NewsRegionBaltimore County


Baltimore County facing major budget gap for next year

County Exec. hosts town hall to hear from people
Posted at 11:21 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 06:04:25-05

RANDALLSTOWN, Md (WMAR) — Hundreds crowded into Randallstown Community Center tonight to address Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. People spoke out on everything from skate parks and grocery stores to public works and education issues.

"Some of the employees get paid less than employees at Walmart or Target," BCPS school bus driver and Union president, Michael Fahey, said.

But Olszewski had some news of his own: the county is strapped for cash and if things don't change (more revenue or less expenses), the government will run out of money in 2 years. He projects an $81 million gap for newt year's budget and that doesn't include money for teacher pay raises, BCPS budget requests or the new high schools, .

"I don't want to see that because I know every day and every year we're not making those investments, we aren't meeting the needs of our students," Olszewski said.

To help balance the budget, he says he's going to pursue more state and federal grants, look to partner with the private sector and he's already started looking for waste in the government.

"We're gonna look at every single nickle we spend here in Baltimore County to determine if we need to be spending it and as hard as it might be, there might be some programs we have to eliminate that aren't critical to our mission or that aren't achieving their purpose," Olszewski said.

The bottom line: things need to change. Olszewski will hold 5 more town hall meetings get input before putting together next year's budget, out in April. The next meeting is Thursday in Pikesville.