Schmoke discusses improvements at Mount Washington group's meeting

June 17, 1998|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Attending the annual meeting of the Mount Washington Improvement Association has become a tradition for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who was greeted by more than 100 people at this year's gathering at the Wesley Home for senior citizens on West Rogers Avenue last night.

As the first order of business, Schmoke announced that a concrete retaining wall on Sulgrave Avenue near Mount Washington Elementary School is scheduled to be repaired this summer.

Another public works project in the area, the reconstruction of Pimlico Road, will begin on July 20, the mayor told the group. He said the project should take a year to complete, allowing for a three-month suspension of the work in the winter.

The placing of a stop sign on Greenspring Avenue and Ken Oak Road, a suggestion made at last year's annual meeting, was noted by a resident as an improvement in neighborhood safety. Over the next year, renovating Luckman Park with new equipment and lighting is high on the group's agenda.

Another piece of good news reported was the decline of crime in the area. "The biggest reduction seems to be in car larcenies," said Norma Cohen, a member of the association board and the neighborhood's crime-prevention group.

Schmoke, who said he hasn't missed a meeting since he was elected in 1987, referred requests on trash pickup and tree overgrowth in the wooded North Baltimore neighborhood to a municipal services official.

More generally, the mayor addressed what he called the "new partnership" between the city and state to improve the public schools and how the city's budget surplus will be spent.

"Performance-based measures will be the bedrock of the [school] system," he said, in explaining why some principals will be moved out of their jobs. "Hopefully, with a new CEO, our system will make the kind of progress we all want."

Fifty new police vehicles and a new fire station in East Baltimore are among the expenditures the city plans to make with last year's revenue surplus.

After talking and taking questions for about an hour, Schmoke said he found such sessions useful.

"It helps me to know the neighborhood priorities," he said. "Even the criticisms are helpful. And next year I can report back."

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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