In the 2016 election, nearly 80 percent of Baltimore County's voters endorsed the creation of a charter review process that would automatically review, every 10 years, the broad framework by which our government operates (“Baltimore County Council OKs ballot proposals on county charter,” April 2). I was lead sponsor of the legislation that put this on the ballot.
Since that time, the Baltimore County Charter Review Commission has developed a series of recommendations. Questions A through F incorporate these findings, as well as other changes made by the Baltimore County Council. Many of the modifications are technical and others are more substantial.
One very important change extends the lifetime for a bill. Currently, the County Council has 40 days to act on a bill or it dies. Should the voters act on the proposed amendment, the lifetime for a bill will be extended to 65 days, which gives legislators and the public more time to fine-tune legislation. Another change would require the county executive to resubmit the names of agency heads for reconfirmation by the council upon re-election.
A third modification requires that a system be created to deal with the compensation of exempt or "at-will" employees. Finally, a major change is sought to broaden the purpose of the Department of Public Works so that it looks at all modes of transportation including bicycling and walking.
Questions A through F represent thoughtful, pragmatic changes to the charter that forms the foundation for county government. They deserve support from all Baltimore County voters.
David Marks, Towson
The writer, a Republican, represents District 5 on the Baltimore County Council.
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