Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Anne Arundel County Attorney received an opinion that the county's charter disqualifies council members from being appointed county executive.
In the wake of former County Executive John Leopold's resignation, two Anne Arundel County Council members expressed interest in a bid for the seat, but attorneys familiar with charter legislation say the county's charter makes the council members ineligible. After council members John Grasso (R–District 2) and Jerry Walker (R–District 7) expressed interest in putting their name in the running, County Attorney John Hodgson requested an opinion on behalf of the county from Rosenberg, Martin Greenberg LLP, as to whether they are eligible to be appointed to the office. Andrew H. Baida, an attorney for the law firm, cited several county and state rulings that suggest this section of the county charter makes current council members ineligible: …
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The council is set to appoint the next executive on Feb. 21.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Three of Anne Arundel County's 13 unions will receive their first pay increases in more than four years.
About 25 percent of Anne Arundel County's employees will receive pay raises for the first time in four years thanks to a unanimous vote by the County Council on Monday. The 3 percent pay increase—which will cost the county $650,000—goes to approximately 1,200 employees who are members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 70, AFSCME Local 582 and AFSCME Local 2563. "The last four years, to say the least, have been extremely difficult," said Mike Akers, president of AFSCME Local 582. Akers testified before Council that his members have accepted years without cost of living increases and a growing number of furlough days. The vote itself was a formality because Maryland's Court of Appeals restored binding arbitration to the county in …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Councilman warns school officials there will be retaliation next budget season.
A $5 million feud between the Anne Arundel County Council and the Anne Arundel County Board of Education appeared to be settled Monday by withdrawing the needed funds from the county's reserves. That didn't sit well with Councilman John Grasso (R-2nd District), of Glen Burnie, who again threatened the school system with cuts during the next budget session. "I hope they're watching tonight, because I'll tell you what, you can bet I'm going to have one heck of a large appetite next year—$5 million worth," Grasso said. "And I'd assume that most of my colleagues will pretty much want to show who's running the show, and it's not them." Earlier this month, the council sparred with a school system representative over a $5 million bill the council…
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A councilman said he wants to try educating residents on the proper usage of recycling facilities before punishing them.
A bill that sought to punish people who don't separate their trash for recycling was pulled before a vote on Monday by the Anne Arundel County Council. The bill's sponsor, Councilman John Grasso (R-2nd District) of Glen Burnie, said the function of the bill was to give waste management employees a method of action if they discover residents aren't obeying the rules. Bill 79-12 would have banned individuals from recycling centers who were found to be mixing trash with recycling materials. "We have some individuals who come into our recycling [centers] and think they're too good to separate their trash," Grasso said. But on Monday night, Grasso pulled the legislation, saying he wants to try a different approach first. "We're going to …
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Council members say the school system went back on their deal in May to resolve the missing $5 million to meet the maintenance of effort requirement.
Tempers flared in the Anne Arundel County Council’s chambers on Monday when council members sparred with a school official over a $5 million bill they thought was already paid. The state Board of Education sent county officials a letter in August saying they still owed the school system $5 million to meet the minimum state-required payment to schools, also known as the maintenance of effort. The news came as a shock to council members, who said they thought the issue of maintenance of effort had been squared away during budget discussions in May. The solution to the missing $5 million at the time was to pull the needed money from the school system’s projects fund. It was one of several compromises made to balance the budget. Anne Arundel …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Some Anne Arundel County councilmen lay the blame for a split vote on party politics.
Many Anne Arundel County councilmen claim a political game is being played over the vacant District 1 seat at the expense of the district's constituents. Patch editors interviewed each of the six councilmen to gauge their position in the division over who should fill the District 1 seat. The final candidates are Peter Smith and Mike Wagner. The councilmen who have supported Wagner include Derek Fink (R-3rd District) of Pasadena, John Grasso (R-2nd District) of Glen Burnie and Dick Ladd (R-5th District) of Broadneck. Smith's supporters include Chris Trumbauer (D-6th District) of Annapolis, Jamie Benoit (D-4th District) of Crownsville and Jerry Walker (R-7th District) of Gambrills. Wagner's backers have primarily touted his experience and …
Patch editors asked the six current members of the Anne Arundel County Council about their division over filling the District 1 vacancy.
Each Anne Arundel County councilman was asked the same five questions regarding the District 1 vacancy and the state of the council. The final candidates are Peter Smith and Mike Wagner. Some were reached by phone, and some by email. Their answers are provided here. Contacted by phone What makes Wagner the better choice for you over Smith? There are two simple reasons. Wagner's lived here way longer than Smith. Smith has been here, what? Five years? Wagner's been here for infinity. I've been here for 50 years and there are still parts of the area I don't know. So imagine how much of the area he doesn't know after five years. The other thing is Wagner is a guaranteed conservative vote and we won't have a budget being passed like the last …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Councilman Jerry Walker presented the bill, which is already being backed by a majority of the Anne Arundel County Council.
A councilman wants to make English the official language of Anne Arundel County, saying voters asked him for this. While campaigning for his council seat, Councilman Jerry Walker (R-7th District) said illegal immigration was a hot topic among his constituents. The bill he presented to the council on Monday was in part the realization of a campaign promise, he said. “There was overwhelmingly positive response [to that], so I turned it into a campaign commitment,” Walker said. Bill 13-12 would make English the official language of Anne Arundel County for all official documents, communications and agreements on behalf of the county. Walker said he has another resolution planned to address illegal immigration by penalizing business owners who …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Councilman John Grasso attempted to downzone a Glen Burnie property planned for a low-income apartment complex.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
In his own words, County Councilman John Grasso was caught trying to use the comprehensive rezoning process to downzone a property he has been fighting against for months. The Glen Burnie councilman’s attempt failed shortly after it was introduced during Monday’s County Council meeting. “I was caught,” Grasso said after being called out for the maneuver. “What do you want me to say? I protect my people.” From the outset of the meeting, Grasso was on the offensive against Marley Meadows, a proposed 36-unit apartment complex with rent ranging from $380-$1,200. Grasso’s argument against the development has been that low-income housing breeds crime. His experience as a landlord has pitted him against those kinds of projects, he said. Conifer …