FY2023 Budget Passes Unanimously

Today, after the City Council’s Ways & Means Committee held 83 hours of hearings covering 45 different agencies, the City Council concluded Baltimore City’s FY2023 budget hearing process, unanimously approving the City’s $4.11 billion budget ($3.32 billion operating and $793 million capital). I would like to acknowledge the hard work and partnership of my colleagues on the Ways & Means Committee and members of the City Council at-large, as well as the Administration. Over the past few  months I have been adamant about my desire to reorient this budget process back towards addressing the prime concerns of our residents: restoring core city services, addressing waste at the agency level, and confronting the violent crime plaguing our streets. During budget hearings, we were able to accomplish exactly that by: 

  1. Compelling the Police Commissioner Harrison to request additional sworn law enforcement assistance from our federal and state law enforcement partners; 
  2. Driving progress toward resumption of weekly curbside recycling collection through a written set of commitments with timelines to better position DPW to resume the service in the future; and  
  3. Working toward ensuring the historical footprint of ArtScape remains in the 11th District in Bolton Hill and Mount Vernon while allowing continued expansion in Station North, through targeted cuts to BOPA’s budget.

As we continue to grapple with brazen levels of crime across the City, we all need to stay focused on our primary responsibility as elected leaders: the safety and security of families and neighborhoods. It is important to remember that ending violent crime starts in the streets with the men and women of BPD, who will continue to rebuild trust with the people of Baltimore; and ends with effective prosecutions aided by the executive agencies expected to coordinate and make available any and all resources necessary to achieve our goal of reducing crime in Baltimore. While almost every agency has some role in helping in that effort, we need those that are specifically funded for public safety to be more effective and act with a greater sense of urgency. That includes the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) and the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO), both of which are tasked with significant roles in the overall crime reduction plan. We can’t afford to wait for years for results – the citizens of Baltimore expect and deserve relief from the relentless level of crime.  

While we all have a duty not to repeat injustices of yesterday, it’s the responsibility of this legislative body and its members to hold these entities accountable and demand answers and action when little progress seems evident.


Public Safety Announcement – Budget Hearings

The City Council’s Ways & Means Committee is preparing to hold FY2023 budget hearings during the week of May 31 – June 07, 2022. Baltimore City is on a record pace for homicides this year. I intend to ensure this issue is treated with the same sense of urgency that our communities demand and expect during the upcoming budget hearings. As such, the following letters were issued to the appropriate agencies in advance of their budget hearings.

2022.05.19 – BPD – FY2023 Budget Letter (Costello)

2022.05.19 – MONSE – FY2023 Budget Letter (Costello)

2022.05.19 – SAO – FY2023 Budget Letter (Costello)

BGE / MTA Natural Gas Main Installation to Begin in Riverside

BGE / MTA Natural Gas Main Installation to Begin in Riverside

SUMMARY: At the request of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), BGE will soon begin a multiple-month long project to install a new natural gas main to service the MTA’s MARC Train Yard located on the south side of the community (directly south of Riverside Park and Southside Shopping Plaza). The work, limited to portions of only five streets (as outlined below), will entail street cuts, installing new gas main pipes, and covering the street cuts daily (either asphalt or steel plates). Work on each affected street is expected to take two to three weeks.  During these periods, some on-street parking restrictions will be posted.

WHO IS INVOVLED: This a BGE project to connect new gas service for one of their customers, the MTA. The gas main contractor will be Stella May – they will be responsible for street cuts (digging a trench), installing the new gas main, and laying down temporary asphalt / steel plates at the end of each work day. A paving / resurfacing contractor will be selected by BGE as the project progresses – they will be responsible for completing final restoration of the street after Stella May completes the new gas main installation. Assedo is a communications firm that BGE has hired to assist with communication to the community – they will be responsible for notifying residents and businesses who are directly affected and answering general questions from individual community members.

AFFECTED STREETS: This work will be limited to the following streets and specific blocks

  • Lawrence St (from Harvey St to E Fort Ave)
  • E Fort Ave (from Lawrence St to Boyle St)
  • Boyle St (from E Fort Ave to E Heath St)
  • E Heath St (from Boyle St to Webster St)
  • Webster St (from E Heath St to past E Barney St at southern-end of Webster St

SCHEDULE AND SEQUENCING: The project is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Feb 22 and progress in the following sequence, although this may be subject to change, with notice provided to affected residents and businesses.

  1. Webster St to E Barney St – 1 Week
  2. E Barney St to E Heath St – 1 Week
  3. E Heath to Boyle St – 1 Week
  4. Boyle St to E Fort Ave – 2 Weeks
  5. E Fort Ave from Boyle St to Lawrence St – 2 Weeks
  6. Lawrence St from E Fort Ave to Harvey St – 2 Weeks
  7. The service at the end of Webster St – 1 Week

PARKING RESTRICTIONS: We will work with BGE and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure as minimal disruptions to parking as possible. Parking restrictions will be in place and posted at least 72 hours in advance of taking effect. Please be sure to carefully follow any posted parking restrictions as failing to do so could result in citation, relocation, or tow.

COMMUNICATION TO THE COMMUNITY: BGE has provided the Riverside Neighborhood Association (RNA), State Delegate Luke Clippinger, and Councilman Eric T Costello the a Outreach Plan to the community which Assedo will be responsible for executing. This Outreach Plan was a result of a conference call between the above parties on Feb 11 to ensure a clear understanding of the scope and schedule of the project for those impacted in the community.

POINTS OF CONACT: for questions about the work on your street, please direct to:

For other questions or if you do not receive a timely reply, you are welcome to contact:

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as MTA makes improvements to its MARC Train facility.

