The second question again makes updates to the charter, but are more substantial than the first group. For example, the county attorney would no longer have to keep a journal of County Council proceedings — because the council’s secretary already keeps more detailed meeting minutes.
Other changes that fall under this question include no longer requiring the county executive to serve on a recreation board or a social services board.
QUESTION C: Extending the life of legislation
Currently, when a bill is introduced to the Baltimore County Council, it must be voted on within 40 days or else it expires. This makes for what some say is a rushed process. This change to the county charter would extend the life of bills to 65 days, giving council members more time to consider bills and amendments — and giving the public more time to weigh in. This question, if adopted, also would remove a requirement that a bill can’t be voted on until at least 10 days after it has been introduced.
This question involves more changes to the county charter, this time to the office of the county executive. Some of the changes are technical; the most substantive change requires a county executive who wins a second term to bring his department heads to the County Council for re-confirmation — something that was already done in practice. It also clarifies that while the county administrative officer supervises department heads, it is the county executive who appoints department heads.
QUESTION E: Benefits for top county officials
This change to the county charter would give the County Council oversight over the benefits granted to “exempt employees” — the top county officials who are also known as “at will employees.”
This change to the county charter would make clear that the Department of Public Works must oversee transportation issues, including roadways, mass transit, bike paths and sidewalks.
County Councilman David Marks tried to propose creation of a stand-alone Department of Transportation, but when he didn’t find enough support among council members, he settled instead for requiring transportation to be an official priority for the Department of Public Works.
QUESTIONS G through O: Borrowing ordinances
Baltimore County, like other local governments, pays for most of its construction projects by borrowing money in the form of bonds. The county charter gives voters the opportunity to sign off on the borrowing through ballot questions.
Questions G through O cover routine projected borrowing for schools, land preservation, waterway improvements, parks, public works, community improvements, government buildings, landfills and the community college.