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GBC: This is what we need from the next mayor | COMMENTARY

Donald C. Fry and Bonnie Fry at a Catholic Charities Grand Prix party.
Donald C. Fry and Bonnie Fry at a Catholic Charities Grand Prix party.(Photo by Colby Ware, Special to The Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore City is at a crossroads. The upcoming election for mayor provides an excellent opportunity for Baltimore to turn the corner with bold leadership.

While the Greater Baltimore Committee does not endorse or financially support candidates for public office, we strongly believe that there are certain qualities that the next mayor of Baltimore must possess to effectively lead the city in the midst of these uncertain times and unprecedented challenges.

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The next mayor of Baltimore must be:

  • A strong, transformational leader who exerts the consistent, steady direction needed to create a culture of competence, efficiency and transparency within city government.
  • A person of indisputable integrity with the resolve to hold all elected and appointed officials in Baltimore to the highest ethical standards.
  • A collaborative leader who forges strong working relationships with the City Council and other elected leaders at the local, state and national level.
  • A true public servant who is committed to improving the quality of life of all city residents — regardless of neighborhood or zip code.
  • A forward-thinking leader who will advance an inclusive economic growth strategy to reverse the effects of racial inequity that has left many residents and neighborhoods behind.
  • A visionary who can set clearly communicated goals for the city and implement the policies and programs necessary to achieve those goals.
  • A customer service-minded leader who appreciates the important role that the private sector has on the city’s economic growth and prosperity and creates a culture within city government that is supportive of businesses’ need for a sense of urgency, transparency and integrity.
  • A trusted communicator who will be fully transparent and will seek guidance from residents, communities, and businesses about their needs and priorities.

By electing a candidate with these characteristics, Baltimore City will benefit from a mayor who will not merely lead Baltimore, but dramatically transform the city for the betterment of current residents and the generations that follow.

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The Greater Baltimore Committee encourages all city residents and businesses to spend time getting to know the candidates and prioritizing these essential leadership qualities as you cast your vote on Election Day.

Donald C. Fry (donaldf@gbc.org) is president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. This commentary was written on behalf of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Board of Directors.

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