Philadelphia official hired for studies of Baltimore agencies

Gallagher joining panel to address city's deficit

January 28, 2000|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Tapping more talent outside of Baltimore, the Greater Baltimore Committee has hired a Philadelphia deputy mayor to oversee a study of the city's departments.

Matthew D. Gallagher, 27, will join the GBC Monday to coordinate studies by business leaders of the city's public works, housing and community development, health and recreation and parks departments.

Mayor Martin O'Malley commissioned the study late last year to help the city run a more efficient government.

The effort mirrors a strategy by former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell in 1992 that helped that city save $150 million. The Mayor's Private Task Force on Management and Productivity in Philadelphia made 400 recommendations to the city, 90 percent of which were used in some fashion.

For the past three years, Gallagher, a Baltimore native and 1990 graduate of Calvert Hall College, has worked in Philadelphia's Office of Management and Productivity. The office focused on cost-cutting measures and ways to increase city revenue.

Gallagher said in an interview yesterday that he is looking forward to returning to Baltimore after eight years working to help turn around Philadelphia's fiscal problems. The city had a projected $1.4 billion four-year deficit.

"While I've been living and working in Philadelphia for the last few years, Baltimore is my home, and I'm very excited about working on a project to help the city's future," Gallagher said.

The hiring of Gallagher follows several moves by the city's private and government leaders to draw talent from across the country.

O'Malley hired Deputy Mayor David Scott, who used to work for the city Public Works Department, from Highland Park, Ill. The administration also hired Edward Norris from New York City's Police Department to be a deputy police commissioner in Baltimore and two nationally known crime consultants to help fight crime.

The hiring of Gallagher, a former coordinator of youth programs for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is expected to bolster the city's effort to reduce a projected $153 million deficit in the next four years.

In addition to his role as assistant deputy mayor, Gallagher was staff director for Philadelphia's Productivity Bank, a $20 million loan fund for public service projects. The 22 projects the bank funded will generate an estimated $72.5 million savings for Philadelphia's government over five years.

In a statement, GBC President Donald P. Hutchinson said of Gallagher: "We're extremely fortunate to have obtained Matt Gallagher's services as we work to support Mayor O'Malley in his effort to strengthen city government. Matt's firsthand experience in the same kind of initiative in Philadelphia should be an invaluable asset."

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