Baltimore County probably needs to raise taxes, and voters will accept it — if Olszewski does this first

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr. may not have explicitly promised not to raise taxes if elected, but he certainly campaigned with a full awareness that even hinting at the necessity of it would be electoral suicide. Ever since the epithet “Taxmussen” made Dennis Rasmussen a one-term executive in 1990, maintaining the income and property tax rates has been the foundational principle of county politics.Yet Mr. Olszewski also realized that county voters want more than what they’re getting out of the local government. (Balt. Sun)

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Peter Schmuck: New Maryland coach Michael Locksley gets a poignant endorsement — from Jordan McNair's father

The introduction of Michael Locksley as Maryland’s new head football coach was accompanied by much fanfare. The band played. The cheerleaders cheered. A large crowd of boosters, former players and various well-wishers applauded as he took the stage at the newly renovated Cole Field House. Perhaps the most important face in that crowd stood inconspicuously on the edge of the gathering, offering a tacit endorsement of the man who was chosen to lead the Terrapin football program out of the saddest period in its history. (Balt. Sun)

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Carol Park: Lessons from Asia for the Northeast Maglev

In China, a bullet train crash in the city of Wenzhou in 2011 killed 40 people. The crash was blamed on poor design and mismanagement. In Taiwan, the bullet train system rang up $1.5 billion in losses over seven years, requiring a $1 billion government bailout. In South Korea, a high speed rail line connecting Seoul to Incheon closed in 2018 after just four years of service because 77 percent of seats were unoccupied. Across the Pacific Ocean, supporters of “Maglev” in the United States are gearing up to create an American version of the Asian rail disasters. Maglev enthusiasts have been pushing the project despite warnings of significant risks, just like the supporters of the bullet train did in Asia. (Daily Record)

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Board of Education should aim high in request for positions

One day after being sworn into office, the three new members of the Carroll County Board of Education got their first taste of the job they’ve been elected to do when Carroll County Public Schools’ staff provided a preliminary look at the school system’s fiscal year 2020 budget. With so many new faces and personalities on both the Board of Education and the school system’s primary funding body, the Board of County Commissioners, to say nothing of the news schools superintendent, it will make for an intriguing budgeting season this spring. Already among the BOE’s new members and the two who are midway through their terms, there seems to be some disagreement over how much funding the school system should request. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Brian Feldman and Cheryl Glen: Md. Clean energy jobs act a priority in 2019

As we enter the 2019 legislative session, Maryland is poised to become a national hub for the new clean energy economy. By passing the proposed Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, or “MCEJA,” in 2019, Maryland will see tens of thousands of new jobs created and billions of dollars invested in our state. More importantly, we can establish unique infrastructure and a skilled workforce that can serve the growing clean energy industry nationally. (Daily Times)

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Teresa Donofrio Snyder: How Baltimore can become more friendly to seniors

It is a well-known fact in the senior care profession that we are on the cusp of a major boom. Every day in the United States, an average of 10,000 people turn 65 years old and the number of people over the age of 60 will double by 2050, rising from 962 million in 2017 to 2.1 billion. In the past, while many older adults preferred to retire to a quiet life in the suburbs or along the coast, a remarkable number today are attracted to opportunities for vibrant experiences, such as those often found in a metropolitan setting. While Baltimore has many qualities that would attract the modern senior, including world-class health care and cultural and educational experiences, Charm City will become more charming if our business community addresses unconscious ageism and focuses on providing inclusive opportunities for every member of our community.  (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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December 6 // Ike Leggett became a colossus of Maryland politics. His retirement leaves big shoes to fill.

It was an oddity of Isiah Leggett’s three decades in public service, a career that left him a colossus of Maryland local politics, that his supreme gift for reconciliation — a talent he deployed to resolve countless tussles over growth, transit, labor, education, fiscal and housing policy — even extended to confusion involving the year of his birth. Mr. Leggett, Montgomery’s county executive for a dozen years and a County Council member for 16 years before that (with an interregnum as chairman of the state’s Democratic Party), was born in 1945. (Wash. Post)

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Marylanders are served by emoluments lawsuit

Recently, a letter writer from Harford County posed a question regarding Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s participation in the so-called Emoluments Clause lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting payment from foreign and state governments without congressional approval. His question for the editor (and, one presumes, the general public) is this, essentially: What’s in it for Maryland? “Suppose Attorney General Brian Frosh ‘wins’ his case against President Donald Trump,” the correspondent wondered, “what will the citizens of Maryland gain?” (Balt. Sun)

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