The League of Women Voter's guide to candidates for Baltimore City's primary election CAMPAIGN 1995

September 03, 1995

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization (( which works to promote political responsibility through the informed and active participation of citizens in their government. The League does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The candidates' answers appear as submitted in response to a non-partisan questionnaire. If answers exceeded the specified word limitation, the additional words were cut where practical from the end of the candidates' statement.

Registered independent voters can vote in the Republican primary.

4 Next Week: Councilmanic Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Primary Election: September 12, 1995

Polls Open: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m

COUNCIL PRESIDENT

Vote for 1

Questions asked of candidates for President of Baltimore City Council:

Change: How would you change or keep the same the job of City Council President?

Fiscal: What leadership can the Council provide to promote greater fiscal responsibility?

Education: What impact can the City Council have to improve education in Baltimore? Does the City Council's education committee have adequate clout to make a difference?

Lawrence Bell (D)

Biography: Age: 33. Univ. of MD, BA in government and politics. Serves as chairman of the Executive Appointments Committee, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Land Use Committee of the City Council; also serves as a member of the Education Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Planning Commission.

Change: The office of City Council President should remain the same. If elected to the position I will emphasize the oversight functions of the council, since it is the body that passes the budget bill and it must make sure than citizens receive the best possible services.

Fiscal: The council must scrutinize the budget more carefully to find waste and duplication and eliminate them before approving the budget. It must be more aggressive in holding fact-finding hearings to make sure the money is spent properly and wisely.

Education: The council can help improve education by exercising its oversight responsibilities and holding informational hearings on a regular basis. The education committee has only as much clout as it exercises. It has been too passive in the past.

Joseph J. DiBlasi (D)

Biography: Age: 48. Graduate of Southern High School, Univ. of Baltimore, Bachelor of Science degree in business management, major in personnel and labor relations. Council member for 12-1/2 years; former Vice President MD National Bank and NationsBank; chairman, City Council Budget and Appropriations Committee, Professional and Municipal Sports Committee.

Change: Better distribution of Committee assignment based on background and experience and not politics. Reorganize the Board of Estimates which is dominated by our strong mayoral form of government. Power to add and transfer budget money from agency to agency based on real need.

Fiscal: Earlier involvement in the budget process; thorough review of the budget. Establish a Personnel Complement Committee and Expenditure Review Board to monitor staffing and control expenses. Call for more thorough and frequent audits, especially in Housing and Education to correct misspent dollars such as EAI and the Housing Grant money.

Education: The EAI should have required Council approval. I would have voted AGAINST it. We must make our schools safer, improve school performance, and hold principals more accountable for their budgets. We should consider alternative schools, such as "reform" schools for disruptive students.

Vera P. Hall (D)

Biography: Age: 58. Coppin State College BS education; Towson State College MA; post-graduate studies Loyola College, Johns Hopkins Univ., and Morgan State Univ. Member, Baltimore City Council 1987`; Vice President, Baltimore City Council 1991`; Community Development Finance Corp. 1989`; Chair, MD Democratic Party 1992-94; Democratic National Committeewoman 1989-94; State Relations Director, Morgan State Univ. 1983-92.

Change: The Council President should be able to move Baltimore forward and to set and accomplish goals. The job requires vision, understanding the City's strengths and weaknesses, and exercising prudence in all decision making. Most importantly, the President should put the City's needs before political grandstanding.

Fiscal: Under the president's leadership, council committee chairs must monitor departments efficiency to promote greater fiscal responsibility. Budget approval powers should be used to effect change. Furthermore, the President can support committee leadership by voicing concerns to the Board of Estimates.

Education: In a concerted and consistent effort, the Council must demand that the State provide Baltimore students with resources for an adequate education. However, the City must have a sound management plan. The education committee can be a proactive catalyst for change.

Shelton Stewart (D)

(No reply received)

Carl Stokes (D)

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