O'Malley releases report of advisers, sets schedule for improvements to city

1-year, 6-month plans address crime, education

February 04, 2000|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Mayor Martin O'Malley unveiled his plans yesterday to make Baltimore cleaner and safer in six-month and one-year timetables.

O'Malley released a 2-inch-thick report compiled by 400 transition committee advisers recommending how to improve the city. The timetables, O'Malley said, will put necessary pressure on the new city administration to accomplish the goals.

"That's how we're going to keep ourselves accountable," O'Malley said. "The difference today is that we're now committed."

The mayor's ambitious checklist addresses short- and long-term goals for 13 city agencies, including:

Education. O'Malley will appoint a special assistant to monitor the city school system, he said. Within a year, he intends to restore an arts curriculum and expand prekindergarten and after-school programs.

Public safety. Within a year, O'Malley hopes to be able to post computerized crime maps on the Internet and at community centers to show residents how their neighborhoods are faring. Over the next six months, officers will receive search and seizure training in hopes of allaying fears about illegal stops. All stops will be documented, whether arrests are made or not, O'Malley said.

Public works. Within a year, O'Malley hopes to have a phone number established for complaints that can be tracked through computers. He says he hopes to restart public education campaigns on trash, create a Parking Authority and appoint a senior-level transportation adviser within six months.

O'Malley also intends to restore the city Parks and Recreation Board and form an economic development steering committee that he will lead.

The mayor's release of administration goals came after a morning speech to the Downtown Partnership. The mayor told about 350 audience members that the city will hold an extensive cleanups March 24 and 25.

O'Malley also promised to work closely with city judges and State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy to restore order to the city justice system. Jessamy promised this week to hire more prosecutors to charge suspects, which O'Malley believes could reduce weak cases by half.

"We are finally, I think, getting off the dime," O'Malley said.

At the breakfast event in the Sheraton Harbor Renaissance Hotel, O'Malley gained accolades from downtown leaders for his energy and focus in his first two months in office.

"He operates so far outside the box, he doesn't even know there is a box," said Downtown Partnership Chairman Frank Bramble.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.