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Baltimore County News

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  1. Olszewski Names Director of Permits, Approvals and Inspections

    TOWSON, MD – County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated Michael Mallinoff to serve as the Director of Permits, Approvals and Inspections, which oversees the development and use of land in Baltimore County.

    “I’m proud of our efforts to create an innovative and thoughtful leadership team as our work to build a better Baltimore County continues,” Olszewski said. “Michael Mallinoff brings decades of management experience and shares my passion for expanding accountability and transparency across our government. I know he will be an invaluable addition to our administration.”

    Mallinoff joins Baltimore County after mostly recently working to reform financial operations for the City of Mbeya, Tanzania, with Enabling Growth Through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE). ENGINE is a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), and the Executive Service Corps (IESC), and works to increase private-sector investment and promote economic growth in Tanzania.

    Mallinoff previously served as County Administrator for Charles County, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of County Government. He has also served as Chief Operating Officer of the State of Maryland’s Department of Information Technology, City Manager for the City of Annapolis, and Manager of the City of Newport, Rhode Island. Mallinoff holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore.

    He will join the Olszewski administration effective May 6, 2019, replacing acting Director Mike Mohler who has served in the positon since January 2, 2019. Mohler will return to his role as Administrator of the Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

    “I’m very appreciative for the hard work of Acting Director Mohler, for his exemplary service to the people of Baltimore County throughout our transition process,” Olszewski added.

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    Wed, 24 Apr 2019 17:40:00 GMT
  2. Olszewski announces BaltCo Litter Blitz, and anti-litter campaign

    Earth Day cleanup highlights need for public participation

    Towson, MD – County Executive Johnny Olszewski celebrated Earth Day in Randallstown, hosting a stream cleanup and calling attention to the need for everyone to help reduce the litter that degrades communities and threatens waterways.

    He spotlighted two new anti-litter promotions – his BaltCo Litter Blitz promotion, and a new anti-littering ad campaign – speaking to a crowd of dozens of community members and representatives of environmental organizations, including the National Aquarium and local watershed protection groups.

    Baltco Litter Blitz promotion asks everyone to snag some litter

    The County Executive launched BaltCo Litter Blitz, a grassroots outreach effort that asks people in Baltimore County to pick up some litter this April and May – either as a DIY effort or through a community cleanup – and share their efforts online using #BaltCoLitterBlitz or #trashtag.

    “We all have a responsibility to respect and take care of our waterways,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Earth Day is a great reminder to everyone that we can make a difference in our neighborhoods. If each of us stops to pick up litter when we’re out walking or at our kids’ outdoor activities, we can make a huge difference together in our neighborhoods and help protect our local environment.”

    Details of the initiative, including a list of community clean-ups hosted by the County’s watershed protection partners, are available on the County’s website.

    In addition to promoting volunteer efforts, the County’s Code Enforcement inspectors are conducting an Earth Month series of commercial dumpster sweeps in various locations around the County to emphasize compliance with regulations designed to prevent overflow and spillage of trash.

    Litter doesn’t stop where it drops campaign connects litter to food supply

    Olszewski also announced an anti-littering campaign, whose slogan, Litter Doesn’t Stop Where it Drops, communicates that when litter hits the ground, wind or rain carries it down the nearest storm drain and into a stream. In addition to being unsightly, litter contains dangerous bacteria and toxins that pollute waterways, harm aquatic life and can even contaminate fish and other seafood.

    “A staggering amount of plastic pollution enters Maryland’s waterways each year, and the National Aquarium is committed to doing its part to defeat this threat,” said John John Racanelli, National Aquarium President and CEO. “Plastic pollution poses a serious risk to Maryland wildlife and the habitats they depend on for their survival—and single-use plastics are the worst of the worst. We are pleased to partner with County Executive Olszewski and proud of his team’s efforts to clean up Baltimore County’s bountiful natural environment. Together with County residents, we can all do our part to prevent litter from entering our streams and bays.”

    The ad images below feature platters of seafood graphically contaminated with litter and debris to demonstrate the connection between the environment and the food chain.

    County is required to reduce trash in the Gwynns Falls and Jones Falls

    Baltimore County is one of six jurisdictions in the United States that are under federal mandates to reduce trash in specific waterways (Baltimore County and City for the Gwynns and Jones Falls; Washington D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for the Anacostia; and Los Angeles County).

    This Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) mandate is based on the federal Clean Water Act and is issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment as a “pollution diet.” The TMDL states that each year 159,626 pounds of trash need to be stopped from entering these waterways in Baltimore County from storm drains, in order to help eliminate the trash impairment of the Baltimore Harbor.

