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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

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  1. Olszewski Names County’s First Ethics and Accountability Director

    Deputy State Prosecutor Madigan Brings Years of Legal Expertise, Passion for Government Accountability

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that Kelly Beckham Madigan has been appointed the first Executive Director for the newly created Baltimore County Office of Ethics and Accountability.

    Formed earlier this year as part of County Executive Olszewski’s sweeping package of ethics reforms, the Office of Ethics and Accountability will provide increased oversight of county government by working to identify any fraud, abuse or illegal acts. The independent office will have autonomy from the county executive and county council.

    “Kelly brings a wealth of experience in litigation, deep professional integrity, and a passion for government accountability,” Olszewski said. “I'm confident that she will help ensure that our government is held to the highest standards.”

    Madigan currently serves as the Deputy State Prosecutor for the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor, where she investigates and prosecutes public corruption, bribery, misconduct and election law crimes. She served as Acting State Prosecutor from August 2019 until November 2019, following the retirement of former State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt. Previously, Madigan served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for 11 years in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, including two years as a supervising attorney.

    She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude.

    “I’m honored to join this administration’s innovative efforts to expand government accountability. The people of Baltimore County deserve to have the utmost faith in their government and I’m committed to creating an independent watchdog to ensure that residents can feel confident that their public officials are held to the highest standards.”

    An Independent Office and Commission

    Under Madigan, the Office of Ethics and Accountability will be tasked with providing increased accountability and oversight in the operations of County government. The Office will exist independently from the offices of the county executive and county council and have unrestricted access to records and information, ensuring the Office can fully investigate claims of waste, fraud, abuse, and illegal acts within County government. The Office will publish a yearly report documenting investigations and efforts throughout the year.

    The Ethics and Accountability Director will also serve as Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, which will become an independent entity, after formerly falling under the Baltimore County Office of Law.

    Madigan’s appointment as Executive Director must be approved by the County Council. Once confirmed, she will serve a five-year term.

    Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:06:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-names-countys-first-ethics-and-accountability-director
  2. Sanitary Sewer Overflow in Glen Arm

    Overflow Reported on Monday—Crews Responded Immediately

    A sanitary sewer overflow occurred in a wooded area in Glen Arm at 10620 Harford Road this weekend. The overflow was discovered by a resident and reported to Baltimore County Monday morning. Crews responded immediately and discovered a broken sewer line and effluent discharging from a nearby manhole.

    The overflow was caused by a break in the sewer line. The effluent backed up in the pipe and then issued from a nearby manhole. Contractors were called to repair the line and to set up a by-pass pump to divert the flow around the broken main which would stop the discharge. The by-pass was completed Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and crews immediately began to replace the broken pipe.

    Baltimore County Department of Public Works engineers are still determining the overflow volume, which entered a nearby tributary of the Gunpowder Falls. The Baltimore County Department of Health was immediately notified and will issue water contact advisories if necessary on the Department's website.

    Tue, 10 Dec 2019 20:15:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/sanitary-sewer-overflow-in-glen-arm
  3. On Human Rights Day Olszewski Creates Advisory Councils to Advance Equity and Inclusion

    In Observance of International Human Rights Day, Olszewski Issues Executive Order Fostering Diversity and Equity

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued an Executive Order creating a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Community Advisory Council and Employee Advisory Council, both aimed at advancing equity and inclusion in Baltimore County and changing the culture of County government to consistently focus on equity in decision-making.

    The Executive Order also establishes a Policy Statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity that articulates the government’s commitment to applying an equity lens to all its work.

    “Baltimore County is a large, diverse jurisdiction, and our communities have complex needs. We have a responsibility to ensure that our government serves our communities in an equitable way, and that we are doing everything in our power to celebrate diversity and advance equal opportunity,” Olszewski said.

    Today’s Executive Order comes on Human Rights Day, an international observance commemorating December 10, 1948: the day United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.

    Baltimore County’s Diversity

    Baltimore County has 847,000 residents—the third largest population in Maryland. Nearly 30 percent of the County’s population is African American, 100,000 residents are foreign-born, and students in the County’s school system speak 97 different languages. Nine percent of the County’s households live below the federal poverty line, and 29 percent fall under the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE), threshold, according to the United Way. Given Baltimore County’s diversity, Olszewski’s transition team identified a need to take steps to advance equity and inclusion.

    Earlier this year, Olszewski included funding in his budget to create an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and named Troy Williams as the County’s first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

    “Advancing the cause of equity and inclusion requires a concerted effort to change the way we think and the way we work, and the steps outlined in today’s executive order are designed to help our government better respond to the needs of our communities,” Williams said.

