The most important consideration affecting voters' decisions regarding bond issues this year is a proposal by officials to double the city's self-imposed cap on municipal borrowing, which for years has been set at just over $30 million during each election cycle. Given that city revenues have not kept pace with rising needs for services and other programs, and that the $30 million cap is, in any event, a somewhat arbitrary figure which might easily be increased without endangering Baltimore's long-term fiscal health or its bond rating, this is eminently sound policy.
The eight bond issues on the ballot this year, questions A through H, total $32.2 million and would allow the city to borrow money for a range of badly needed projects, from funding community development block grants and financing the restoration of vacant housing to helping Bon Secours Hospital renovate its facilities and removing asbestos from municipal buildings. Question H is a particularly urgent matter; it would provide $4 million for school building repairs and roof replacements. Voters should approve loans for each of these worthy projects.