8:00pm January 10, 2011

Baltimore Faces Grim Budget Realities

Baltimore Ghetto May Become Biotechnology Park

Sitting beyond the outer rim of Washington, D.C.’s Beltway is Baltimore, the gentrifying, stumbling gotham of the crab cake state.  It is Maryland’s largest city and the state’s indisputable center of politics, commerce and culture.  But, it’s also a wicked poster child for urban decay, as sadly reputable for award-winning crime and corruption dramas like HBO’s The Wire as it is for its comparatively young Super Bowl football franchise and the splendor of its National Harbor.

It’s been a tough ride for Baltimore over the past few years.  With its national image still a bit tattered by an unwelcome Hollywood portrait, Baltimore is still recovering from the embarrassment of a convicted former Mayor caught with her hand in the procurement cookie jar.  Vast square-miles of ghetto are still plotted by countless scores of abandoned homes.  Residents adjust to crime and drug corners while the government seems slow to respond.  And despite a former Mayor now a two-term Governor in Annapolis, the hard economic times find the city on the harbor scraping at the bone of its fiscal knuckles.

It’s a scene repeated in a number of cities nationwide, with this predominantly African American city of less than 600,000 faced with a second year of budget shortfalls to the tune of $80 million.  And while it is somewhat less than last year’s $121 million gap from the previous year, it’s another example of a city hall with a forced hand as Baltimore government workers have already seen an across-the-board 2% pay cut in their paychecks.

But, the unfolding political drama over the budget could get even worse if City Hall and City Council hit an impasse over whether or not to increase taxes and how deep to extend service cuts.

Alan Z. Forman and Stephen Janis report in the Investigative Voice:

It’s an annual rite of passage at Baltimore City Hall:  The so-called “doomsday” budget.

A worst-case fiscal scenario presented to the City Council that predicts massive layoffs of cops and firefighters, as well as firehouse closures, the result of yet another fiscal deficit.

Privately council members express frustration with the dire scenario they say is little more than a ploy to soften up the legislative body for tax increases.

But at Thursday night’s Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing, several members of the body charged with oversight of Baltimore’s billion-dollar budget struck back.

Baltimore will face the challenge of declining city revenues and a short-falling state treasury facing problems of its own.  Typically, the city could rely on the cushion of a cash infusion from the state to save it.  But, grim fiscal realities in Annapolis are predicted to exacerbate fiscal woes state wide.

About the Author

Charles Ellison
Charles D. Ellison, Managing Editor for Politic365.com, Washington Correspondent for The Philadelphia Tribune and a weekly political analyst providing insight on WDAS-FM (Philadelphia), WVON-AM (Chicago) and KSRO-AM (Sonoma County, CA). He is author of the critically-acclaimed urban political thriller TANTRUM. More information can be found at http://www.cdellison.com



Honorable Assumes Post as Newest FERC Commissioner

                    On January 5, 2015, five months after being nominated by President Barack Obama, Colette Honorable was sworn in as a Commissioner for the Federal Energy Regu...
by Kristal High


Net Metering Raises Inequity Concerns Amid Solar Transition

Many Americans like to say that “if you work hard, you’ll get ahead,” but fewer and fewer of us actually think so.  A recent poll found that only 42 percent of our fellow Americans agree with that statement, down from 53...
by Guest Contributor


Black Legislators Support Equitable Transition to Solar Energy

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators recently released its 2014 Winter White Paper entitled, The Need to Develop & Implement Equitable Energy Policies.  In it, the august organization of roughly 675 black state ...
by Kristal High



Blood Donation App Makes it Easier for African Americans to be Donors

Less than 1 percent of blood donations are from African Americans. Though compatibility is not based on race, genetically similar blood is best for patients who need repeated or large volumes of blood transfusions, or those who...
by Politic365 Staff


Raising Black Sons in Light of…

By: Jolanda Jones As a single mom of a Black man, business owner, lawyer, former city council member, US Track & Field member, and human rights activist, I was asked to be an expert panelist, on our local television affilia...
by Guest Contributor



  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by misssmith11, Politic365. Politic365 said: Baltimore Faces Grim Budget Realities http://dlvr.it/D3PR2 [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>