Baltimore County News
All Three Major Ratings Agencies Affirmed Baltimore County’s Creditworthiness, Acknowledged Efforts to Put Baltimore County on Stronger Fiscal Footing
Baltimore County has retained its triple-A bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate—saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers.
Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings have each affirmed the County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.
“Our strong, diverse, and growing economy—as well as our efforts to address our County’s fiscal challenges head-on—has ensured Baltimore County has maintained the top-tier rating,” Olszewski said. “While we’ve taken critical steps to place Baltimore County on stronger fiscal footing, we must and will continue to balance future investments in our priorities and obligations, allowing us to make the investments needed without risking our county’s long-term fiscal health.”
In their reports, the rating agencies noted Baltimore County’s very strong economy, very strong management and diverse tax base. The ratings also incorporate the new financial policies and revenue enhancements that the County’s new administration team is implementing.
The Administration’s first budget closed an $81 million deficit and trimmed $35 million in unnecessary spending while making record investments in public education and taking steps to increase the County’s investment in the trust fund, which supports retiree health care benefits also known as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).
The County is currently holding the second annual budget town hall series to hear from residents about their thoughts and concerns on how the county should prioritize future spending. Olszewski will submit his second budget on April 15, 2020.Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:30:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-retains-coveted-triple-triple-a-bond-ratings
Board Will Consist of a Diverse Array of Talented and Knowledgeable Individuals From Across the Region
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued an Executive Order to create the Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board, which will provide input and guidance to the administration on economic development, job creation, workforce development, tourism, arts and culture, and other aspects of the County’s economy.
“Baltimore County is already an extraordinary place to do business, with one of the best-educated workforces in the country and over 21,000 diverse businesses. But we know we can do even better,” County Executive Olszewski said. “This new advisory board will bring together respected, thoughtful, entrepreneurial leaders to help us ensure Baltimore County remains an economic engine for the entire region and that we can build a better economy for every resident.”
Chaired by Marcus Wang, Co-Founder, President and General Manager of ZytoGen, and co-chaired by Ali Von Paris, CEO and Founder of Route One Apparel, the Advisory Board will consist of a diverse array of talented and knowledgeable individuals from across the region, including:
- Chris Brandt, CEO, Audacious Inquiry
- Cale Christensen, Whiting Turner
- Renee Christoff, Head of Global Associate Engagement and Corporate Responsibility, T. Rowe Price
- Lee Coplan, Owner and Partner, Hord Coplan Macht
- Robert Dashiel, Founder and Principal, The Law Office of Robert Fulton Dashiell
- Mike Donilon, DBC Head of Open Gate Brewery, Guinness Open Gate
- Scott Dorsey, Chairman and CEO, Merritt Properties
- Nakeia Drummond, Founder and Chief Strategist, NLD Strategic
- Pete Forakis, Titan Industrial Services
- Suzy Ganz, CEO, Lion Brothers
- Marina Hong, Vice President, HR, Integrated Diagnostic Solutions
- Nigel Knowles, CEO, LCG Technologies
- Olga Maltseva, President and COO, Healytics
- Carla Nelson Chambers, Managing Principal, The Nelson Ideation Group, LLC
- Rodney Oddoye, Senior Vice President, Governmental and External Affairs, BGE
- Scott Phillips, Principal, N. Scott Phillips Legal and Business Consulting Services
- Eileen Rivera Ley, Training Director, Blind Savvy USA
- Lori Robinson, Vice President Corporate Branding, Communications and Community Relations, McCormick
- Timmy Ruppersberger, Director of Business and Community Relations, Clapp Communication
- Jason St. John, Litigation Department Chairman, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
- Marcus Stephens, Executive Creative Director, Plank Industries
- Donna Stevenson, President and CEO, Early Morning Software
- Aaron Tomarchio, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Tradepoint Atlantic
- Jason Weiner, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Lifebridge Health
The Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board will be tasked with exploring potential marketing strategies to better position Baltimore County in an effort to attract and retain businesses; examining best practice models across the country for effective public-private partnerships; and providing input in creating a comprehensive, data-informed, long-term economic development strategy with goals and metrics.
The formation of this Advisory Board fulfills a key recommendation outlined in the 2019 Baltimore County Government Transition Team Report, which called for efforts to engage with a diverse group of business leaders and employers in shaping Baltimore County’s economic development strategies.
The Economic Development Advisory Board will host their first meeting on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. at the Baltimore County Agricultural Center, 1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, Maryland 21030.
The full text of the Executive Order is provided below:
BALTIMORE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY BOARD
WHEREAS, Baltimore County has 847,000 residents—the third largest population in Maryland; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County has one of the most well-educated workforces with a bachelor’s degree attainment nearly 10 percent higher than the national average; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County is home to 21,344 diverse businesses spanning across nine different industries with a total workforce of 374,646; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County government is an economic engine for the region, employing more than 8,000 employees, and spending approximately $3.6 billion annually in operating expenses; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County is a AAA-bond-rated County because of strong partnerships, infrastructure investment and sound fiscal management; and
WHEREAS, a key recommendation outlined in the 2019 Baltimore County Government Transition Board Report is to establish an Economic Development Commission; and
WHEREAS, it is important to engage with a diverse group of business leaders and employers in shaping Baltimore County’s Economic Development strategies;
Now, therefore, it is this 21 day of February 2020, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, ordered that the Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board shall be created and charged as follows:
Section I: Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board
- Purpose. The Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board (hereinafter, the “Board”) will provide input, as an advisory body to the Administration on topics such as economic development, workforce development, tourism, arts and culture, and other aspects of the County’s economy. Additionally, the Advisory Board will serve as a collaborative forum for partnerships between public and private elements of the local economy to be identified and developed. The Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board shall perform the following duties:
- Offer guidance to the Administration on specific initiatives of economic development, job creation, and quality of life goals of the county.
