Baltimore's ranking among the nation's best-managed cities slipped in a new survey by Financial World magazine, but the study's co-author said the slip was just a blip.
The magazine ranked Baltimore 12th among the biggest 30 cities in the United States, down from sixth place last year. The survey looked at accounting, budgeting, program evaluation and infrastructure controls to determine its rankings.
"In general, Baltimore is in laudable shape," the magazine said in its Feb. 18 issue.
The city scored an A-minus in budgeting, a B in infrastructure controls, a B-plus in accounting and a B-minus in program evaluation. Its overall grade of B compared with a B-plus last year.
"While we admit we have many problems, we also try to emphasize our great strengths," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said in a statement. "I am pleased with Baltimore's overall ranking and believe it is a recognition that this is one of the country's best-managed and most livable cities."
Katherine Barrett, a Financial World contributing editor who co-wrote the study with her husband, Richard Greene, praised the Schmoke administration's response to $37.5 million in cuts in state aid to the city.
"The administration is handling the situation quite nicely, taking the opportunity to see what needs to be cut and where can be cut without reducing direct services," Ms. Barrett said.
"In terms of program evaluation, B-minus is not a weak grade," she said. "It's still above average."
Last year, Baltimore's grade average was calculated without including program evaluation because the city was introducing a new evaluation system, Ms. Barrett said.
"It can show you how useful a fire station is, how useful a library branch is," she said.