September 25, 2013 2:37 pm ET
County continues autocratic rule.
Note: This e-mail was edited for publication)
Dear Chairman Quirk:
I am asking a response to some following questions. I would appreciate a response for an upcoming blog on this matter.
Under the Baltimore County Charter the law reads as follows:
Sec. 306. Legislative powers of county council.
The county council shall be the elected legislative body of the county and is vested with all the law-making power thereof, including all such powers as may heretofore have been exercised by the General Assembly of Maryland and transferred to the people of the county by the adoption of this Charter. The county council shall also have and may exercise all legislative powers heretofore vested in the county commissioners of Baltimore County, including the power to accept gifts and grants. The county council may enact public local laws for the county and is authorized to repeal or amend such local laws as have heretofore been enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland upon matters covered by the Express Powers Act of 1918 (Article 25A of the Annotated Code of Maryland, 1957 Edition) as now in force or hereafter amended. The county council may also provide for the enforcement of all ordinances, resolutions, bylaws and regulations adopted under the authority of law by fines, penalties and imprisonment, within the limits prescribed by law.
Annotation–Mandamus will not lie to control the exercise of judgment and discretion by public officials. County Council of Baltimore County v. Egerton Realty, Inc., 217 Md. 234, 140 A.2d 511 (1958).
This section cited in Hormes v. Baltimore County, 225 Md. 371, 170 A.2d 772 (1961).
In addition to the above the following also involves the authority of the council:
Sec. 1008. Subpoena power. The county council, the county executive, the county administrative officer, the personnel and salary advisory board, the county board of appeals, the county auditor and such other officers or agencies of the county as may be so empowered by legislative act of the county council or otherwise by law shall have the power to administer oaths, to compel the attendance of witnesses and to require the production of records and other materials in connection with any investigation, inquiry or hearing authorized by this Charter or by law.
I am seeking a response to the following questions.
· Have any investigations been initiated by the council? When was the last investigation under the law initiated by the council?
· One such issue is the recent ADA investigation by the Federal Government and the resulting law suits. Why did the council not look into this matter and demand that the county administrator follow the law? The council was well aware of the issues due to the news coverage along with the costs of the law suits. I cannot believe the council could plead ignorance. This would be an inane situation.
· Another event is the Mainsail investment and the loss of $21 million in taxpayer funds in one month’s period.
· The recent announcement of the lease being signed concerning Fort Howard LLC and Councilman Olszewski’s involvement in that issue considering the possible violations of not only VA guidelines but the law also. Are you aware of the GAO investigation into this matter?
· Why did the council not look into the issue of where the Baltimore County Chief of Police resides when he required to live in the county? It is widely known among other police officials that he does not live in Baltimore County. Recently, additional information surfaced including a statement to me by the county States Attorney that the chief lives on a boat in the county. Under the law this violates his Financial Disclosure Form. He is required to list his home address and that document does not contain any reference to a boat that I am aware of since I last reviewed same. He also does not reside at the address listed on his FD Form as per records of BG&E.
· Why didn’t the council look into the ethics issue with Olszewski, Sr. and the $3.1 million contract with the new Dundalk High School.
· Why did the council not respond to public inquires about the RFP issues impacting the community and the sale of county property?
· Why didn’t the council demand the county track the E-Verify data based on the resolution? Under the law a resolution can be held enforceable.
These are a few of the questions I have concerning this matter and why the council has turned a blind eye to these and other actions. I am also curious why the Attorney General would have to investigate a matter in the county that brought criminal charges?
A timely response is requested.
Thank you for your time.
This seems to be the autocratic policy of the county government in general. Another recent case is is the arrest of of parent at public meeting over the issue of Common Core.
Had he council acted inf the ADA case which was years in the making they could have put a stop to this and saved the county millions.
Another interesting situation is the $21 million loss of funds in the Mainsail investment. The council was notified back in 2007 as to this issue and yet even as this blog is written there has been no one held accountable over that issue.
The bottom line is that there is a complete lack of transparency to many of the taxpayers concerns and this is unacceptable to the citizens of Baltimore County.