- Provide input in creating a comprehensive, data-informed, long-term strategy with goals and metrics that tie together economic development, workforce development, tourism, arts and culture, and other aspects of the County’s economy.
- Explore potential marketing strategies to better position Baltimore County in an effort to attract and retain businesses.
- Explore models across the country for effective public/private partnerships.
- Consider regional approaches to workforce and economic development.
- Membership. The County Executive shall appoint members who provide expertise in varying industries, geography and experiences. The County Executive shall appoint members to the Board who are representative of the county’s diversity.
- Terms. Members will serve a two-year term, beginning on February 25, 2020. A member may not serve more than two full, consecutive terms.
The terms of appointed members are staggered as required by the terms in effect for members of the Board on February 25, 2020.
At the end of a term, a member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
A member who is appointed after a term has begun serves only for the rest of the term and until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
- Quorum. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and an affirmative vote of the majority of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action.
- Chair. The Chair of the Board shall be selected by the County Executive.
- Compensation. A member of the Board:
- May not receive compensation as a member of the Board; but
- Is entitled to reimbursement for expenses necessarily incurred, if approved by the Board and provided for in the county operating budget
- Meetings. The Board shall meet at quarterly as well as at the request of the Chair as frequently as required to perform its duties.
Section II: Staff Assistance
Staff assistance shall be provided by the Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
Section III. Effective Date.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:03:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-announces-economic-development-advisory-board
Important Deadlines for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election and the Special General Election for the 7th Congressional District
April 7 Deadline to Register to Vote and Make Changes for the April 28 Election
The 2020 Special General Election for the 7th Congressional District will coincide with the 2020 Presidential Primary Election on Tuesday, April 28. Voters may vote by absentee ballot, visit their local early voting center during early voting, which takes place April 16 through April 23, or they can go to their polling place on Election Day. Important deadlines for these elections are approaching. The deadline to register to vote, change party affiliation, update an address or request a polling place reassignment is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7.
To vote in the upcoming presidential primary election, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered—including 17-year-olds who will be 18 on or before the November 3 Presidential General Election—should register by this deadline. This is also the last day for registered voters to change their party affiliation.
To vote for the special general election contest for the 7th Congressional District, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered—including 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old on or before the April 28 Special General Election—should register by the deadline. Only voters registered in the 7th Congressional District will have the opportunity to vote for the special general election contest. See if you are registered in the 7th Congressional District.
Register or Make Updates Online
Baltimore County residents with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID may register to vote, change their address or change their party affiliation online. Voters and members of the military, their spouses and dependents who are overseas and who do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID, may also register or change their address or party affiliation online using different identifying information.
Paper Voter Registration Applications
Paper voter registration applications must be hand-delivered or mailed to the Baltimore County Board of Elections. A hand-delivered application must be received by the Baltimore County Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on April 7, and a mailed application must be postmarked by April 7. Voters who want to update their address can do so at their local early voting center during the early voting period from April 16 through April 23.
Voter registration applications are available throughout Maryland at the following locations:
- Local Boards of Elections
- Motor Vehicle Administration offices
- State Department of Health offices
- Local Department of Social Services offices
- Offices on Aging
- Division of Rehabilitation Services
- Recruitment offices of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Public institutions of higher education
- Marriage license bureaus
- Post offices
- Public libraries
- State Board of Elections
- The MTA Paratransit Certification Office
You may also call 1-800-222-8683 to request an application by mail, or download and print a voter registration application.
Request an Accessible Polling Place
Most of Maryland’s polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities.Verify voter registration status or find out if an assigned polling place is accessible online. An elderly voter or a voter with a disability who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place may ask to be reassigned to an accessible polling place. This request must be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. on April 7. The request form (PDF) is also available online. Voters can also call 1-800-222-8683 to request a form by mail.
On receipt of a timely request, the Baltimore County Board of Elections will review the request and determine whether there is an accessible polling place with the same ballot as the voter’s home precinct and notify the voter of the status of his or her request.
How to Register to Vote on Election Day
Individuals who miss the April 7 deadline to register will have the opportunity to register to vote at an early voting center during early voting or at their polling place on Election Day. To register to vote on Election Day, individuals need to go to their assigned polling place where they live and bring a document that proves where they live. This can be:
- An MVA-issued license or ID card
- A change of address card
- A paycheck, bank statement or utility bill
- Another government document that includes the voter’s name and address.
For more information, voters may contact the Baltimore County Board of Election at 410-887-5700 or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683).Thu, 20 Feb 2020 15:06:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/important-deadlines-for-the-2020-presidential-primary-election-and-the-special-general-election-for-the-7th-congressional-district
Olszewski Issues Statement Following Passage of Resolution to Move County Council Work Session Start Times
Making Public Meetings More Accessible
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued the following statement in response to the Baltimore County Council’s passage of a resolution moving the start time for work sessions of the County Council:
“The best governments are transparent, accessible, and connected, and I'm proud of the significant strides my administration has already taken to open Baltimore County government like never before. I've long championed moving the start time of public meetings so that they are more accessible to the public, and I applaud the County Council for moving forward with this reform.”Wed, 19 Feb 2020 03:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-issues-statement-following-passage-of-resolution-to-move-county-council-work-session-start-times