City Council bill aims to lure teachers, give incentives to fill vacant homes

February 01, 2000|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

To attract more teachers to Baltimore and fill the city's vacant homes, the City Council introduced a bill last night that would allow public school system employees to buy houses for a "nominal" fee and receive loans to make repairs.

Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a history teacher at the private Boys' Latin School, proposed the legislation and said he believes it will help bring more teachers to Baltimore and clean up the city's thousands of vacant properties.

"This is a win-win situation for everyone involved," Mitchell told his council colleagues.

Mitchell's legislation, which has most of the council as co-sponsors, would authorize the Department of Housing and Community Development to create the Baltimore City Teacher Residency Incentive Program and specify what incentives it would offer.

While the primary focus is teachers, the program would be available to other professional city school system employees.

A public hearing has yet to be scheduled on the issue.

Also at last night's meeting, the council rescheduled confirmation hearings that were canceled last week because of bad weather.

Public hearings will be held at 5 p.m. today in the City Council chamber for Finance Director Peggy Watson, City Solicitor Thurman Zollicoffer Jr. and Personnel Director Jesse Hoskins.

The council will hold hearings for Fire Chief Herman Williams Jr. and Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

The hearing for Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel is set for 5 p.m. tomorrow.

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