Kamenetz Chats on Balto. Co. Budget, Development

March 31, 2011

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz took questions about the budget, economic development, employment, master plan and even his choice of neckties in an online chat on Explore Baltimore County today.

Participants had a wide range of questions during the 50-minute chat, on issues as varied as next year’s spending plans, summer programs, enforcing development restrictions and the status of the Owings Mills library.

The county executive reiterated his commitment to maintaining the county’s two-year labor agreement which cut cost-of-living adjustments and contributions to pension and health benefit plans, but guarantees no furloughs or layoffs.

“Even though there is another year to the contracts, we hope to initiate new labor discussions to renew our agreements over the next several months, to provide reassurance and stability for our valued employees,” Kamenetz said.

Participants also had questions about whether he thinks the county and county school system are paying top-level staffers too much (he says he’s reviewing the BCPS budget and cutting where he can in county government – “consolidation, efficiency, innovation” ), and encouraged him to think outside-the-box for parks – fewer playgrounds, more options for adults.

He got a vote of confidence from one chatter – “Cousin Steve M.” – who expressed pride in the job he’s doing and high hopes for future political pursuits.

“Perhaps my family will come and visit you in the White House in the near future,” Cousin Steve wrote.

Slim chance, Kamenetz replied.

“Unless I repaint my house white, it may not be happening anytime soon, because I love it here in Baltimore County.”

As for the ties, ask Mrs. Kamenetz.

“My lovely wife is the chief architect of all things good about me, including my wardrobe, so she gets 101% of the credit,” he said.

The archived chat with Kamenetz can be found here.

-Raven L. Hill

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