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The Dripby Ian Round4:02 pmJul 20, 20200

Schleifer to introduce charter amendment banning private sale of city property

Councilman says he was concerned about the sale of the former Baltimore Police Academy building

Above: Baltimore City government officials are trying to explain an “erroneous refund” caused by “a key-in error” compounded by an as-yet-unexplained software glitch. (Mark Reutter)

City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer will introduce a charter amendment banning the private sale of city property at tonight’s meeting.

The bill removes language in the city charter authorizing the mayor to make a private sale with permission from the Board of Estimates, which the mayor controls.

“This is probably the most simple thing you’re going to report on all year,” the Northwest Baltimore representative told The Brew. “One word: private.”

Schleifer said the bill comes as a result of an opaque process that left the former Baltimore Police Academy building, which is in his 5th District, unused after the academy relocated last year.

“There’s too much done behind the scenes,” says Schleifer.

“I’m doing it for an increase in transparency,” Schleifer said. “Had we gotten a process outlined for us. . . that building wouldn’t be sitting underutilized today. There’s too much done behind the scenes.”

More recently, Schleifer clashed with Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton after Middleton sponsored a bill giving Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young permission to sell the former Langston Hughes Elementary School to a group headed by George Mitchell.

The bill was passed by the City Council shortly before Mitchell died of complications stemming from diabetes and heart problems.

Planned sale of Langston Hughes building to a political insider stirs controversy (6/15/20)

Schleifer said the charter amendment is meant to cover large buildings, not the many abandoned rowhouses the city owns.

The Council meeting begins at 5, and you can watch on CharmTV. See meeting details here.

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