Charter review panel meets Wednesday to hear ideas on changing Baltimore County government

A commission that's reviewing the way Baltimore County government operates will hold a public meeting Wednesday night.

The Baltimore County Charter Review Commission will hear public testimony at 6 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Ave. in Towson.

The commission is charged with considering changes to the county charter, which sets out procedures for the county government and the county council. The commission is scheduled to issue its recommendations this fall.

Voters approved the creation of the commission during the 2016 election and it's possible that some of the commission's recommendations could end up on the ballot in 2018.

Since the commission began meeting in February, members have discussed ideas such as expanding the county council from seven members to nine, extending the life of bills under consideration by the council and giving the council more authority over the county budget.

The commission has been criticized by Councilman Wade Kach, who said it was stacked with lawyers and lobbyists who have projects under review by the county. Council members and the county executive appointed members to the commission. Kach's selection was Nedda Pray, a retired attorney.

The commission's chairman is former County Executive Theodore G. Venetoulis. The last time the county had a charter review commission was in 1989-1990.

pwood@baltsun.com

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