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Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.

Veteran Deputy Nominated as Permanent Director

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated Edward Blades to serve as the Director of Budget and Finance, a critical position that oversees formulation of the County budget and manages the County’s finances.

Blades has served as Deputy Director of Budget and Finance since 2012, and has served in the County’s Office of Budget and Finance since 1996. In his role as Deputy Director, he has played a critical role in developing and managing the County’s operating and capital budgets, and he has supervised a talented team of budget analysts. He has implemented various budget and financial software system upgrades and developed reporting structures to generate efficiencies in data collection and analysis.

“Ed is a dedicated public servant who brings to this position years of relevant experience and a wealth of institutional knowledge,” Olszewski said. “He knows County government inside and out, and has been invaluable over the last few months as we managed a challenging budget season and addressed a structural deficit.”

In his role as Director of Budget and Finance, Blades will be charged with managing the annual operating and capital budget formulation process, as well as overseeing:

  • 911 Communications Center
  • Accounting
  • Insurance Administration
  • Investment and Debt Management
  • Payroll
  • Property Management
  • Purchasing
  • Retirement
  • Taxpayer Services
  • Vehicle Operations and Maintenance

In his new role, Blades will also oversee efforts to increase transparency into the County budget. Earlier this month, the County unveiled an Open Budget platform, providing more transparency into how the County spends taxpayer dollars.

Blades has been serving as acting director of Budget and Finance following the retirement of his predecessor, Keith Dorsey, who served with the County for 35 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.

Keywords: blades, budget, director, ed, finance, name

Short Documentary Highlights How Individuals Impact Aquatic Environments

County Executive Johnny Olszewski donned rubber knee boots and waded into Deep Run at Meadowood Park with County natural resource specialists to give the public a rare glimpse of what lies below the water, and what it reveals about the health of this Lutherville-area stream.

His adventure is captured in a short documentary entitled “Watershed Moments—Keepers of the Stream.” The six-minute video features beautiful underwater and aerial drone footage of local streams and an engaging overview of the County’s water quality monitoring techniques. It presents practical commentary on how all of our actions on land affect the delicate balance of life in our waterways.

“It’s fascinating how our environmental scientists sample and identify tiny aquatic creatures to determine the levels of pollutants in our streams and use this data to drive targeted watershed restoration and outreach,” Olszewski said.

Ways to Watch

Learn more about the video and other County environmental news. View and share the video on FacebookTwitter and Youtube

Modernizing System Management to Improve Customer Service 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today that the City and County will jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the business processes that govern the water delivery system that serves both jurisdictions.

Residents of both jurisdictions receive water through a system managed by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works under an agreement that dates back to 1972. In addition, an agreement reached in 1974 governs the shared sewer system. Baltimore City bills all customers for water use. Each jurisdiction bills its own residents for sewer charges and other related charges.

Given the age of the agreements, officials in both jurisdictions agree there is a need to evaluate their efficacy and determine whether changes are needed to modernize system management in order to improve customer service.

“Mayor Young and I are committed to providing residents with the best and most efficient service possible and this joint review will allow us to determine how we can modernize our water delivery system,” Olszewski said. “This is just one of many ways that we hope to work with the City in the years to come to improve the quality of life across the region.”

“As Mayor, I am committed to excellent customer service for every customer that relies on our water system,” said Mayor Young. “County Executive Olszewski and I both agree that this essential review will evaluate and determine what is working well and demonstrate where we need to focus our improvements. We look forward to a continued and productive partnership with the County.”

For Accounts Affected by the Ransomware Attack

In addition, the City and County are sending letters to approximately 14,000 County residents regarding the sewer charges that will appear on their 2019 property tax bills. Water consumption data from Baltimore City is one of the factors that the County uses to compute the Metro charges included in tax bills, but the recent ransomware attack in the City has affected computer systems that the County relies upon to obtain information needed to validate the Metropolitan District sewer charge.  Because of the ransomware attack, the County has been unable to validate a small percentage of accounts.

Residents whose accounts are affected will receive a letter. Those residents are encouraged to review their 2018 water bills and contact the Baltimore County Metropolitan District Financing and Petitions office with questions. 

Revised September 11, 2017