    The County is currently implementing Phase 1 of the strategy for reducing trash in these waterways, which involves monitoring and community engagement. If in ten years this method does not reach the goal, the County would move to Phase 2, which involves very expensive high-maintenance structural changes like litter trapping devices.

    Join the Adopt-A-Road and Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge Programs

    In addition to the two-month Litter Blitz promotion, Olszewski encourages people to participate in the County’s year-round litter collection programs, Adopt-A-Road and the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge. 

    The County’s Adopt-a-Road program currently includes about 90 groups who pick up litter along a designated section of County roadway at least four times per year.  Eligible adopters include civic and non-profit organizations, school groups, commercial and private enterprises, families and individuals. For more information, call the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.

    The Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge allows groups who conduct a 15-minute litter cleanup to designate a BCPS school to earn credit towards grants to fund school-based environmental projects like outdoor classrooms, butterfly or rain gardens and nature educational opportunities for students. This program is a joint initiative of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability and the school system.

    Mon, 22 Apr 2019 20:23:00 GMT
  3. Olszewski Budget Makes Record Investments in Education

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. today submitted a $3.4 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 that supports the County’s commitment to quality education, economic opportunity, sustainability, healthy and safe communities, and transparent and accountable government. The proposed budget for FY 2020 addresses a structural shortfall while making record investments in education, investing in sustainability and diversity, and providing funds for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward.

    In his address to the County Council, Olszewski emphasized his unwavering support for education, saying, “Investments in our kids are investments in our future. This budget proposes historic investments in education. It invests more than $32 million in new money in our schools, one of the largest ever increases over Maintenance of Effort.”

    He also highlighted new investments in sustainability and diversity, addressing the opioid crisis, supporting public safety personnel, the first-ever line item for bike lanes and pedestrian features, and record investments in road resurfacing and traffic calming.

    Below are highlights of the fiscal year 2020 budget County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.

    Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Highlights

    The budget proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski for FY 2020 addresses a structural shortfall while making record investments in education, sustainability and diversity, and supporting key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward. The total proposed FY2020 Operating Budget is $3.4 billion.


    • Dedicates record funding to education—Total proposed education budget is more than $1.8 billion. The proposed BCPS budget is $32.1 million over Maintenance of Effort (MOE).
    • Provides a two percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for BCPS educators, in addition to a three percent COLA received at the beginning of calendar year 2019
    • Provides funds for 70 more classroom teachers to accommodate enrollment increases, 50 more special education teachers, 21 more ESOL teachers, 16 more school counselors, 15 more social workers and four more psychologists
    • Increases the number of schools that provide free breakfast
    • Cuts $1 million in funding for STAT program devices, adjusting the ratio to one to five for students in kindergarten through second grade
    • Provides County portion of capital funding for all remaining Schools for our Future projects—These projects can’t move forward until the state provides its share of funding
    • Provides planning and design funds for a new Lansdowne High School

    Economic Opportunity

    • Freezes in-County tuition at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)
    • Expands eligibility for the College Promise Program:
      • Increases household income eligibility from $69,000 to $85,000
      • Increases amount of time a student is eligible, from within two years of high school graduation to within five years of graduation
      • Applies to students who need additional support to be college ready
    • Provides remaining funding to finish construction of the state of the art Carol Eustis Center for Health Professionals at the CCBC Essex Campus
    • Dedicates more than $1.8 million to promote tourism in the County

    Healthy and Safe Communities

    • Establishes a new position of Opioid Strategy Coordinator to work across agencies to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the opioid crisis
    • Provides funding for two new school-based Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers through the Department of Recreation and Parks
    • In response to the settlement of a longstanding lawsuit from the Fraternal Order of Police, provides $13 million over two years in back-pay for officers and provides step increases and grade changes for officers—Increasing pay for officers and making compensation more competitive with surrounding jurisdictions
    • Provides planning and design funds for a new Wilkens Police Precinct building—The oldest precinct in the County
    • Equips all career fire stations with commercial grade washing machines to clean firefighter gear of carcinogens and other residue
    • Adds $500,000, for a total of $1.5 million, to the volunteer fire company grant fund
    • Provides all correctional officers with their own set of protective gear, so they no longer have to share gear

