones
    • Adam Kane
    • Sandra Kurtinitis
    • Erich March
    • Jon Mayers
    •  Amy Menzer
    • Sam Neuberger
    • Tommy Obrecht
    • Odette Ramos
    • Hugh Sisson

    The Public Safety Work Group is co-chaired by Sheryl Goldstein, VP, Abell Foundation and Carl Jackson, Community Activist.

    The members of the Public Safety Work Group include:

    • Elizabeth Alex
    • Craig Coleman                                           
    • Bryen Glass
    • Dyana Forester
    • Mary Livingston
    • Aisha Khan
    • Raees Khan
    • Ganesha Martin
    • Kevin O’Connor
    • Garry Pace
    • John Ripley
    • Anthony Russell            
    • Keith Tiedemann
    • Mark Weir
    • Alonza Williams  

    The Health & Human Services Work Group is co-chaired by Talib Horne, Executive Director, Bon Secours Community Works; Gill Wylie, President, Johns Hopkins Medical Management; and Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities.The members of the Health & Human Services Work Group include:

    • Lauren Averella
    • Amy Blank
    • Lisa Budlow
    • John Chessare
    • Jean Gaffney
    • Justin Holliday
    • Ricarra Jones
    • Amy Kleine
    • Dawn O’Neill
    • Mark Puente
    • Tom Smyth
    • Brock Yetso
    • Mark Yost

    The Diversity, Inclusion, Quality of Life Work Group is co-chaired Vicki Almond, County Council, District 2 and Chuck Tildon, VP, United Way of Central Maryland.

    The members of the Diversity, Inclusion & Quality Of Life Work Group include:

    • Rabbi Jessy Dressin
    • Sara Elalamy
    • Charles Fink
    • Doug Hoffberger
    • Linwood Jackson
    • Bobbie Laur
    • Cindy Leppert
    • Pam Newland
    • Gray Parsons
    • Susan Radke
    • Doug Riley
    • Shanaysha Sauls
    • Jason St. John
    • Morgan Streeter
    • Lisa Weiderlight

    The Government Reform & Innovation Work Group is co-chaired by Beth Blauer, Executive Director, JHU GovEx; Lisa Hamilton, President & CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Roy Meyers, Professor, UMBC.

    The members of the Government Reform and Innovation Work Group include:

    • Akbar Ansari
    • Sonny Appolonia
    • Mitch Butta
    • Sheldon Caplis
    • Rob Gavel
    • Mandee Heinl
    • Kevin Mooring
    • Jeff Supik
    • Shirley Supik
    • Maria Tildon

    The Sustainability, Transportation, Infrastructure workgroup is co-chaired by Anwer Hasan, Senior VP, Louis Berger and Tim Regan, President, Whiting-Turner.

    The members of Sustainability, Transportation & Infrastructure Work Group include:

    • Ed Adams
    • Joan Bryan
    • Chris Burton
    • Charlie Fenwick
    • John Hawks
    • Brent Howard
    • Marsha McLaughlin
    • Teresa Moore
    • Peter O’Malley
    • Klaus Philipsen
    • Scott Phillips
    • Tom Pilon
    • Rob Poleski
    • Todd Schuler
    • Jim Smith
    • Tyrone Taborn
    • Ted Venetoulis

    In order to develop these recommendations, work group members are reviewing department data and consulting with policy experts and community members.

    Each work group will continue their work, meeting throughout December and January and will issue a final report on January 31, 2019.

    The full schedule of work group meetings is available online.

    Residents can continue to monitor the transition team’s progress, submit ideas, and find information about workgroup meetings on the County’s website.

    Community members can continue to submit ideas for the transition online or by emailing These community suggestions will be reviewed by the transition team and incorporated into the final report.

    Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:00:00 GMT
  4. Olszewski Urges General Motors to Retain White Marsh Manufacturing Jobs

    Cites Modern Facility with Top-Performing Employees and Superior Results

    County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. reached out to the head of General Motors (GM) to emphasize the value of the state-of-the-art White Marsh manufacturing facility, both to GM and to the Baltimore region. In a letter sent yesterday afternoon, he called on GM Chairman and CEO Mary Teresa Barra to find a product or alternate use for the plant that will keep all of its 300 high-performing employees working.

    “We know that Eastern Baltimore County is one of the most competitive areas for manufacturing on the East Coast with our highly skilled workforce and proximity to transportation networks,” Olszewski said. “I wanted to make sure that the leadership at GM understands the importance and value of this facility to their bottom line and to Baltimore County.” 

    The full text of his letter is below:

                                            December 11, 2018

    Ms. Mary Teresa Barra

    Chairman and CEO

    General Motors Company

    300 Renaissance Center

    Detroit, Michigan 48243

    Dear Ms. Barra,

    As the newly-elected County Executive of Baltimore County, I was shocked to learn about General Motors’ (GM) decision to cease production at GM’s White Marsh facility. This facility has been an anchor and source of pride within our County since it opened in 2000.  The facility’s importance to the region became even more significant upon the opening of the $245 million electric motor facility in 2012. Hundreds of millions of federal, state, and local dollars have been invested since its opening and it has been lauded as a “state of the art” facility that embodied American resiliency in the wake of the great recession.

    As you know, our region has strong and deep roots in manufacturing. Our proximity to major highway and rail networks and the Port of Baltimore has made eastern Baltimore County one of the most significant areas for logistics and manufacturing – and we continue to remain competitive. We attract talented and qualified workers and have demonstrated our commitment to embracing 21st century workforce solutions through bolstering trades, job training and workforce development. And we will continue to do so.

    Therefore I respectfully request that GM find a product or alternative use for the plant that will keep all 300 of those employees working in Baltimore County. I understand that according to GM’s own corporate metrics, the employees at White Marsh are among the top performers across the entire company. Furthermore, I understand these employees have had very few grievances with GM management. The facility is both modern and effective, and I know these hard-working men and women remain committed to achieving high performance standards.

    If GM does not reverse the decision to cease production in White Marsh, we must work collectively with our state and federal partners to do everything we can for the employees and families impacted.  As such, I have asked my team to immediately engage with local GM and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 239 in an effort to protect the career-paths of affected GM workers. At my direction, Baltimore County’s Department of Workforce and Economic Development will serve as the central agency responsible for communications, coordination with area employers interested in recruiting GM workers, and hosting career fairs.  We will also offer workshops and direct career counseling, assist with resume development, interview preparation, and other unemployment essentials.

    Earlier this week, a team of economic and workforce development professionals from my administration met with GM’s human resource manager, Erin Spitzer, to discuss collaboration on these efforts. I have every confidence that we will continue to have GM’s cooperation and partnership in these efforts. 

    While we are bracing for a possible closure, I would like to reiterate my strong request to maintain operations at the White Marsh facility. As soon as possible, I invite you and/or members of your senior leadership team to join me in a tour of the White Marsh operation to observe the world-class operation there firsthand. I am available to discuss this matter at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.





    John Olszewski, Jr.

    County Executive


    Eric Shelhorn, Plant Manager, GM White Marsh

    Erin Spitzer, HR Manager, GM White Marsh

    John Blanchard, Director of Local Government Relations, GM

    Will Anderson, Director of Economic & Workforce Development, Baltimore County

    Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

    The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland

    The Honorable Katherine Klausmeier, Senate of Maryland District 8

    The Honorable Eric Bromwell, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

    The Honorable Joe Cluster, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

    The Honorable Christian Miele, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

    The Honorable Cathy Bevins, Baltimore County Council District 6

    Harry Bhandari, Delegate-Elect, District 8

    Joseph Boteler, Delegate-Elect, District 8

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:49:00 GMT
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