My name is Joe DiBlasi. I am a lifelong resident of Baltimore. I've served in the City Council for the past 12 1/2 years. I graduated from Southern High School and the University of Baltimore with a degree in business management, majoring in personnel and labor relations. I have graduate credits in management. From February 7, 1983, when I was appointed to the City Council, through the last regularly scheduled council meeting this year, June 15, I had a perfect attendance record.
I was employed at Maryland National Bank, now NationsBank, for 30 years, having served as an assistant comptroller and vice president in business development and government banking. I currently teach and coach at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
I grew up in Baltimore and played ball as a little boy on the Poultney Street lot, one block from the Cross Street Market. As Mike Olesker told The Sun's readership a few months ago, I watched the old wooden Cross Street Market burn to the ground from my window when I was 6 years old, and as an adult, I've watched its rebirth, growth and development.
It's time to rebuild our city. As president of the Baltimore City Council, I will focus on three issues: reducing crime, lowering taxes and creating jobs.
The number one issue is public safety. The days of leaving doors unlocked, windows open, and neighbors walking in and out has given way to deadbolt locks, iron bars, security systems and burglar alarms. I will work to provide the citizens of Baltimore with a true sense of security. In order to do that we must put more police on the street. Twenty years ago, we had 420 more patrol officers than we do today. I promise to bring the Police Department back to full strength by returning at least that many officers to the beat.
I promise to work to control spending and cut the Baltimore City Council, I will focus on three issues: reducing crime, lowering taxes and creating jobs.
tax rate, which as chairman of the Budget Committee, we cut twice in the past three years. Additionally, we were successful in repealing the container tax, in holding off two attempts to increase the piggy-back tax, and in holding the cap on assessments at 4 percent.
I can provide the leadership this city needs to make our neighborhoods safer and the city more fiscally responsible. My experience as a banker has given me the skill to manage budgets effectively. I have the experience, education, integrity and the record of past performance necessary to lead the council and the Board of Estimates into the 21st century.
As president of the Board of Estimates, I will encourage economic development and work with the business community to create jobs. In that regard, I will support tax credits for businesses that help our residents improve their economic well-being. I will also offer to guarantee loans for financing to local companies.
I recall President Kennedy's words from his 1961 inaugural address which inspired me to become a public servant: "With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking God's blessing and God's help, but knowing that here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."
I care greatly about our city and I've proved it the last 12 1/2 years. I ask the citizens of Baltimore to vote for me as the next president of the City Council.