As Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake steps down from office on December 6, her work putting the city on solid fiscal footing deserves proper attention, reports The Baltimore Sun. Homeowners received tax cuts, unemployment went down by 5.5 percent, the city gained 15,000 jobs – and the city’s “economy has grown faster than that of any other jurisdiction in Maryland.” From The Sun:
Even Rawlings-Blake’s critics acknowledge that she improved the city’s financial outlook. Her administration pushed through overhauls of health care, leave and pension systems for municipal workers, cutting the city’s $750 million structural deficit by about half. In her fifth year in office, financial services firm Standard & Poor’s raised Baltimore’s bond rating to AA — the highest in years.
During her tenure, the city gained major employers, including Amazon and Horseshoe Casino. Her administration created a “microloan” program to support small businesses. Mayor Rawlings-Blake defended water bill rate increases to pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades, and successfully acquired $1 billion for city school construction from the Maryland General Assembly. Most recently, the city announced that it reached a settlement with major conduit system tenant BGE on increased conduit rates to pay for conduit system infrastructure improvements.
Read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.
Budget Analyst Mira Green joins MACo’s Winter Conference on December 8 from the Rawlings-Blake Administration’s Bureau of Budget Management and Research to share her knowledge about one tool for improving counties’ fiscal footing: setting appropriate reserve targets. At the conference session, “Budgeting for Bust or Boom,” county financial experts will share how they incorporate sound financial management practices to shore up reserves, budget long-term, and prep for whatever rain tomorrow may bring.
County Budget & Finance Officers’ Affiliate Session: Budgeting for Bust or Boom
As our counties bounce back from the Great Recession with lessons learned and belts tightened, it becomes especially important to plan and save to protect against whatever may come next. With furloughs and freezes thankfully behind us for the time being, the present reality of stagnant property tax revenues and sluggish income growth leaves our local governments in a different position than we were in ten years ago – and prudence warrants budgeting accordingly.
- Ted Zaleski, Director of Management and Budget, Carroll County
- Mira Green, Budget Analyst, City of Baltimore
Moderator: The Honorable Mike McKay, Maryland House of Delegates
Date & Time: Thursday, December 8, 2016; 2 pm – 3 pm
Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: