A guide to municipal bonds and charter amendments on the ballot – Baltimore Brew




After the June primary, all but one of the political races in this heavily Democratic city are foregone conclusions – and it’s probably safe to say that few local voters are still deliberating over their choice for president.

But for those who haven’t already voted – ballots have been, finally, showing up in city mailboxes – there’s still homework to do, heading into the general election.

There are four bond issues and seven charter amendments on Baltimore ballots as well as two state-level measures.

Bond issues and proposed charter amendments can seem convoluted and confusingly written. That makes it tough to know how they would materially affect the city.

Before making it to the ballot, these measures were each passed through the standard legislative process. The Equity and Structure Committee, chaired by Councilman Bill Henry, which held hearings and gathered public testimony before advancing the bills to the full Council.

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed some of them and allowed others to proceed without his signature. (The Council overrode three of his vetoes.)

But the mayor’s signature did not make them law. Whether or not they become law is up to you.

Many of the charter amendments would reduce the mayor’s power, which many Council members – including Baltimore’s likely next mayor, Brandon Scott – argue is too great.

Several proposed amendments didn’t make it to the ballot, including ones that would change the composition of the Council, create term limits and change the composition of the Board of Estimates.

There’s more to the
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