Happy New Year.
It is hard to believe that it is 2012. This past year was a very busy year for the County Council, and for me and the other freshmen on the Council, it was an incredibly exciting first year of our first term.
I must say that it was a rewarding first year for me, and I want to personally thank you for all of the support you have shown. In 2011, the County Council successfully reviewed, analyzed, and passed a balanced budget for the fiscal year.
We established new councilmanic redistricting maps, as part of a redistricting process which follows the census just once every 10 years. The quadrennial Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) commenced. And, just recently, we unanimously voted in favor of substantial reforms to the county’s ethics laws, intended to promote transparency and higher public confidence in government officials.
Of course, throughout the year, we considered and voted on hundreds of important legislative items, including Bills, Resolutions, Fiscal Matters and miscellaneous business matters.
Last year also brought new leadership to Baltimore County, and with that, reorganization efforts to structure a more efficient county government. Almost immediately after taking office, my colleagues and I met with each of the agency directors and confirmed their appointments by the County Executive as department heads .
Throughout the year, we had opportunities to confirm new appointees, and to make several appointments of our own to various county boards, commissions, and advisory committees.
I am very proud of the qualified and dedicated county residents that I appointed, or recommended for appointment, as representatives of the sixth district. I am pleased with their service, and I look forward to continuing to work and communicate with each of them:
- David L. Thurston, Esquire – Board of Appeals, April 2011
- John Polek – Planning Board, March 2011
- Julie Gaynor –Commission on Disabilities, March 2011
- Carl “Bud” Herb – Landmarks Preservation Commission, April 2011
- Theresa E. Barrett – Baltimore County Commission for Women, July 2011
- Mary Frances Gruver-Byers – Advisory Commission on Environmental Quality, Sept. 2011
- Jesse Fields – Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee, October 2011
- Stacy M. Wallace – Human Relations Commission, December 2011
I was honored to be appointed last year as the Council's representative to the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), and I am happy that I will be continuing in that capacity for another year. I look forward to working with MACo to ensure that the state legislative agenda of the coming session benefits the needs of our county.
As always, my staff and I are here to serve you, and we look forward to working on your behalf in 2012, and for years to come.