    Vibrant, Livable Communities

    • Creates the position of Chief Diversity Officer, to ensure the County applies an equity lens to all decisions
    • Creates the position of Chief Sustainability Officer, who will lead all of the County’s efforts on environmental sustainability, including efforts to reduce the County’s contributions to climate change and increase resilience in order to prepare for the effects of climate change
    • Provides funding to hire a deputy in the Department of Public Works who will oversee comprehensive transportation planning
    • Includes the first ever capital project for bike lanes and pedestrian access—$1 million
    • Provides funds to begin planning a Towson Circulator pilot program
    • $37 million for road resurfacing and curb and gutter maintenance
    • $2 million for traffic calming
    • Provides funding to launch 311 in Baltimore County to streamline service calls and increase convenience for County residents

    Transparent, Accountable Government

    • Funding for the establishment of the Office of Ethics and Accountability, created by legislation proposed by the County Executive
    • Establishment of an Open Budget platform to improve constituent engagement
    • Provides funding to set up a performance management system
    • Contributes $35 million to OPEB—The fund that provides health and life insurance benefits for retired County employees
    • Retains a 10.3 percent fund balance—Critical for maintaining the County’s AAA bond ratings

    Commitment to Critical Investments

    • Identifies more than $20 million in savings
    • Adjusts the local income tax rate from 2.83 percent to 3.2 percent, bringing the County to the same income tax rate as the state’s other large, diverse jurisdictions. For a resident earning $50,000 per year, this amounts to around $15 more per month.
    • Requires developers to pay their fair share of the costs associated with new development by establishing a Development Impact Surcharge on new residential and commercial development.
      • Residential:
        • $10,000 per single family home
        • $7,500 per townhouse
        • $5,000 per apartment or condo
      • Commercial and office: $1.50 per square foot
      • Industrial: $.80 per square foot
    • Increases the hotel tax from eight percent to 10 percent, and proposes levying a tax on short-term rentals, such as those through Airbnb
    • Replaces lost revenue as a result of the declining use of landlines by establishing a tax of $3.50 on cell phone lines
    • Establishes a one percent fee for cable accounts to fund Public, Educational and Government (PEG) programming

    “This budget is about what I’ve learned to value growing up here. It’s about the kind of Baltimore County I want to live in, the kind I want to raise my daughter in,” said Olszewski. “It focuses on the right policies and programs that will build the better Baltimore County we all want.”

    The County Council will hold a hearing on the budget on April 30 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The vote on the budget is scheduled for May 23.

    View the full text of the Baltimore County Executive’s FY2020 budget address.

    Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:12:00 GMT
  4. Olszewski Names Fire Chief, Announces Other Key Leadership Roles

    Joanne Rund will serve as the county’s first permanent female fire chief

    County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated individuals to fill several key roles on his leadership team. He has nominated:

    • Joanne Rund – Fire Chief
    • C. Pete Gutwald – Director of Planning
    • David Lykens – Director of Environmental Protection and Sustainability
    • Ed Blades – Acting Director of Budget and Finance

    “We are working to make Baltimore County more innovative, transparent, and responsive to the needs of residents and communities, and that requires assembling a top notch leadership team. These individuals will play a critical role in our efforts to build a better Baltimore County together,” Olszewski said.

    Rund joins Baltimore County after serving for 32 years with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, most recently as Howard County’s Assistant Chief of The Bureau Occupational Safety & Health. She brings decades of experience in the emergency services field in a career/volunteer combination system. Before joining the fire service in 1987, Rund served as a volunteer Emergency Services Provider (EMS) in Carroll County. She holds numerous certifications in the field of health and safety, has obtained the National Fire Academy’s Advanced Safety Officer Program certification, and serves as Associate Faculty at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, and Region III Coordinator for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Advocacy programs. Rund is the first permanent female Fire Chief in Baltimore County’s history.

    Gutwald joins Baltimore County following decades of planning and land use experience. He most recently served as Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Annapolis, following nearly 10 years of service as the Director of Planning and Zoning for Harford County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

    Lykens has served as the department’s acting director since December 2018, after previously serving as deputy director since December 2014. He has worked in Baltimore County since 1988, starting as a Natural Resource Specialist before working his way up to Director. Lykens holds bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Natural Science and a master’s degree in Biology from Towson University.

    Blades will serve as acting director of Budget and Finance following the retirement of Keith Dorsey, who has served in the role for 35 years. Blades has worked in Baltimore County government since 1993, beginning in the Office of Budget and Finance as a Budget Analyst and has served as deputy budget director since 2012. In that capacity he has implemented various budget and financial software system upgrades and developed reporting structures to generate efficiencies in data collection and analysis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UMBC and a MBA from the University of Phoenix. 

    Fri, 12 Apr 2019 20:21:00 GMT
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