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NEWS
January 15, 2010
Parking meters must be fed today as many Baltimore City employees observe a furlough day. City offices will be closed except for police and fire emergencies. Trash and recycling will be collected today, but citizen drop-off centers, including the Quarantine Road Landfill, the Northwest Transfer Station and the Eastern, Western and Northwestern sanitation yards, will be closed. No bulk trash collection is scheduled. City buildings, with the exception of courts and schools, will not be open, a city spokesman said.
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NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | September 12, 2014
Detroit is the largest city ever to seek bankruptcy protection, so its bankruptcy is seen as a potential model for other American cities now teetering on the edge. But Detroit is really a model for how wealthier and whiter Americans escape the costs of public goods they'd otherwise share with poorer and darker Americans. Judge Steven W. Rhodes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is now weighing Detroit's plan to shed $7 billion of its debts and restore some $1.5 billion of city services by requiring various groups of creditors to make sacrifices.
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NEWS
By Annie Linskey | October 9, 2009
Most Baltimore city services will be suspended Friday when the majority of city workers take their first of five mandatory furlough days. Some key services that will be closed or altered are: * All city buildings, including recreation centers, health clinics, administrative buildings and City Hall, will be closed. * All towed vehicles will be taken to the city lot at 410 Fallsway, where they can be claimed until 7 p.m. After that, vehicles will be moved to the city lot at 6700 Pulaski Highway, where they can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union and some advocacy groups urged the City Council on Thursday to scrap a tough youth curfew bill and instead implement a plan that calls for more social programs for young people. But Councilman Brandon Scott, lead sponsor of the curfew bill, said the critics misunderstand the legislation and waited too long to get involved. "If they were so concerned about this, why haven't they made these suggestions before?" he asked. Scott said he expects the council to give final approval to the bill Monday.
NEWS
December 10, 1991
At City Hall last night, Councilman Lawrence A. Bell, D-4th, reintroduced a bill that would prohibit city agencies from closing recreation centers, libraries or urban services centers without giving 60 days' notice to the affected communities.Mr. Bell said the bill was passed by an overwhelming majority of the City Council last spring but died because it was never signed by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. A spokesman for Mr. Schmoke said the mayor felt that the bill needed more "study and examination."
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | January 7, 1999
Facing a $25 million budget deficit next year, Baltimore took its first step yesterday toward possibly hiring private companies to handle city services such as trash collection.The city Board of Estimates voted 4-1 to spend $137,000 to hire two consultants who will study the possibility. The vote came after city unions angrily opposed the move, saying it would lead to extensive layoffs of the city's 25,000 employees.Cities such as Indianapolis and Philadelphia have gained national attention for allowing private companies to compete with city workers for service contracts.
NEWS
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | January 21, 1999
State legislators are lobbying Gov. Parris E. Glendening to help cover the $300,000-plus annual shortfall the city of Annapolis suffers providing state agencies with police, fire and public works services.For each of the past eight years, the state has given the city $267,000 as payment in lieu of taxes for services. But Mayor Dean L. Johnson said the city shelled out much more: $647,000 last year and $599,000 in 1997.If the state paid property taxes on the city land it occupies, Johnson noted, Annapolis would receive $1.1 million annually.
NEWS
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | February 2, 1999
Annapolis officials repeated their appeal yesterday for the state to pick up more of the extra costs the state capital pays for police and fire services at political events.Four aldermen and a spokesman for Mayor Dean L. Johnson met yesterday with the State and County Project Subcommittee to ask for support when the District 30 delegation broaches the subject of more money for Annapolis with Gov. Parris N. Glendening.The state pays the city government $267,000 a year for police and fire service provided to its agencies.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2013
Baltimore residents are less satisfied with city services than they were last year, but see progress in the city's long-standing fight against violent crime and illegal drugs. Those are some of the mixed findings in the annual Baltimore Citizen Survey, which the University of Baltimore's Schaefer Center for Public Policy completed in October and the Rawlings-Blake administration released Friday. In a statement, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she's committed to improving Baltimore through "responsible budgeting and focusing on the top priorities of current city residents.
NEWS
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | October 15, 1999
The recent dispute between First Night Annapolis organizers and the city over who should pay for the thousands of dollars in police overtime this New Year's Eve seemed resolved when a local software company stepped in last week with an offer of $18,000.Mayor Dean L. Johnson expressed delight with the offer. The city council approved agreements with First Night and USinter- networking Inc. on Monday. And a spokeswoman for the Annapolis software provider said the company was happy to help.But the contentious story surrounding the planning of this year's family-oriented New Year's Eve event in downtown Annapolis is not over, according to Janice Gary, First Night executive director.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2014
A young girl approached the casket of Michael Mayfield on Thursday and began to scream. The music in the church had fallen silent, and the hundreds who had turned out to mourn the 17-year-old Mayfield turned their eyes to the child with braids and white floral barrettes. A police officer, moved by the scene, uttered, "Jesus. " A man carried the little girl to the exit with tears streaming down his own face. Mayfield, a college-bound senior at Edmondson-Westside High School who was shot to death in West Baltimore last week, was the eighth teen gunned down this year in Baltimore - and one of three within an eight-day period.
