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Baltimore County needs open government, not a handcuffed inspector general | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore County Inspector General Kelly Madigan speaks about the joint report on water under the shared jurisdiction of the city and county as Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, left, and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., right, look on. Dec. 21, 2020. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore County Inspector General Kelly Madigan speaks about the joint report on water under the shared jurisdiction of the city and county as Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, left, and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., right, look on. Dec. 21, 2020. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Amy Davis)

Baltimore County has never been known for transparency in its governance. Residents who have moved into the county in the last few decades may be unaware of our history of county executives being prosecuted for malfeasance from the time of Spiro Agnew. Therefore, it was with the great expectation that we might see a more transparent review of county functions and finances that I welcomed legislation authorizing the appointment of an independent inspector general.

Now, it seems that some elected officials have had their ox’s gored and want to limit the independence of the office (”Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. postpones plans for bill restricting inspector general office,” July 6).

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While introduction of the legislation has since been shelved so the issue can be studied, the initial move by the Olszewski administration is a disappointment in what started out as a more open government. Citizens should contact their Baltimore County Council members and urge them to vote against any proposed legislation in the future that would limit the independence of the inspector general. Let’s not resume decision making regarding county management that is not readily transparent to the public.

Kenneth B. Lewis, Cockeysville

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