If you haven't noticed, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and the City Council have become a bit more assertive recently.
The mayor, for example, has announced his intention to sue state government for not providing adequate funding for Baltimore's public schools. The City Council, for its part, showed enough independence to move on two key issues that the mayor opposed. And a funny thing happened.
When the council decided to pass a moratorium on new or expanded waste incinerators, the mayor dropped his previous reservations and signed on. The same thing happened on the controversial idea of forming a non-profit company to insure city drivers, who pay significantly higher rates to commercial agencies than the rest of Maryland motorists. When the council pushed ahead on the matter, the mayor reversed his position and promised to fund the "lion's share" of a $150,000 actuarial study and business plan for the proposed outfit.