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Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to

The City Paper Scofflaw-Cam™

By Stephen Janis | Posted 12/14/2005

Bill 05-0296: Parking Fines—Penalties for Nonpayment

Would limit the amount of penalties that can accrue for past due parking tickets to three times the amount of the original fine.

Public Interest Grade: A+ At last, the City Council attempts to put the brakes on the ruthless calculus of infinitely accumulating parking fines.

05-0112R: Investigative Hearing—Should the Maryland State Police Be Invited to Baltimore?

Proposal to hold hearings on inviting Maryland State troopers to patrol the streets of Baltimore City.

Public Interest Grade: C+ Adding more police power to the streets doesn’t address the underlying causes of crime. Plus, Baltimore police are already arresting enough people on trivial offenses. The City Council might do better to hold hearings on that issue.

05-0114R: Investigative Hearing—Baltimore City Government—Budget Overspending

A call for review of city departments currently over budget to report to the City Council as to why.

Public Interest Grade: A The council should be keeping tabs on how much money is spent by the city and why.

City Council Quote of the Week

“We have drug dealers sitting around in lawn chairs!” —City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell (D-11th District), making the case for the need to bring Maryland State troopers into the city.

City Council Fact of the Week

This installment of Councilmania covers two council meetings in one week: Monday, Dec. 5, and Thursday, Dec. 8. This is a departure from the every-other-Monday schedule of council meetings. This quirk in scheduling is due to a requirement in the city’s charter. It directs the council to meet on the Thursday after the first Monday in December, which means that each year in early December the council meets twice in one week. This is the only City Council meeting specifically required by law.

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More from Stephen Janis

Lead-ing the Charge (3/1/2006)
Some Say City Should Renew Effort to Sue Lead-Paint Manufacturers in Wake of Recent Court Victory

Councilmania (2/15/2006)
Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (2/8/2006)

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