NEWS
By Justin George and Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2014
From Cherry Hill to a West Side high school a few miles away, scores of families and friends turned out Wednesday night to mourn teenagers killed in recent days, and to decry persistent violence in the city. On the block where 14-year-old Najee Thomas was killed, residents attended an anti-violence rally. Standing on the curb was the boy who lost his best friend, now too scared to go to the school bus stop alone. In the back of the crowd was the attorney who came because she was touched that Najee had aspired to be a lawyer like herself.
NEWS
April 16, 2014
It's not a terribly important story, is it? A few disgruntled truck owners parked in an ambiguously signed area on desolate Southwestern Boulevard receive costly parking tickets from Baltimore City ( "Truckers say city ticketed them for parking in Baltimore County," April 11). Who cares? Answer: We all should. This story is significant to every one of us who have experienced the grasping nature of Baltimore government, which is to say just about anyone who ever interacts with it. The trucks may be legal or not legal or in the city or Baltimore County.
NEWS
March 19, 2014
When Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake prepared her first city budget in 2010, she had to find a way to resolve a projected $190 deficit. In 2011, she faced another shortfall, this time $65 million. In 2012, the projected deficit was $48 million. Last year, it was $30 million. But now, for the first time since she took office, Mayor Rawlings-Blake is proposing a spending plan that includes no cuts to city services. Instead, it offers city workers a 2 percent raise - a far cry from the furloughs they experienced not long ago - and includes modest investments in a handful of priorities while continuing a long-term plan to cut property tax rates for homeowners.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will unveil a proposed $2.5 billion budget Wednesday that would give city workers a 2 percent raise and - for the first time since 2008 - would not cut city services, officials said. The plan includes the latest installment in the mayor's 10-year plan to reduce property taxes by 22 percent. Officials said the city's stabilizing financial picture also allows $26 million in new capital investments, including $5 million in technology to allow police officers to file reports from crime scenes and their supervisors to better manage overtime costs.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to create a post in her administration to oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money after the city's finance director found that agencies can't account for as much as $40 million. The city received more than $332 million in grants last year from the state, federal government and other sources. Andrew Kleine, Baltimore's finance director, estimated last year that city agencies haven't properly accounted for about $40 million they received over the past several years.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | April 19, 2001
THERE ARE a number of reasons for Baltimore's financial fix, chief among them the stagnation of the tax base because of the loss of population and the city's failure to adequately control costs and services. But certainly a contributing factor are the incremental -- and ill-advised -- property tax cuts enacted over the past 12 years. Four times since 1989, the city has cut the property tax, then as now the highest by far in the state. The sum total of the four cuts: 3 percent. That's 3 percent -- not nearly enough to make much of a difference to any individual taxpayer or affect the direction of the city but cumulatively more than enough to make a good deal of difference to the city's budget.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 19, 2009
Mayor Sheila Dixon proposed the deepest cuts in city services in at least a decade yesterday, saying the national recession will force her to lay off as many as 153 workers, close recreation centers and swimming pools and reduce library hours. Dixon's budget blueprint does not include a tax increase, but water rates would rise by 9 percent for city residents as part of a previously agreed-to plan that could also hit those in suburban counties that rely on Baltimore for water. Other proposed cost savings include a switch to once-weekly trash collection and an end to a renowned Police Athletic League program designed to foster relationships between youths and officers.
NEWS
February 24, 2014
Baltimore's biggest challenge is not the magnitude of the problems we face but rather the pessimistic attitudes of those only offering criticism instead of solutions. Anne Arundel County Republican strategist Brian Griffiths was the latest example in Thursday's Red Maryland column criticizing Baltimore's Democratic mayors ( "City mayors don't focus on city," Feb. 21). He wrote a lot of partisan bluster attacking Democrats but presented no ideas on how to fix problems. This was a page taken right out of the national Republican playbook, in which the GOP focuses on political attacks while Democrats are hard at work expanding access to health care and fighting to increase the minimum wage.
NEWS
November 13, 2013
City Councilwoman Helen Holton's proposed alternative to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to put many future municipal employees into a 401(k)-style plan instead of a traditional pension sounds, on the surface, like the compassionate thing to do. Ms. Holton wants to keep city civilian employees who make less than $40,000 a year in a traditional pension and to place those who make more in a hybrid plan, the idea being that those who earn less can least bear the risks associated with the kind of defined contribution plan the mayor proposes.
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