DPW Solid Waste Curbside Collection Modifications

DPW is launching a new recycling schedule to ensure predictable collections as they deal with staffing issues under this most recent surge in COVID. The new schedule will be bi-weekly: south of North Ave (which is the entire 11th District) will have curbside recycling collection on the normally scheduled day of the week during the week of January 25 – 28.  More info and resources are below.










Link to the FAQs/Collections Update page:

Link to the map:

Link to the FAQs:

Link to the Residential Drop Off Centers Info page:

Link to the Estimated Recycling Card Delivery Date page:

Link to the Recycling Services page:

Aug 09th Mask Order

The Baltimore City Health Department announced a new mask order, effective Monday, August 09, at 9:00am.

An FAQ with additional details will be released shortly. As soon as available, it will be posted here.

In the meantime, one question that continues to be raised is why is the City of Baltimore able to issue a mask order when the surrounding counties are not able to. The City Charter gives the City of Baltimore, specifically the Health Commissioner, the authority to do so.



Mayor Scott’s May 14 Executive Order

Mayor Scott’s May 14 Executive Order

On May 14, Mayor Scott issues an Executive Order which rescinded previous City Executive Orders related to COVID-19 and defers to the State of Maryland moving forward. This removes all restrictions on gatherings and businesses, such as the number of people permitted in one place at an event at any given time or capacity and hours of operation limits for businesses.

The only exception is the City’s ‘Mask Order’ which supersedes guidance from the State of Maryland on wearing masks.

City – May 14 Executive Order

City – May 14 – Revised Mask Order

State – May 12 – Executive Order

City Press Release


Mayor Scott’s February 22 Executive Order

The new Executive Order from Mayor Brandon M. Scott is effective Monday, Feb 22 at 6am.
Key Documents
Key Changes
  • Indoor Gatherings cap of 10 people lifted – must adhere to occupancy limitations of space
  • Outdoor Gatherings cap of 25 people lifted – must adhere to occupancy limitations of space
  • Restaurants, bars, and breweries – one-hour max for patrons lifted
  • Restaurants, bars, and breweries – indoor capacity remains at 25% of maximum occupancy
  • Restaurants, bars, and breweries – outdoor capacity still at 50% of maximum occupancy
  • Restaurants, bars, and breweries – Sign in sheets still required for contact tracing efforts
  • Fitness classes – limited to 25% or 10 total persons, whichever is higher
  • Live performances – permitted, performers must wear masks
  • Organized amateur sports – outdoor – are permitted
  • Organized amateur sports – indoor – are permitted at 25% occupancy, no more than 50 total persons in attendance
  • Organized amateur sports – Tournaments and organized amateur sports events with teams from outside the State of Maryland are prohibited.
  • Organized amateur sports – Face coverings should be worn by all participants engaged in the field of play and everyone present.
  • Adult entertainment – prohibited
  • Hookah lounges – prohibited except retail
  • Cigar lounges – prohibited except retail

Senior Housing Buildings – COVID-19 Vaccinations

With 15 senior housing buildings in the 11th District, I have been working closely with the Baltimore City Health Department to clarify and communicate the vaccination plan for senior buildings.

The Health Department’s Mobile Vaccination Clinic has started the necessary work of vaccinating our seniors in the easiest possible way. While some senior buildings have already been covered by federal, state, and private clinical vaccination programs, the Health Department is working to provide first doses to all of the senior housing buildings by the end of April, hopefully sooner, provided there is enough vaccine supply.

The order of clinic dates is determined by a number of factors, including population density, social vulnerability index, and recent outbreaks. Representatives from the Health Department will be in the building knocking on doors prior to the vaccination date to notify and register residents, but pre-registration is not required to receive the vaccine. All staff members age 18+ and residents over the age of 65 are eligible to receive the vaccine. Second doses appointments – which need to occur roughly one month after the first dose – are scheduled with residents and staff on the day they receive their first dose.

The Health Department is scheduling clinic dates a week at a time, and the timeline will vary as factors such as the allotment of vaccines and guidance provided by the state determines supply and focus. If you have any questions about your specific senior building, please contact your management team.

If you wish to schedule an appointment independent of the above process, go online here: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine to find the best location. If there are literacy or internet access issues, please call 410-396-CARE (2273). You should call your primary care doctor and local pharmacy to get scheduled there as well. Finally, the State is recommending that you schedule a vaccination with as many different providers as possible to ensure you get the vaccination and get it as soon as possible.

Mayor Scott’s Jan 22 Executive Order

The new Executive Order from Mayor Brandon M. Scott is effective Friday, Jan 22 at 6am.
Key Documents
Key Changes
  • Restaurants / bars / breweries are permitted to reopen indoor dining at 25% and outdoor dining at 50% capacity. Sign-in / sign-out sheets will be required to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts (similar to what Anne Arundel County is doing). There will be a one-hour time limit for patrons to encourage people to be mindful of how much time they are spending unmasked.
  • Fitness classes permitted to resume with 10 or less participants with masks required.
  • All indoor recreation sites permitted to reopen at 25% capacity with the exception of adult entertainment, hookah lounges, and cigar lounges. Hookah lounges and cigar lounges can continue retail but on-site consumption is prohibited.
  • Streaming of live entertainment / performance is now permitted.

BGE and Energy Company Scams


There has been an uptick in reports of BGE and energy company scams across Baltimore City. Please see the following press release from BGE and the Maryland Public Services Commission (PSC) outlining the nature of the scams including helpful tips on how to avoid being a victim: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18h048F_7co3MVgbJIZoBv7oJrsGu7cZF/view?usp=sharing

These scams can occur mainly through phone calls or home visits.