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By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | October 17, 2011
An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge has dealt a serious blow to the county's use of binding arbitration to solve collective bargaining disputes with employees, ruling that the entire system is unconstitutional. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by public safety employee unions after the County Council passed legislation this year giving the council final say in labor disputes between the county and public safety employees. Circuit Court Judge Paul Goetzske went beyond the scope of the lawsuit, which sought to reverse that legislation.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 10, 2014
Several weeks ago I, and other women voters in Howard County received four glossy mailers attacking Allan Kittleman, the Republican candidate for county executive. The mailers were distributed by Mr. Kittleman's opponent, Democrat Courtney Watson, and her political allies. The allegations they contain are shocking and misleading. The truth is Mr. Kittleman never "called for arming teachers and principals. " A 2006 newspaper article mistakenly attributed that statement to him. The Watson team has admitted its error but has not sent out a retraction.
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NEWS
February 11, 2014
Gina Kazimir of Bel Air formally filed her candidacy for Harford County Council District C on Feb. 7. Kazimir, a Democrat who lives in the Howard Park section of Bel Air, said she is offering a choice to move forward for voters in District C. "I am running because I believe that voters deserve choices. The right to choose our government is fundamental to what makes America the greatest nation on earth," she said. "I want to ensure that right remains strong by offering a choice for voters in District C. "I believe that we need to move forward and take a fresh look at the opportunities and challenges in the district.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich and The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has endorsed District 2 Councilwoman Vicki Almond in the November general election - after backing her Democratic primary opponent earlier this year. It's known in political circles that Almond and Kamenetz don't always agree, and that became clear when Kamenetz endorsed Almond's opponent, Jon Herbst, in the June primary. In a press release this week, Kamenetz announced support for Almond as well as others in the northwestern part of the county: Sen. Bobby Zirkin, Dels.
EXPLORE
March 20, 2012
Harford's teachers have been cleared to finally get the bonuses set aside for them by County Executive David Craig, after the county council approved a $2.1 million appropriation for the bonus money Tuesday. Teachers were supposed to get the $1,250 bonus along with all other county employees by the end of 2011, but Craig vetoed that bill after the Harford County Education Association teachers' union tried to get more control over the funding distribution. The county board of education finalized a collective bargaining agreement with HCEA on Feb. 13, according to the council bill.
NEWS
By Blair Ames, bames@tribune.com | November 27, 2012
The Howard County Council heard from residents last week describing how damaging the implementation of state-required growth tiers would be for farmers in western Howard County, particularly one that will limit development rights by requiring agricultural preservation. The state is requiring counties to designate land as one of four "Growth Tiers" by Dec. 31. Development levels range from Tier I, which is the most developed with public services, to Tier IV, which is zoned for agriculture and conservation.
EXPLORE
October 4, 2012
The proposed Universal Design Tax Credit Bill does a disservice to Howard County taxpayers. The bill would give tax credits to property owners for 50 percent of the costs of increasing accessibility of their homes, for example, by expanding doorways or installing handrails in their bathrooms. The goal of increasing accessibility is laudable. However, the writing of the bill does not require that the homeowners need these renovations, or even require that they need financial assistance.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2013
It will soon be legal to own a Taser or stun gun in Anne Arundel County, following a vote by the County Council on Monday. Council members voted 4-3 to legalize the devices, which use an electric shock to disable another person. The bill was sponsored by Councilman Derek Fink, a Pasadena Republican who had argued that Tasers are a good way for people to protect themselves, especially if they don't want to own a gun. "It's going to give them another viable option to protect themselves, their families and their property," Fink said.
NEWS
Editorial from the Aegis | June 12, 2014
It's been more than a decade since all the voters of the county could vote for all the members of the county council. A key argument in favor of switching from countywide to in-district selection of county council members was that the smaller districts would allow for more grassroots campaigns. Rather than have to get a message out to a county of 250,000 — the theory went — candidates in a particular district would only have to reach about 41,500 people. Actually, the number of people needing to be contacted is even smaller than that as each district has roughly 27,500 registered voters.
