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Councilmania

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

By Daniel Haggerty | Posted 6/14/2006

On the Council Agenda June 5

Bill 06-0449 Food Establishments—Polystyrene Products Would prohibit restaurants and other food-service facilities from using cups, plates, takeout containers and other packaging materials made of polystyrene, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, due to harmful consequences on the environment. Violators would be subject to a $200 fine.

Public Interest Grade: A The bill has already been met with opposition from various restaurants and business organizations citing cost and convenience. However, the bottom line is that polystyrene never biodegrades, which means each piece of Styrofoam dumped in a landfill or making its way into the harbor exists forever. Forever is a long time.

Bill 06-0454 Property Tax Credits—Energy Devices Offers property-tax credits to owners of buildings that install equipment designed to utilize alternative sources of energy. Essentially, the credit would cover 30 percent of the costs to purchase and install certain qualifying devices, up to a maximum of $2,000.

Public Interest Grade: B As the price of gas and electricity continues to rise, and our nation’s dependence on oil continues to grow exponentially, we have to take steps to encourage individuals and businesses to consider alternative sources of energy. Although this bill doesn’t have OPEC too concerned, it is a step in the right direction.

Bill 06-0455 City Property—Electrical Safety Inspections Would require all city-owned property to be inspected annually to ensure the safety of all electrical wiring, appliances, and equipment.

Public Interest Grade: A+ This bill comes in response to the tragic death of Deanna Green, the 14-year-old girl electrocuted recently in Druid Hill Park when she touched a metal fence that had come in contact with an underground cable.


Uli Loskot

City Council Quote of the Week

“That’s his annual commitment to the budget.” —Council President Sheila Dixon, identifying Councilman Nicholas C. D’Adamo (D-2nd District) as the source of the “roll call” request following introduction of the supplementary appropriation bills. According to City Council Rule 16-5(a), “every vote taken by roll call must be entered on the Journal, specifying how each Councilmember voted.” Councilman D’Adamo requested roll call for each of the 33 bills and was the only member to vote “No” on each one.

City Council Fact of the Week

At this week’s City Council meeting, there were 33 individual “Supplementary General Fund Capital Appropriation” bills introduced. According to the City Charter, Art. VI, Sect. 8, such an appropriation is a request for additional funds for various city agencies from the Board of Estimates based on revenues not relied upon when structuring the current fiscal year budget. In other words, it is a request for funds not originally accounted for in the budget. The additional funds requested this week totaled $76.7 million.

To view the City Council’s meeting schedule visit baltimorecitycouncil.com.

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