Search the Baltimore County community newspaper archives

>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"

subscriber services email print comment

Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett successfully campaigned for his second term last fall, in part by saying the city was moving ahead on the right track.

Two months into the new term, Bennett says he still has no dramatic plans to overhaul city government, but he is hoping to make some less obvious changes.

He hopes to revisit past proposals about updating the city charter, as well as considering passage of a code of conduct for elected and appointed officials.

“We will probably start talking about that at our next work session, trying to get some discussion,” he said.

The next work session is set for Jan. 20. The next council meeting is Jan. 11.

In early 2009, Bennett and the previous city council reviewed a series of wholesale charter changes suggested by a citizen charter review committee, with input from City Manager Doug Miller.

Some of those proposals included raising the mayor’s salary $15,000, from $10,000 to $25,000 a year, and raising the salaries of the council members $2,500 from $7,500 to $10,000 a year.

Another called for lengthening the terms of office for the mayor and council members from two to four years, while also lowering the residency requirement to run for mayor or city council from two years to one.

One of the more substantive changes proposed in the city administration would have increased the power of the city manager vis-à-vis the council.

Because last year was an election year, the charter review eventually bogged down. Some council members weren’t sold on approving raises. One wanted to first submit the longer term amendment to the voters. In the end, none of the proposed changes were voted upon.

Bennett said the idea of a code of conduct had come up before but was thrown off course by “a lot of political games.”

The concept was originally raised in the summer of 2008. It has similarities to one of the charter changes.

The proposed code would have required officials to deal with administrative services solely through the mayor or city manager and would have forbidden them from retaliating or threatening to retaliate against employees as a result of disagreements over policy recommendations.

The rules also would have forbidden officials from threatening city employees with disciplinary action and only bringing any concerns about job performance to the city manager.

The mayor would have been exempt from certain rules, such as one forbidding officials from attempting to reorganize an employee’s priorities or influencing how they perform their duties.

Councilwoman Ruth Ann Young had said at the time she was in support of it and Bennett had explained it was based on documents from several municipalities similar in size to Aberdeen.

“We are just going to be pretty busy with those kinds of things,” Bennett said about the code and charter. In the most recent election, two of the four council seats changed hands, so newcomers Sandy Landbeck and Bruce Garner would be taking up both matters for the first time. Young and Ruth Elliott are holdover council members.

Other than the charter and code of conduct, Bennett said he is just busy working with the new council, which includes two newly-elected members.

He said he does not have any plans for the department heads or city management but wants to continue to build on past successes.

“It’s my vision to continue to build our economic base in the town,” he said, reaffirming his support for prioritizing commercial development over residential.

“We will deal with any residential things that come along, but they don’t drive what we are doing,” Bennett said.

In general, he added, “things are running very nicely now and we are going to keep them going. I have been trying to focus on customer service and how people that do business with the city are treated.”

“Management is in place,” he said. “We are not going to change a whole lot there right now.”

user comments (0)




Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic

‘Not acceptable’: Baltimore City Council pushes for action on sewage backups, lagging reimbursement program

Baltimore City Council members plan to hear from city agencies on what they're doing to stop raw sewage from backing up into people's basements.

Austin, Owusu help No. 8 Terps women erase 19-point 4th-quarter deficit for win at James Madison

No. 8 Maryland rallied from a 19-point fourth quarter deficit and beat host James Madison 70-68 on Wednesday night.

‘I’m not committing the murders’: As Baltimore nears 300 homicides, mayor says city leadership not to blame

As Baltimore braces to surpass 300 homicides for the fifth year in a row, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said the city’s leadership isn’t the problem.

University of Maryland officials followed protocols during adenovirus outbreak but failed to coordinate response efforts

The review released Wednesday said the university "handled both the adenovirus outbreak and mold issues as departmental emergencies instead of campus-wide emergencies.

BestReviews: The ultimate Instant Pot guide — What's the right model for you?

These days, you can’t visit many recipe sites without reading about Instant Pots. These handy appliances have been around for quite some time, but they’ve

Carroll County Public Schools calendar set for 2020-21 with post-Labor Day start

In 2020, Labor Day falls as late as it can, Superintendent Steve Lockard said, making this year’s schedule especially difficult to craft.

BSO music director Marin Alsop criticizes how symphony is run, hints she is “nearing the end” of her tenure

BSO conductor Marin Alsop said Tuesday that she is growing frustrated with the acclaimed orchestra's inability to promote its art to a broader audience, and hinted that her tenure may be nearing its end.

A few hundred students, legislators, activists rally for larger settlement in long-running HBCU lawsuit

A few hundred students, legislators, activists rally for larger settlement in long-running HBCU lawsuit

Breaking down Ravens’ final seven games: What are the playoff implications, and which games could be flexed?

The Ravens enter a four-week stretch of matchups against teams that all currently hold winning records.

Rep. Elijah Cummings had a rare cancer. That he survived it for 25 years may be more rare.

Rep. Elijah Cummings had a rare cancer called thymic carcinoma when he died last month, so what is it?

CMA Awards: Garth Brooks wins entertainer of the year after a night that sought to showcase female country artists

The country icon bested Carrie Underwood to win the top prize at Wednesday’s show, which kicked off with a performance featuring country female acts across generations, included three female hosts and had Maren Morris as its top nominee.

Maryland mails 22,000 speed warnings to Hatem Bridge drivers in error, a $20,000 mistake.

Maryland spent more than $20,000 to mail about 22,000 letters to Hatem Bridge drivers in the past 30 days, warning them that they had been caught speeding on the bridge — and that their E-ZPass accounts could be suspended for two months if they received another violation in the next six months.That isn’t true.

Pete Buttigieg: As president, I will increase HBCU, minority-serving school funding by $50 billion

Pete Buttigieg:As president, I will increase funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions by $50 billion.


Maryland in photos

Browse recent images from Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun Media Group photographers.