Mayor to hold RSVP-only “kick-off” of her fiscal reforms

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will speak Wednesday to business, community and elected officials at the Walters Art Gallery to kick off the next phase of her campaign to fix Baltimore’s long-term finances.

The mayor will appear at the Graham Auditorium at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow for an hour-long event for so-called “city stakeholders,” described as community groups, business and institutional leaders, elected officers and others. The invited guests were asked to RSVP back to the mayor’s office.

(UPDATE: Mayoral spokesman Ian Brennan says tomorrow’s presentation is not “invite-only.” Members of the public who read about the event on the on-line “Rawlings-Blake Review,” posted last Friday (2/15), were asked to RSVP by the end of that day in order to attend.)

Expected in the mix will be the presidents of the two city firefighters unions whose members are facing 52-hour workweeks under the mayor’s plan.

Two weeks ago, Rawlings-Blake unveiled a consultant’s dire forecast of the city’s future finances and then fleshed out her reforms during a State of the City address to the City Council last week.

Invitation to the mayor's speech tomorrow.

Invite to the fiscal presentation.

So far, the full $460,000 report by Philadelphia-based PFM Group has not been released.

Based on the group’s prediction of a cumulative shortfall of $745 million through FY 2022 because of flat tax revenues and soaring costs, the mayor is calling for major changes in employee health care and pension benefits and a yearly trash collection fee for residents.

The mayor says these and other reforms will permit a reduction in the property tax rate over time, more infrastructure investment and lower unfunded municipal liabilities.

Last week, the Board of Estimates approved $100,000 for the creation of a new post in the Department of Finance to oversee the fiscal plan and to work with PFM, which will continue to advise the mayor.

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  • bmorepanic

    Ok, the report cost more than a year of operations for 30ish rec centers.  How much will the party cost?  Can it be expressed in pools that won’t operate during the summer?  

  • trueheart4life

    I’ve heard they’re busing in the so-called stakeholders.  What’s with “The mayor will appear” … is this a celebrity guest TV spot?  I thought this was about our chief executive presenting a policy proposal to fix a dire fiscal situation … Sounds like this is just another photo opt courtesy of the “spin-king”.  I’m convinced there is NO plan!!!

  • cwals99

    It is so funny to watch these autocrats as they try to pretend they have a democratic system in presenting their plans even if it is after the decisions have been finalized.  This has become so brazen and so corrupt that the people no longer take these pols as anything other than a Faustian manifestation.

    What is important for all Americans and Baltimoreans alike is now that we see this playing out we must stop allowing these political machines simply send in one of the team in each election and stop re-electing these incumbents for goodness sake.  No matter what bill the pass to pretend they are listening to our needs we see immediately it is full of loopholes and useless.  We can reverse this if we run and voter for labor and justice candidates and break away from all of the establishment pols and their organizations.

    First and foremost is the need for referenda to the charter that address Term Limits…and we want that to be retroactive, and Recall of politicians who campaign on one thing and do another.  We need to take some of the power of the Mayor’s Office away and send it back to the council members for whom we vote by making changes to charter rules.

    Remember, Baltimore is a city of about 160,000 so finding 10,000 people to donate $20 towards registering 20 new candidates for all of Baltimore’s elected positions is not only doable….it is easy.  The referenda will be as well as the number of signatures needed to make all these charter changes is also relatively small… more than 30,000-50,000 signatures.  Do you know how easy that is in a city of 160,000?  So step up the activism to take back our democracy or we will be looking like the Eqyptians.

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