In light of yesterday’s tragic events, I have sent a letter to the City Solicitor requesting his opinion on the legal requirements that must be addressed in order to remove, relocate, or reinterpret existing confederate monuments as well as the Roger B. Taney Monument. You may view the entire letter here: 2017.08.13 – Legal Clarification on Confederate Monuments
INFORMATION ON CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCE 17-0111 – Weapons – Prohibiting Handguns Near Places of Public Assembly. I have given this issue a great deal of thought after extensive research and discussions and have put together the information below that includes: 1) legal background on this issue; 2) details on the proposed ordinance; 3) why I believe the ordinance is necessary; 4) common misconceptions about mandatory minimum sentencing; 5) my position on the ordinance; and 6) next steps in the legislative process. A copy of the amended bill is available here. Read more
Every Baltimore Child Deserves This
June 26, 2017 | By Mary T. Phelan
Children in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Madison Park will have a special place to play this summer and all the seasons ahead after the Crispus Attucks Recreation Center reopened June 19, thanks in large part to the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) and its Promise Heights initiative.
The following Fiscal Year 2018 budget publications are now available online:
The City Council’s Budget & Appropriations Committee schedule for hearing the FY2018 budget is appended below and available for download here: Final Budget Schedule
The Sun hit the nail on the head in its editorial last month bemoaning the effect on the city of Gov. Larry Hogan‘s decision to cancel Maryland’s contracts for the renovation of the State Center office complex on Baltimore’s West Side. We share The Sun’s view, and add our voices to the chorus by expanding on 1) the history of State Center’s community impact and engagement; 2) our grave concerns for job loss; and 3) the arena red herring. We close with requests of the governor, in the belief that concerns must be paired with solutions. Read more
There is a projected deficit of $130 Million in the FY2018 Baltimore City Public Schools budget. There are several opportunities for parents in the 11th District to get engaged on this issue, either Citywide, or with a specific school in the 11th District, in chronological order below.
- Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) – Districtwide Townhall Meeting – Mon, Mar 13, 6 – 8pm – at Frederick Douglas High School, 2301 Gwynns Falls Pkwy. Meeting date and time subject to change, any changes to this event should be updated here.
- Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) Board Meeting – Tue, Mar 14, 6 – 8pm – at 200 E North Ave. The agenda for the Board Meeting will be posted online the Saturday preceding the meeting, here. If you plan on attending, it is advised that you arrive at least one (1) hour prior to the start of the meeting. Meetings are broadcast live on Comcast Channel 77.
The first meeting of the Biennial Audits Oversight Commission (BAOC) will be Wednesday, Feb 15, 5pm, at City Hall, in Council Chambers on the 4th Floor.
More information on the 1st meeting is available below:
- BAOC – Draft Agenda – outlines the agenda for meeting and the four votes that will take place;
- BAOC – Charter Amendment – a printout of Article 5 Section 11 of the Baltimore City Charter (amended in Nov 2016, established the BAOC);
- BAOC – Briefing Package – a summary of all findings and recommendations from the quadrennial audits for Group A; and
- Department of Finance’s Audits website – includes links to the audit products summarized in the aforementioned Briefing Package.
The BAOC is compromised of the following seven individuals: Councilman Eric T. Costello (Chair); Councilman Bill Henry; Acting Inspector General Stephen J. Lesniewski, Jr.; Councilman Leon Pinkett; Comptroller Joan Pratt; Finance Director Henry Raymond; and Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Among other things, the BAOC is tasked with providing guidance and advice to the City Auditor in determining the scope of agency performance audits.
Councilman Eric T. Costello introduced legislation aimed at keeping cyclists safe. The bill does two key things: 1) it increases the penalty for blocking a bike lane with a motor vehicle; and 2) makes this a towable offense.
Bikemore, the premier cyclist advocacy group in Baltimore City has expressed their support for the legislation. You can learn more about Bikemore’s advocacy efforts on their Website, Twitter, or Facebook.
I am very disappointed with the conclusion that Cross St Market will not be revitalized. For a variety of reasons, Caves Valley Partners (CVP) has made the difficult decision to not move forward with the project. Dating back to my time as a community president, this was one of the top issues our neighborhood fought for. After being sworn in to office, it became a top priority of mine and I have worked tirelessly ever since to help get this project across the finish line.
Public-private partnerships on municipal markets are extremely complex and challenging. Funding must be cobbled together from multiple public and private sources and margins are extremely thin. The fact that CVP was the only team to respond to the RFP demonstrates truly how challenging this effort was.
I would like to thank the members of the Cross St Market Advisory Committee for selflessly volunteering your time and effort along the way, all with the best interest of our collective neighborhoods at heart. The Baltimore Public Markets Corporation should be commended for shifting their paradigm and embracing the public-private partnership model. Lastly, thank you to CVP and Arsh Mirmiran for giving your best effort. Despite how risky and financially unattractive this deal was, your willingness to try this far exceeded what should have been expected.