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Councilmania

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

By Andrea Appleton | Posted 2/17/2010

On the agenda for Feb. 8

Much of this week's council meeting was given over to the election and swearing-in of new City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young (D), formerly representative for the city's 12th District, Young takes over the seat vacated by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake when she became mayor. Young was elected unanimously, after Councilman William Cole IV (D-11th District)--who was rumored to have the support of both Gov. Martin O'Malley and the new mayor--pulled out of the race last week. Young's position as chair of the Budget Committee will go to Councilwoman Belinda K. Conaway (D-7th District); Councilman James B. Kraft (D-1st District) will take over as Public Safety chair.

Resolution 10-0190R Investigative Hearing--Baltimore City Government--Criteria for Continued Employment. Asks the city solicitor, the acting inspector general, the director of public works, the director of human resources, and the labor commissioner to explain their policies on employing those "convicted of criminal offenses or acts of moral turpitude."

The Read: Last month, Department of Public Works (DPW) utility repairman Dennis J. McLaughlin was charged with impersonating a police officer, pulling a woman over, and sexually assaulting her. McLaughlin had served time for a previous sexual assault and was listed on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry. Yet he'd retained his job with DPW and was allegedly paid for "sick leave" while serving an eight-month prison sentence for the prior assault. His work for the city involved going inside schools and private homes to investigate water leaks. The Department of Public Works has reportedly launched its own investigation into the incident.

"It's important that we understand not so much what got us to this place, but what's being done to see that we never reach this place again," said Councilwoman Helen Holton, (D-8th District), who introduced the resolution. "I'm confident that changes are under consideration, but we need to understand what they are. . . . We have a public registry that any citizen can look at that we as the city of Baltimore are not looking at."

City Council Quote of the Week

"Equal rights for men rule tonight after a decade."--Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (D-14th District), following the election of Bernard C. "Jack" Young for City Council president. More than one councilmember mistakenly addressed Young as "Madame President" during the course of the evening. The position has been held by a woman since 1999.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.

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