Proposed Arundel schools budget at $977 million
Anne Arundel County School Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell proposed a $977.4 million operating budget last night for the next fiscal year, a nearly 5 percent increase over last year's proposal. Of the $46.1 million in increased requested funding, $3.6 million will support new initiatives: $1.7 million for magnet programs at North County and South River high schools and Bates Middle School, and $1.8 million for a new student information system. Maxwell stressed that the budget was conservative in light of the current economic climate, and that there would be no raises for his roughly 60 senior and executive staff members. The budget does not allow for any new positions in the school department work force.Maxwell presented his proposed budget to the county school board, which will review the proposal and hold public hearings. The board must approve a budget by Feb. 20. Public hearings on the proposed operating and $214 million capital budgets, are set for 7 p.m., Jan. 13 at Glen Burnie High and Jan. 15 at the department headquarters on Riva Road in Annapolis.
Bromwell, associates banned from state work
The Board of Public Works banned convicted former Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell and several of his criminal associates yesterday from doing business with the state government. Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat, is serving a seven-year prison sentence after he and his wife pleaded guilty in 2007 to a complex criminal conspiracy in which the former senator had agreed to stay in office to help steer publicly funded contracts to Poole and Kent, a Baltimore-based construction company. Bromwell's wife, Mary Patricia Bromwell, was also banned from state contracts, as were former Poole and Kent officer Michael C. Forti and his wife, Geraldine Forti. The construction company's former president, W. David Stoffregen, was also expected to be banned, but a vote on his debarment was postponed. The actions were approved without comment by Gov. Martin O'Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot, who sit on the Board of Public Works with Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, who did not attend yesterday's meeting. Bromwell served in the Maryland Senate from 1983 until 2002.
Dixon to confer today with Obama officials
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is among two dozen mayors set to meet today with top Obama transition team officials to discuss urban economic policy and a possible federal stimulus package. The mayor and her chief of staff, Demaune Millard, traveled to Chicago yesterday evening and will meet with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Dixon "is very excited that she gets to sit at the table and help shape what an economic stimulus blueprint could look like," said Ian Brennan, Dixon's spokesman. The mayor was invited because of her work on the urban policy work group for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.