Monday, November 19, 2012
Maryland Court of Appeals reverses lower court decision on a grievance filed over changes to health insurance costs.
As many as 400 retired police department employees could see a reduction in their health insurance costs and be due a refund for charges since 2007. A state Court of Appeals ruling Monday effectively affirmed arbitration and a Baltimore County Circuit Court decision on the case that dates back to 2007. [A copy of the court rulling is attached to this article.] The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4, which represents county police officers, filed a grievance five years ago after the county increased the costs of health insurance for employees who retired between Feb. 1, 1992 and June 30, 2007. On July 1, 2007, the county changed its share of retiree health insurance costs from an 85-15 split with retirees to an 84-16 percentage. The union …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Department of Health is making flu shots available for free at 5 locations around the county on Oct. 13.
Flu season is here and the Baltimore County Department of Health is offering a slate of free services to help residents combat cold weather illnesses. County residents can dial in to on-call pharmacists on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. when the department presents Ask a Pharmacist Day, according to a health department statement. Whether you want information on what kind of flu vaccine is right for you; you have questions about over-the-counter or prescription cold and flu medicines; questions about medical conditions and flu vaccination eligibility; or tips on how to avoid colds and the flu, call 410-887-2243 to talk with a pharmacist. On Saturday, free flu shots will be offered at five clinics around the county. The two that are most …
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Union representing nearly 1,600 County employees agrees to increased pension contributions in return for guaranteed pay increases and no layoffs or furloughs for the next three years.
The union representing correctional workers, highway supervisors, 911 employees, and office workers has reached an agreement with the county. As part of the agreement, members of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees will receive regular step and longevity increases and a guarantee of no layoffs or furloughs through June 30, 2015 in return for increased pension contributions made by corrections officers. Currently, corrections officers contribute 8 percent of their salary to the county pension system. As part of the agreement, corrections officers hired after July 1, 2011 will contribute 10 percent. "I am very pleased that the County was once again able to reach an agreement with labor," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin …
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Baltimore County officials say the loan for a Cockeysville recycling facility from its underfunded pension system is a "win-win." But some County Council members have questions.
UPDATED (3:16 p.m.)—Some Baltimore County Council members and union officials say a $25 million loan made to the county from its own pension system raises questions. The loan will be used to pay for a new recycling facility in Cockeysville. It's the same facility for which the Baltimore County Council approved $25 million in bond sales last November. Councilmen David Marks and Tom Quirk say they now have questions about the change in how the project is financed and the lack of independent oversight. "I don't know any of the details of the arrangement at all," Quirk said. "We definitely have questions." Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, said he was withholding judgement on the changes but was asking the administration to provide a legal …
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Here is Marks's August newsletter, including information on a new supermarket, sidewalk construction and Towson's new bike loop.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Forty-four acres, including 37 on Mount Pleasant Golf Course, will be downzoned to open space.
Citing a distrust of Baltimore City officials, County Councilman David Marks announced another planned downzoning of city-owned property in his district. On Tuesday, Marks announced his support for downzoning 44 acres west of Loch Raven Boulevard and just north of the Baltimore City line. All space covered by Marks' request are currently zoned to allow 16 residential units per acre. Most of that space—37 acres—belongs to Baltimore City as part of Mount Pleasant Golf Course. It will be downzoned to the open space zoning allowed under a bill sponsored by Marks and Councilman Tom Quirk earlier this year. The remaining seven acres, located west of the course, are privately owned—Marks will seek to downzone it to one residential unit per acre…
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Steelmaker owes Baltimore County $4.5 million in taxes and water and sewer fees.
Baltimore County has hired the law firm Venable LLP to represent its interest in a bankruptcy case filed by RG Steel. The steelmaker filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization May 31 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Baltimore County is owed $4.5 million in real and personal property, and sewage fees, according to Susan Dubin, an assistant Baltimore County attorney. The county's agreement piggybacks off a similar deal the firm has with Baltimore City, which retained the firm in the same case. The county hired the firm on June 11. "Baltimore City is also owed a lot of money in water taxes," Dubin told the Baltimore County Council Tuesday. "We thought it was the best interests of the county, since our …
Monday, June 25, 2012
Police wanted to negotiate on discontinued incentive for unused sick time.
Baltimore County violated its own employment law when it refused to designate an outside agency to handle an unfair labor practice complaint filed by the union that represents county police officers. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Cox in a ruling Friday said the county violated the Employee Relations Act. A written decision was not immediately available but the ruling requires the county to hire an outside agency unless it appeals the decision or opts to enter negotiations with the police union. "The judge ruled that the Employee Relations Act means exactly what it says," said Cole Weston, president of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4. "[County Executive] Kevin Kamenetz did not follow the law." Cox's …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Joppa man could get 15 years in jail and agrees to repay Baltimore County more than $49,000.
A Joppa man, who was caught on video trimming a tree after claiming he was too injured to continue working as a laborer for the county, pleaded entered an Alford plea Tuesday to felony theft charges. James Robinson faces 15 years in jail when he is sentenced on Aug. 9 in Baltimore County Circuit Court. As part of his plea agreement, Robinson agreed to repay more than $49,000 in pension, disability and medical payments he received between 2010 and 2011. In Alford plea, a defendant does not admit committing the act but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to obtain a conviction should the case go to trial. Part of the repayment also includes reimbursing the county for the cost of the private investigators hired to tail and …
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
County Councilman David Marks highlights efforts for bicyclists and hikers.