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City council needs to change charter to allow for removal of mayor

On Tuesday, Doug Donovan, Liz Bowie and Andy Green took questions from readers via Facebook Live over the recent "Healthy Holly" book scandal. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

It seems as if all 14 members of the Baltimore City Council sent a powerful message with their recent letter calling on Mayor Catherine Pugh to offer up her resignation (“Mayor Catherine Pugh Must Resign,” Apr. 8), but the reality is that their words are as worthless as the Healthy Holly books The Sun found collecting dust in the city schools warehouse.

While the message being sent was impactful, the demand is useless unless members of the council decide to alter the city’s charter, which currently doesn’t allow for the removal of Baltimore’s mayor unless otherwise convicted of a crime. This should prompt those 14 members to move beyond mere rhetoric and instead use their legislative powers to amend the charter allowing for either special or recall elections.

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And while they are at it, they should take a look at reforming the Board of Estimates process, where the mayor is entitled to three of the five votes due to her two mayoral appointees, leaving the other two citywide elected officials — the council president and comptroller --- as unimpactful as the recent call for her resignation. This powerful spending board should only consist of those officials the citizens elect to represent their interests, not two mayoral lackies, allowing for them to face the consequences of their decisions every four years.

Hassan Giordano, Baltimore

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