O'Malley takes wish list to Washington

Mayor outlines needs totaling $35 million

April 06, 2000|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Mayor Martin O'Malley met yesterday with federal lawmakers who represent Baltimore, pressing them for $35 million to improve the quality of life in the city.

At lunch in the Capitol, Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Democrats and Baltimore residents, praised O'Malley for his new blueprint for governing the city.

But they also warned him against expecting everything he asked for, according to several people who observed the discussion.

Reps. Benjamin L. Cardin, Elijah E. Cummings and Wayne T. Gilchrest, whose districts include portions of Baltimore, also attended the luncheon.

O'Malley's wish list, offered after consulting with the delegation, includes:

$10 million to help purchase 25 MTA buses for use in the city.

$5 million to study how best to expand public transit along east-west lines, and in the western and northeastern areas of the city, through expansion of the light rail system.

$5 million to demolish houses with lead-based paint and to reduce the risk of children being poisoned by such paint, particularly in poorer areas.

$5 million for police training and to hire crime analysts, purchase 55 police vehicles and bring back retired officers for 40 full-time and 30 part-time positions.

$5 million to expand outpatient treatment programs for drug addicts, and to expand GED and job training programs.

$3 million to enhance computer technology in public schools.

$2 million for after-school programs.

O'Malley's presentation was a shift from the approach taken by his predecessor, Kurt L. Schmoke, who tended to focus more on housing programs.

"While we are going to continue to seek [housing] funds, this agenda includes broadening our strategy to focus on other issues," said Jeanne Hitchcock, a deputy mayor who deals with intergovernmental issues.

Pub Date: 4/06/00

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