Baltimore voters will decide in November whether to hire a chief administrative officer to serve with the mayor, following a City Council override of a mayoral veto on Thursday.
The unanimous vote marks a victory for Council President Brandon Scott, the Democratic nominee for mayor, who sponsored the charter amendment, bill 19-0382.
Scott said the administrator will “professionalize” city government while running day-to-day operations.
Scott introduced the charter amendment last April, and the Council approved it in July. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young vetoed it a week later.
Less Subject to Politics?
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who previously voted against the charter amendment, said she changed her mind after talking with Scott.
“I believe in strong-mayor form of government,” said Clarke, the last to vote on the override measure.
“So we had a nice long conversation,” she continued. “I feel that our incoming mayor will walk the walk and talk the talk. It will just help him get some work done, which he won’t be able to if he’s out there” engaging with citizens.
Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, an ally of Scott despite ideological differences, criticized Young’s executive order today allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining, and tied that to the override vote, saying an administrator’s advice would be less subject to political pressure.
“Today’s executive order underscores the need for a city administrator,” Schleifer said.