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  • Writer's pictureThe Baltimore Banner

Commentary: Planning Board isn’t the real problem in Baltimore County

On its face, Baltimore County Council Bill 33-24 is a reasonable measure. It proposes an amendment to the county charter requiring that all appointments to the county’s planning board, including those made by the county executive, be confirmed by a vote of the County Council before taking effect.

Eight members of the board are appointed by the county executive, and each of the seven members of the County Council appoints a member. Currently, only the appointments of the chair and vice-chair by the county executive require confirmation. The board exercises important powers, and council oversight of the appointment process is appropriate. So far, so good.

The problem lies in the motivation for introducing the bill and what that motivation portends for the future. The motivation reflects and reinforces attitudes that made Baltimore County the most segregated major jurisdiction in Maryland and the target of a federal housing discrimination lawsuit settled in 2016. Those attitudes are far more consequential than the bill itself.

Read the full article on The Baltimore Banner.


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