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Councilmania: Audio-Visual Edition

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

Mary Pat Clarke

By Stephen Janis | Posted 2/1/2006

On the Council Agenda Jan. 23

Bill 06-0328: Police Vehicles—Recording Devices

Would require all new police vehicles to be equipped with video and audio recording devices.

Public interest grade: B Given the recent controversy over police tactics, it sounds like a good idea. Lack of details on the cost of this equipment lowers the grade.


Bill 06-0127R: Investigation Hearing—Cameras in Schools

Requests city school administration to explore the possibility of installing security cameras in city schools.

Public interest grade: D Raise teachers’ salaries, fix broken buildings, and assign 1984 as required reading first.


Resolution 06-0130R Healthy Air for Maryland—In Support of the Healthy Air Act of 2006

Resolution calling for the Maryland General Assembly to pass the recently introduced Healthy Air Act, which would require Maryland power plants to cut harmful emissions of mercury, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides.

Public interest grade: A+ Power company lobbyists worked the Ehrlich administration to kill a similar bill in 2005, so this resolution is an important call to arms to Baltimore’s Annapolis delegation not to let this happen again.

City Council Quote of the Week

“My husband says he can’t hear me when I speak to the council, but I was just happy that he was interested to hear what I had to say.”

—City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke discussing the PA system used by the City Council, which often makes members sound like air-traffic controllers speaking in tongues. Moments after the 14th District Democrat made this comment, the feed from a Fox 45 interview with Councilman Keiffer Mitchell (D-11th), which was being conducted in the hall outside council chambers, burst through the speaker system, bringing the session to a halt. Apparently the PA’s wireless-microphone system is also vulnerable to interference from other wireless devices.

City Council Fact of the Week

The full texts of all current City Council legislation, including amendments, are now available online. Council watchers can search bills by name, subject, and bill number. The service, called the Legislative Information Center, can be accessed through

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