City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

April 11, 2006

Council OKs prosecutor's budget

After months of political wrangling, the City Council approved yesterday a $1.9 million budget increase for State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy's office.

The money was at the center of a budget committee hearing last month when two members of the council walked out on Jessamy and later apologized. The incident underscored long-standing tension between Jessamy's office and City Hall.

The council unanimously voted to approve the money, which will pay for programs that are funded by grants that are expected to expire this year. Some council members have called on Jessamy to conduct an audit of her prosecution statistics.

John Fritze

Baltimore: City Council

Ban on fliers approved, 10-1

The City Council approved yesterday a ban on placing commercial advertisements in vestibules and other areas of private property. Under the proposal - passed 10-1 with four abstentions - pizzerias and real estate agents, for instance, would be prohibited from putting fliers in doors and fences. Supporters of the measure say the menus, coupons and refinancing offers contribute to trash in city neighborhoods and alert burglars to empty homes.

John Fritze

Anne Arundel: Annapolis

Moyer unveils $68.6 million budget

Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer recommended last night a $68.6 million budget for the next fiscal year that increases spending by 8 percent but leaves the property tax rate unchanged. Under the spending plan, the city property tax rate would remain 56 cents per $100 of assessed value. However, many city homeowners would see increases in their property tax bills because of rising home assessments. The city council has trimmed the property tax rate in recent years, but Moyer, in recommending no reduction this year, noted that fuel and electric costs have risen 30 percent and that the city has a backlog of capital projects.

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