City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

January 18, 2007

Out-of-town firms will manage city pension funds

Baltimore's largest pension fund will hire two out-of-town firms to manage $92 million in assets after the city's Board of Estimates unanimously approved the arrangement at a meeting yesterday.

The decision comes a week after Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration asked pension officials whether they could direct more management contracts to local and minority-owned companies. Instead, pension officials agreed to issue a report twice a year itemizing their asset managers.

Some local politicians favor using local and minority firms to invest pension money as a way to boost the local economy. Pension officials have historically countered that their job is to get the best return on the city's investment.

Given the size of the city's funds, millions in commissions and management fees are potentially at stake. The employees' retirement system, which covers most city workers, has about $1.3 billion in assets. The fire and police system has $2.3 billion in assets.

The two management agreements, one with Pennsylvania-based Turner Investment Partners and the other with Chicago Equity Partners, were on last week's Board of Estimates agenda. But they were delayed so that Thomas B. Corey, chief of the city's minority business office, could meet with pension officials.

John Fritze

Baltimore: Mayor's office

Reporter to become Dixon spokesman

Anthony McCarthy, a longtime political reporter who served as editor of the Afro-American newspaper and host of a weekly news round up program on WYPR-FM, will become the chief spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon. McCarthy, 39, worked as Dixon's chief of staff for nine months between 1999 and 2000 and most recently ran for the House of Delegates as a Democrat in the 44th District. Dixon is expected to formally announce his appointment as communications director today. McCarthy became Dixon's chief of staff after she was elected council president but then left the office nine months later, according to news accounts. Before working for Dixon, McCarthy edited then-Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's monthly publication, Baltimore Progress, and was Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' communications director.

John Fritze

Southwest

Man fatally struck by car is identified

A man who died Tuesday evening after he was struck by a car while attempting to walk across Russell Street near Camden Industrial Park was identified yesterday as a resident of the Mill Hill neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore. Police said Angelo Atkinson, 45, of the 2600 block of Dulany St. was struck by a southbound Chevrolet while crossing the 1600 block of Russell St. near Bush Street against the traffic signal at 6:30 p.m. after climbing over a concrete barrier at a construction site. He died soon thereafter at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Richard Irwin

Trees

Plan to double canopy to be aired

The Forestry Division of Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks is planning two public meetings on the city's efforts to develop TreeBaltimore, a management plan for the city's tree canopy. The goal is to double the canopy within 30 years so that it covers 39.6 percent of the city. The first meeting is set for today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the recreation department's administration building in Druid Hill Park, 3001 East Drive, in the Peach Room. The second meeting is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 27 at the Clarence H. Du Burns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave. Information: 410-396-6109.

Inauguration

Streets to be closed near City Hall today

Several streets will be closed around City Hall today for the inauguration of Sheila Dixon, who will be formally sworn in as mayor at noon at the War Memorial Building, 101 N. Gay St. The Department of Transportation announced the following closings: Saratoga Street between Holliday and Lexington streets; Frederick Street between Lexington and Fayette streets; and Lexington Street between Gay and Frederick streets.

Schools

Forum on safety to be held tonight

The Baltimore school board and school system administrators will host a forum on school safety from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight at school headquarters, 200 E. North Ave. Officials will review with the public a draft of a comprehensive plan for school safety.

Calvert Street

Section to be closed for manhole repairs

City transportation officials will close Calvert Street from Lombard Street to Water Street from 7 p.m. today to 5 a.m. tomorrow to repair manholes. Motorists traveling north on Calvert Street will be detoured west onto Lombard Street, north onto Charles Street and east onto Baltimore Street.

Anne Arundel: Glen Burnie

Greenbelt officer kills self, police say

An off-duty Greenbelt police officer fatally shot himself in his Glen Burnie home early yesterday morning, police said yesterday. Cpl. Louis Gonzalez, 34, was pronounced dead in his home on Elizabeth Road shortly after Anne Arundel officers arrived at 3:47 a.m., said Officer George F. Mathews, a Greenbelt Police Department spokesman. One other person in the residence at the time of death was unhurt, he said. Anne Arundel County police referred all inquiries to Greenbelt police.

Jamie Stiehm

Harwood

Car flips, driver is seriously hurt

A Harwood woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after the car she was driving ran out of control and overturned, Anne Arundel County police said. Christine Marie Brown, 21, was traveling east on Harwood Road approaching Solomons Island Road about 12:35 a.m. yesterday when she lost control of her 2000 Toyota Echo, police said. Brown was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was reported in critical condition last night.

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