City Proposes Water Rate Hikes Along with Help for Payments

A proposal by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works would raise water rates by 9% annually beginning next year. The proposal is intended to help with expensive and essential upgrades to the City's water and sewer systems. In addition to the rate hike, The Baltimore Sun reports that proposals are also on the table to help City residents who are struggling to meet the ever-rising costs of water.  More than 40,000 households are expected to…

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Regional Transit Report Call for More Local Control

A report issued by the Greater Washington Partnership calls for more local control of Baltimore City's public transportation system and issues broader recommendations for regional transportation system improvements.  In regards to Baltimore, the Capital Region Blueprint for Regional Mobility report calls out the Maryland Transit Administration's ownership and control of the Baltimore City transit system as relatively unique noting that nationwide most transit systems are under regional authorities or local departments. The Baltimore Sun reports…

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The Lifesaving Power of Public Safety Partnerships

Panelists at the MACo Winter Conference session, "The Lifesaving Power of Public Safety Partnerships," will discuss the many vitally important ways county public safety agencies work together to keep communities safe and residents alive. The Lifesaving Power of Public Safety Partnerships Description: In today’s world of complex threats to the public, local public safety agencies must present a coordinated response in any number of situations to protect the lives and well-being of Maryland residents. County…

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Report Highlights Housing Challenges for Nation’s Growing Aging Population

According to a recent report, 65 million households -- more than half of the households in the nation -- are headed by someone 50 or older.  Without proper planning local governments will face significant challenges providing affordable housing and supportive resources for these community members as they continue to age and desire to do so in place. Route Fifty focuses in on the report's coverage of the looming impacts to local governments in rural and…

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Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication

Don't let that social media post get you in trouble. Panelists at the MACo Winter Conference session, "Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication," will help you successfully navigate the world of digital communication -- avoiding the legal and societal pitfalls along the way. Title: Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication Description: The right communication strategies can build a bridge between government officials and the public they serve.…

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Pugh Selects Joel Fitzgerald for Baltimore City Police Commissioner
Chief Joel Fitzgerald (photo source: Fort Worth Police Department)
Pugh Selects Joel Fitzgerald for Baltimore City Police Commissioner

Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh has chosen Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald to serve as Baltimore City Police Commissioner. The Baltimore Sun reports about Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald’s nomination continues a law enforcement career that began in 1992 in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he rose through the ranks of the police department, becoming a lieutenant in a narcotics unit. He left in 2009 to become chief of the Missouri City Police Department, a small force…

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Medicaid Waiver to Help States Expand Inpatient Mental Health Treatment

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has announced that states may apply for waivers to the "IMD exclusion" law in order to expand in patient mental health treatment using Medicaid. ABC News reports: A longstanding federal law has barred Medicaid from paying for mental health treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds, to prevent "warehousing" of the mentally ill at the expense of federal taxpayers. Azar said states will now be able to…

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Spotify Playlist Provides the Beats for Life Saving CPR

Hands-only CPR can be performed using chest compression timed to the beat of certain songs and Spotify has complied a "Songs to do CPR to" playlist for just that. From The Baltimore Sun: The playlist, developed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, collects songs that have a tempo between 100 and 120 beats per minute - the perfect pace for lifesaving chest compressions in case you have to perform CPR. It's part of the hospital's "hands only CPR"…

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What’s Next for Sparrows Point Redevelopment? Baltimore County Releases Plan to Help Tradepoint Atlantic

The proposal includes $78 million in county assistance to help Tradepoint Atlantic build infrastructure -- roads, water lines and sewer pipes -- for the redevelopment of the former steel mill at Sparrows Point.  The Baltimore Sun reports: Under the proposal — and pending approval by the Baltimore County Council and county executive-elect Johnny Olszewski Jr. — Tradepoint would bear the up-front cost of building the infrastructure, then seek reimbursement from the county. The reimbursement for…

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FCC Proposal Threatens County Cable Franchise Fees

Proposed FCC Rule could cost counties millions in franchise fees by allowing cable companies to deduct the fair market value of public benefits, such as setting aside channels for county council or school board broadcasts, from the fees.  The potential effects of the order are vast. Nationwide there are approximately 1,500 public, education, and government (PEG) stations and 3,000 channels that could be impacted. From NACo County News: In some smaller jurisdictions, [Mitsuko] Herrera noted,…

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