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NEWS
June 26, 2012
Comptroller Joan Pratt's concerns about MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blake's handling of the purchase of a new IT phone system for local government highlight the questionable make-up of the Baltimore spending panel known as the Board of Estimates ("Nilson says city phone purchases were legal," June 23). The Baltimore City Charter establishes that the primary fiscal board of the city be composed of all three citywide elected officials, along with the director of public works and the city solicitor.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Ricarda Easton and Will McKenna | May 7, 2014
Ten years ago, Baltimore students were able for the first time to enroll in public charter schools, which brought a fresh approach to education in the city. Publicly funded and part of the Baltimore City Public Schools, charter schools are run by independent operators who develop an academic approach and governance model to engage families in public education in new ways. These schools are held accountable for driving student achievement and for being well managed. Today, Baltimore is fortunate to have 31 charters across the city, many of which are integral parts of the education landscape.
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NEWS
By JAMIE STIEHM and JAMIE STIEHM,SUN REPORTER | October 2, 2005
In the spirit of 1708, when a royal charter was handed down to Colonial Annapolis, a town crier Friday proclaimed the first event of the Annapolis Charter 300 celebration: the unveiling of an outdoor mural on the side of the Hillman municipal parking garage. Under clear skies, a small crowd congregated by Gorman Street, a side street off Main Street that the 36-by-14-foot gauzy mural will face. The lively Colonial life mural is actually a digital image of an oil painting done by Annapolis artist Lee A. Boynton 10 years ago that hangs in City Hall.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
The Baltimore school board will no longer back loans for charter school facilities, a move that the city's coalition of charter operators calls "short-sighted" and said could deter those looking to open the in-demand schools. The district has served as guarantor for three charter schools, City Neighbors, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and the Baltimore Design School, to either purchase or conduct large renovations of their facilities. But board members said now that they have the $1 billion task of rebuilding and renovating the school district's infrastructure ahead of them — a process that is financed by debt — the district cannot risk more capital improvement bills.
NEWS
June 10, 2005
Seventy years ago this month, Ellicott City, which had been an independently chartered town since 1867, had its charter revoked by the state legislature at the request of local residents, according to Howard County: A Pictorial Historyby Joetta M. Cramm. Blame it on liquor, at least indirectly. "Before Prohibition, due to a high license fee for saloons, the town charged a very small real estate tax," Cramm writes. "With Prohibition, the tax increase led to the many bitter protests that finally brought about the surrender of the town charter."
NEWS
September 2, 1997
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE Lawrence H. Rushworth made the only decision the law allowed when he disqualified three Annapolis aldermanic candidates from the Sept. 16 ballot.Although the candidates met the residency requirements, they had not been registered voters long enough in the wards they sought to represent. In light of Judge Rushworth's decision, the council should re-examine this provision of the city charter.Voters -- rather than mandates in the city charter -- should determine suitability for public office.
NEWS
July 17, 1997
NO ONE IN ANNAPOLIS can remember the last time outraged citizens bearing torches stormed City Hall demanding the immediate removal of a mayor or an alderman.Despite this historic lack of need for recalling elected officials, a provision was added last winter to the city charter. This week, the City Council approved the procedure to stage special elections that could prematurely end an elected official's term.Voters should petition to have this proposal added to the ballot this fall. Then they should reject it.If Annapolis residents believe their aldermen already pander to vocal pressure groups, the recall provision will only aggravate that situation.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | August 11, 2004
A group of Northeast Baltimore parents that feels it has been thwarted in its attempt to start a charter school has asked the state school board to intervene in the local decision-making process. The appeal to the State Board of Education is the second this summer, signaling a growing frustration among parents and community groups who see local school boards as roadblocks to opening charter schools. "I had been hoping to work within the system," said Bobbi MacDonald, founder of City Neighbors Charter School.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | February 9, 1997
In the name of government reform, Annapolis city council members approved a number of amendments to the city charter last month that have the effect of putting much of their power into the hands of unelected officials.Since then, they have praised their handiwork -- talking about landmark reforms -- but that doesn't mean they can explain exactly what they've done.Did they give up too much power or too little? Did they strengthen the mayor's job? Or is everything the same as before?Little consensus is apparent, except in a belief that the recent amending of the charter -- the city's constitution -- will help rein in an unruly government.
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | May 23, 2002
The City Council held a hearing last night on two proposed city charter amendments to trim its membership in the wake of calls to shrink the body because of the declining city population. Though the bills to reduce the 19-seat council were proposed by two of its members, it appears unlikely that either will pass. City Council President Sheila Dixon, who is proposing cutting the council by four, said that she surveyed members after the meeting and few were in support of her measure. "One of my colleagues just told me, `Hell, no,'" Dixon said.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2012
Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is asking the council to appoint him to a long-dormant board city officials say is supposed to oversee the city's ethics director. "It is my hope that you will see fit to appoint me to represent this Honorable Body," Young wrote in a letter to fellow council members this week. The seven-member Board of Legislative Reference, which is charged with hiring and potentially dismissing the Director of Legislative Reference -- who also serves as the ethics director -- has not met in years, city officials say. One board member, contacted by The Sun, said he had never even heard of the board.
NEWS
November 13, 2012
Avery Aisenstark, the chief adviser to the Baltimore City Ethics Board, recently performed outside legal work on behalf of two developers who do business with the city. He insists that he did nothing illegal or unethical, but some outside watchdogs are calling for him to be fired. This should be handled the same way it would be for any other city employee: through a formal inquiry by the Board of Ethics. But whether he is exonerated or reprimanded, the city needs to reconsider the unique structure of his job that calls for him to serve too many masters while being truly accountable to none.
NEWS
June 26, 2012
Comptroller Joan Pratt's concerns about MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blake's handling of the purchase of a new IT phone system for local government highlight the questionable make-up of the Baltimore spending panel known as the Board of Estimates ("Nilson says city phone purchases were legal," June 23). The Baltimore City Charter establishes that the primary fiscal board of the city be composed of all three citywide elected officials, along with the director of public works and the city solicitor.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2012
Annapolis Alderman Kenneth A. Kirby will appear Wednesday night before the city's election board as the panel investigates whether Kirby, who does not have a permanent home, is meeting residency requirements. Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen has asked for both the city Board of Elections and the Office of Law to issue opinions on whether Kirby, a Democrat, is required to live in the ward he represents. The inquiries will also seek to determine whether Kirby lives in the ward. Cohen, also a Democrat, said he received several inquiries on the matter from the public, including the city Republican Central Committee.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2011
An Annapolis commission charged with examining ways to improve the city's governing structure has recommended several changes to the city charter, including making city elections nonpartisan and the creation of an audit committee, according to a draft of its proposals. The proposed changes, which the seven-member commission is set to formally present to the Annapolis city council next month, also include the creation of deputy department directors and a cash reserve fund. The council, which includes Mayor Joshua J. Cohen, has final authority on any changes.
EXPLORE
November 1, 2011
Editor: When voting for the mayor on Nov. 8 please keep in mind that the city council and mayor changed the length of the term for two years to four years without having the people vote on it. This is shameful, especially given that nobody is running against the city council. The council and current mayor think that just because it's legal to change the city charter, they should do it. No, the people deserve to vote on such a big change. To send a message to the city, I'm voting for Patrick McGrady for mayor.
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | June 3, 1993
If all the trial balloons in the Clinton health plan were placed end to end, it would make one heck of a hot air balloon race.Everybody in Serbia is extremist except the people.New city employees must live here. Exceptions will be made for heads of department required by the City Charter to do so. They don't.David Gergen and Lani Guinier make a lovely couple.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Brenda Buote and Mike Farabaugh and Brenda Buote,Sun Staff Writers | July 21, 1995
A Harford Circuit judge ruled yesterday the city of Havre de Grace and city officials cannot force the chief of police to go on administrative leave while an investigation into unspecified allegations against the chief is being conducted.In effect, Judge Maurice W. Baldwin's decision permanently extended a temporary injunction that he granted William L. Lamphere, the police chief, on June 30.Judge Baldwin cited the city's charter, which gives the city's mayor the power to appoint the chief of police.
SPORTS
By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2011
It took shipyard workers 38 months to build the Arthur W. Radford, but only four hours Wednesday for a marine salvage crew to send it to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. With little of the drama depicted in maritime disaster movies, the 563-foot former Navy destroyer settled low as seawater poured into its depths and then disappeared stern-first off the coast of Maryland to create the East Coast's largest artificial reef. The reef, called Del-Jersey-Land for the three states involved in the project, is roughly 28 miles northeast of Ocean City Inlet and about equidistant from Indian River Inlet andCape May. Tourism and natural resources officials for Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland believe the Radford will attract deep-sea fishing charters and divers eager to explore its nooks and crannies.
EXPLORE
June 29, 2011
The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women named Jennifer Wheeler Teacher of the Year for 2010-11. She completed a second year on the faculty of the Baltimore public charter school onFranklin Street. She is the social studies/language arts team leader and a sixth-grade teacher. A 2001 alumna of Catonsville High School, Wheeler earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Virginia. After participating in the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program, she received a master's degree in teaching fromJohns Hopkins University.
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