NEWS
By Larry Carson | January 10, 2010
A new election year has begun, but partisan politics don't appear to be a factor in the first major local public issue at hand - the Feb. 1 County Council vote looming on the contested plans for remaking downtown Columbia. The council members expect to vote before election campaigns get rolling, but some citizens and candidates advocate delay to consider the intricate mix of concerns that amendments to the downtown bills contain. If that happens, it could push the issue into the election season or even beyond it. Meanwhile, the debate over density vs. congestion continues.
NEWS
September 24, 2014
For most of Maryland, David R. Craig might be remembered best as the candidate for governor who finished second to Larry Hogan in the Republican primary earlier this year. But there's another title the outgoing Harford County Executive ought to have wrapped up - the elected official least interested in a pay raise. On Tuesday, Mr. Craig vetoed legislation that would have raised the county executive salary from the current $105,000 (a $90,000 base plus cost-of-living adjustments) to $130,000.
NEWS
September 5, 2014
We are lucky in Howard County to have in Courtney Watson a candidate for county executive who is well-prepared to step in to the job ( "Howard County executive candidate Watson unveils education platform," Sept. 2). After serving four years on the school board and 8 years on the county council, Ms. Watson is ready to take the helm and continue leading this county in the right direction. She is a strong supporter of our world-class school system, she believes in providing the best available training for police and fire personnel and she has a unique understanding of economic development.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2014
Two Annapolis aldermen are asking their city council colleagues to denounce the views of a candidate for County Council - even though the candidate is running for a district that doesn't include Annapolis. Alderman Kenny Kirby and Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, both Democrats, will introduce a resolution at Monday night's city council meeting regarding Republican Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Anthony Peroutka and what they say are his "extremist views on civil rights and public education.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
Howard County police say their speed camera vendor has corrected a year's worth of inaccurate data the company submitted about the cameras there.  In a letter submitted to the County Council this week, Chief Gary Gardner reported that Xerox State & Local Solutions had resolved its data issues to the police department's satisfaction. "Xerox has resubmitted the report to the police department after manually checking the data points and it now includes all of the original, complete information," Gardner wrote.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Anne Arundel County Police issued a plea for the public's help Wednesday in solving the murder of a gas station clerk in Hanover last week. The reward for information in the fatal shooting of Rajinder Kumar, 49, at an Exxon station in Hanover on Aug. 7 now stands at $27,000, with contributions from the FBI, the Anne Arundel County Muslim Council and Metro Crime Stoppers. "We are in relentless pursuit of this cold-blooded killer and we won't rest until he is in handcuffs," Anne Arundel Police Chief Kevin Davis said during a news conference at the gas station Tuesday afternoon.
NEWS
August 8, 2014
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. " While there may be dispute as to source of this famous quote, the content is unquestionable. Government at any level administered through the hand of intimidation, fear and unethical practice "becomes the master and we the people become their servants. " Alison Knezevich's article "Balto. Co. police should not have contacted Dundalk activist, chief says," (July 28), clearly identifies the principle of such intimidation and fear as imposed upon those who dare to contradict or challenge those elected to serve.
EXPLORE
Letter to The Aegis | August 30, 2012
Editor: Please print the following in response to last week's editorial: Let's remember what the Harford County Council's "job" is before complaining about their support staff ( The Aegis editorial, Aug 24). Their job is to pass laws and to protect their district's constituents. Harford's population has grown to such a point that each district has specific interests and concerns, and the consequence of mistakes can be large. Council members are the only officials who look out for their district's interests while reviewing and voting on county-wide laws, plans and budgets.
NEWS
July 28, 2014
We take the Baltimore County Police Department at its word that its officers were just trying to give some helpful tips to a pair of Dundalk activists about the rules of decorum at County Council work sessions and not trying to intimidate them into silence about their opposition to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's proposed redevelopment of a government building in the community. Even if the meeting earlier this month between three officers and a pair of community activists really was intended as a "polite and friendly way to discuss concerns about protocols," as the police department's spokeswoman put it, the whole business still stinks, which Chief Jim Johnson correctly concluded after reviewing the incident.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | July 28, 2014
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson says officers in his department should not have asked to meet with two Dundalk activists after they testified at a County Council work session in Towson this month. The Dundalk residents — a community association president and a former state lawmaker — have said it felt like police intimidation when officers met them at a local library to go over rules for public meetings after they had testified against county plans to redevelop the North Point Government Center.
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