Bacon for Baltimore County

Ruppersberger's strategy: United front and modest shopping list paid off again for executive, delegation.

April 16, 1999

C.A. DUTCH Ruppersberger's strategy for a profitable session of the General Assembly: Take to Annapolis a modest shopping list and marshal the county delegation firmly behind it.

After the legislature adjourned, the Baltimore County executive crowed that he got "nearly every item" on his agenda, which he added was "doable and fair" for the rest of Maryland.

Mr. Ruppersberger has been adept at helping bring home the bacon for Baltimore County since he became executive in 1994. As in his first term, securing money for school construction and renovation topped his wish list.

The state budget provides $17 million for county schools. The Board of Public Works is expected to approve another $15 million for next month. Other projects awarded state money range from $1 million for two Police Athletic League centers at Winfield and Scotts Branch elementary schools to $550,000 for a new gymnasium at the private Hannah More School that will be available in off-hours to the recreation department. You know the session was good to the county when what qualifies as disappointment was a $1 million appropriation, half of what the county sought, to acquire and demolish the delapidated Villages of Tall Trees subsidized housing complex in Middle River.

Mr. Ruppersberger also won approval for a measure that allows police departments, with notice, to enter other jurisdictions to execute arrest warrants. About 40 percent of the county's arrest warrants are for city residents alleged to have committed crimes in the county. Mr. Ruppersberger believes this new power will help incarcerate people who are charged with much of the county's criminal activity.

A united front again paid dividends for Baltimore County. Its delegation continues to be a power that effectively represents constituents in Annapolis.

Pub Date: 4/16/99

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