County Council to consider bevy of charter amendments Monday

Chase Cook
Contact Reporterccook@capgaznews.com

Changes to the chief of police appointment process, an expansion of the county auditor’s powers and restricting the Council’s abilities to require stronger bidding processes for certain purchases will be taken up by the County Council Monday.

Charter amendment resolutions approved by the Council are placed on the next election ballot. County residents then vote to accept or defeat the amendments.

The Anne Arundel County Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at The Arundel Center, 44 Calvert Center.

Here’s a look at the different charter amendments. A full list of bill’s on the agenda can be found at www.aacounty.org.

Expanding the auditor’s power: Resolution 24-18 and 26-18 expand the county auditor’s powers over fraud and theft reports. Resolution 24-18 requires any reports of fraud and theft be given to the county auditor. Resolution 26-18 expands her authority to investigate specific instances of fraud and waste. County Executive Steve Schuh said the bills too broadly expand the auditor’s power.

A public hearing on these bills will be held Monday. The Council can vote on the bills after a public hearing, but the complicated nature of these bills likely means discussion will run into the next meeting.

Chief of police: Resolution 20-18 would require the Council approve the nomination of the Anne Arundel County chief of police. Currently the chief is appointed by the county executive, and that’s it. Anne Arundel County is one of the few Maryland counties in which the highest law enforcement officer is appointed by the executive but not approved by the legislative branch.

This bill was delayed after the July 2 meeting. The public hearing has concluded and it is eligible for a vote Monday. Schuh’s spokesman called the bill an overreach of the Council’s authority.

Bidding process: Resolution 15-18 restricts the range at which the County Council can require a full competitive bidding for centralized purchasing contracts. Currently the county can require the full bidding between $3,000 and $25,000. The bill changes the range to $25,000 to $50,000. And any purchases $5,000 or greater can be done through a simplified competitive bidding process.

The public hearing has been held on this bill, and it is eligible for a vote.

Other notable bills on the agenda:

  • Bill 58-18: The amended version of the Master Plan for Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation recommends specific areas of the county for park and recreation improvements. It also recommends land purchases for new parks and fields.
  • Resolution 21-18: This bill would make 100 Summit Avenue — the Marley Firehouse — surplus property. This means the county would sell the land. Opponents to the resolution were mobilizing a response for Monday’s meeting, but called it off after word that the bill would be delayed. The delay is likely to be made official at Monday’s meeting.
Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
72°