    The Executive Order

    The Executive Order outlines a number of steps to advance the cause of equity and inclusion:

    • Articulates a policy statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: Baltimore County government shall advance fair policies and practices by making decisions, providing opportunities and allocating resources and services through a diversity, inclusion and equity lens that ensures engagement, growth and prosperity for all county employees, residents, visitors and stakeholders.
    • Creates a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Awareness Program in order to ensure all county employees understand the policy statement and the county’s commitment to equitable decision-making.
    • Establishes a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Advisory Council to advocate for, engage in and respond to issues, concerns and needs of the County workforce as it relates to diversity, inclusion and equity.
    • Establishes a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Community Advisory Council to advocate for, engage in and respond to issues, concerns and needs of county residents as it relates to diversity, inclusion and equity.

    The full text of the Executive Order is provided below:

    EXECUTIVE ORDER

    BALTIMORE COUNTY DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND EQUITY: POLICY STATEMENT; EMPLOYEE AWARENESS PROGRAM; EMPLOYEE ADVISORY COUNCIL; AND COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL

    WHEREAS, Baltimore County has 847,000 residents—the third largest population in Maryland; and
    WHEREAS, Baltimore County recognizes that diversity is one of the county’s greatest strengths; and
    WHEREAS, it is imperative for county government to demonstrate a core commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion and equity practices that give voice to and strengthen all populations and communities; and
    WHEREAS, nearly 30 percent of the County’s population is African American, 100,000 residents are foreign-born, and students in the County’s school system speak 97 different languages; and
    WHEREAS, nine percent of the County’s households live below the federal poverty line, and 29 percent fall under the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, or ALICE, threshold; and
    WHEREAS, the veteran population density in the County is between four and six percent of Maryland’s total veteran population; and
    WHEREAS, 17 percent of County residents are persons over the age of 65; and
    WHEREAS, more than seven percent of county residents, under the age of 65, are living with a disability; and
    WHEREAS, four percent of the adult population in Maryland identifies as LGBT; and
    WHEREAS, Baltimore County is home to over 4,000 immigrant entrepreneurs who contribute to the small business economy; and
    WHEREAS, Baltimore County government is an economic engine for the region, employing more than 8,000 employees and spending approximately $3.6 billion annually in operating expenses; and
    WHEREAS, it is critically important that all county employment, procurement and operational activities foster equitable outcomes for all individuals, populations and communities, particularly those that have been traditionally underserved; and
    WHEREAS, it is important for every county employee to understand their professional obligation to promulgate polices, provide services and make decisions through an equity lens whenever possible; and
    WHEREAS, it is the goal of this Administration to ensure that all county resources, opportunities and services are administered in an equitable manner, that values diversity and inclusion for all county employees, residents, visitors and stakeholders; and
    WHEREAS, it is the goal of this Administration to ensure that every county employee is aware of Baltimore County’s policy statement on diversity, inclusion and equity; and
    WHEREAS, it is the goal of this Administration to provide employees with the opportunity to take on an active roles in fostering an enterprise-wide culture that acknowledges, values and celebrates diversity, inclusion and equity; and
    WHEREAS, it is the goal of this Administration to provide diverse groups of county residents with the opportunity to provide advocacy and counsel to county leadership on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity;
    Now, therefore, it is this 10th day of December, 2019, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland ordered that the Administration shall pursue and implement, the following with regard to diversity, inclusion and equity:

    Section I. Policy Statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

    Baltimore County government shall advance fair policies and practices by making decisions, providing opportunities and allocating resources and services through a diversity, inclusion and equity lens that ensures engagement, growth and prosperity for all county employees, residents, visitors and stakeholders.

    Section II. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Awareness Program.

    A.  Purpose.
    The Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Awareness Program is intended to ensure that every Baltimore County employee is aware of the county’s policy statement regarding diversity, inclusion and equity, while also providing general awareness education.

    B. Program Components.

    1. Every current county employee shall annually be provided with a copy of the Baltimore County Policy Statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
    2. Every current county employee shall annually provide a signed acknowledgement of the Baltimore County Policy Statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
    3. All of the county’s new employee orientation sessions shall include a presentation that minimally addresses the following topics:
      1. Review and signed acknowledgement of the Baltimore County Policy Statement on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
      2. Applying an equity lens to policies, practices and decision-making.
      3. Introduction to cultural competency.
    4. The county may institute additional diversity, inclusion and equity training for all county employees as deemed necessary.

    Section III. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Advisory Council.

    A. Purpose.
    The Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Employee Advisory Council (hereinafter, “The Employee Council”) shall advocate for, engage in and respond to issues, concerns and needs of the workforce as it relates to diversity, inclusion and equity across government. The Employee Council’s responsibilities shall include:

    1. Providing advisement to, and working collaboratively with, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer on specific workforce diversity, inclusion and equity issues, to include: employee training, customer service delivery, public policy analysis and impacts, workplace accommodations and other relevant topics.
    2. Assisting in the planning of workplace initiatives and/or events designed to foster a culture that acknowledges, advances and celebrates diversity, inclusion and equity across the enterprise.

    B.  Membership.
    The Employee Council shall consist of at least 12 and not more than 20 voting members. The voting members shall consist of current Baltimore County employees, drawn from a cross-section of professional classifications, departments and agencies. The Employee Council will seek to maintain diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation/identity, national origin, religion, physical/mental ability and other relevant classifications.

    C. Terms.
    Each voting member will be appointed by the Baltimore County Executive for a term of one year. An appointed member may be re-appointed for not more than three consecutive one-year terms.

    D. Chair.
    The Chair of the Employee Council shall be the Baltimore County Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. The Chair shall have one vote, equal to that of each voting member of the Employee Council.

    E. Meetings.
    The Employee Council shall meet at the request of the Chair as frequently as required to perform its duties, but not less than quarterly.

    F. Quorum.
    A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and an affirmative vote of the majority of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action.

    Section IV.  Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Community Advisory Council.

    A. Purpose.
    The Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Community Advisory Council (hereinafter, “The Community Council”) shall advocate for, engage in and respond to issues, concerns and needs of county residents as it relates to diversity, inclusion and equity. The Community Council’s responsibilities shall include:

    1. Providing advisement to, and working collaboratively with, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer on specific community diversity, inclusion and equity issues, to include: community education and awareness; equitable access to government opportunities, resources and services; public policy analysis and impacts; public accommodations; and other relevant topics.
    2. Assisting in the planning of community initiatives and/or events designed to foster a culture that acknowledges, advances and celebrates diversity, inclusion and equity county-wide.

    B.  Membership.
    The Community Council shall consist of at least 7 and not more than 14 voting members. Each County Council member shall appoint one representative from each of their respective council districts. The County Executive shall also appoint up to 7 additional members, serving at-large. The Community Council will seek to maintain diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation/identity, national origin, religion, physical/mental ability and other relevant classifications.

    C. Terms.
    Each voting member will be appointed by the Baltimore County Executive for a term of two years. An appointed member may not serve more than two consecutive two-year terms.

    D. Chair.
    The Chair of the Community Council shall be elected to a one year term by the voting membership. The Chair shall have one vote, equal to that of each voting member of the Community Council.

    E. Meetings.
    The Community Council shall meet at the request of the Chair as frequently as required to perform its duties, but not less than quarterly.

    F. Quorum.
    A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and an affirmative vote of the majority of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action.

    Section V. Staff Assistance.

    Staff assistance shall be provided by the Office of Human Resources and the Baltimore County Executive’s Office.

    Section VI. Effective Date.

    This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.

    Tue, 10 Dec 2019 16:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/on-human-rights-day-olszewski-creates-advisory-councils-to-advance-equity-and-inclusion
  4. Olszewski Elected Treasurer of Maryland Association of Counties

    Pledges to Advocate for County Governments in Annapolis

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski was elected Treasurer of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) for the 2019 to 2020 term today during the organization’s winter conference in Cambridge, Maryland.

    As treasurer, County Executive Olszewski will guide the finances and long-term fiscal planning for MACo, a nonpartisan statewide organization that advocates the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly, representing all of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

    “I am proud to join my colleagues on the Executive Committee, where we will work together to find common ground and support the needs of communities across our state,” said Olszewski. “I’m honored to represent Baltimore County and looking forward to serving Marylanders as MACo’s next treasurer.”

    Olszewski, who took office a year ago this week, will serve on the MACo statewide leadership team for a one-year term along with Sharon Green Middleton, Baltimore City Council (president); Wilbur Levengood, Caroline County Commissioner (first vice president); Laura Price, Talbot County Council (second vice president); Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive (secretary); and Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive (past-president).

    Olszewski previously served on the 2019 MACo’s Board of Directors.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 21:16:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-elected-treasurer-of-maryland-association-of-counties
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