Stacy Rodgers, who’s overseen Baltimore County government operations for almost five years, intends to retire from county government in April 2024.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. appointed Rodgers his county administrative officer in April 2019. Since then, she’s led the county’s day-to-day operations in charge of all department heads and stewarded county finances. She also held a chief role in coordinating departmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Thursday statement from the county’s press office, Rodgers said it has been her “sincere honor to serve with County Executive Olszewski and our dedicated staff and community partners,” who worked “diligently to create a better Baltimore County.”

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Rodgers came to the county with decades of experience in federal and municipal governments. She previously directed the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and was chief of staff for the Social Security Administration in 2014, and held multiple positions in the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Olszewski said Rodgers’ “remarkable contributions [and] trailblazing leadership has left an indelible mark on Baltimore County government.”

Rodgers, who records show earns a salary of $263,000, could benefit from a county policy that was requested by Olszewski and approved by the County Council in March 2023; the policy reinstated severance benefits to resigning or retiring top officials without council approval. Such deals had previously been ended by former County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for mostly benefiting political appointees already among the county’s highest-paid earners.

— Taylor DeVille

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Former mayor Jack Young headlines Sheila Dixon fundraiser; council hopeful fundraises off karaoke

Former mayor Jack Young pitched Sheila Dixon as City Hall’s next chief executive at a fundraiser Thursday evening at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille.

The Democrat’s abridged tenure ended in 2020, after Mayor Brandon Scott narrowly beat Dixon in a crowded primary. Young placed fifth in the race with 6.5% of the vote to Scott’s 29.6% and Dixon’s 27.5%. He has since avoided the spotlight, but emerged from retirement to criticize the Scott administration for a deal over access to the city’s conduit with the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.

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Young automatically became mayor in 2019, after then-Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid a corruption scandal. He originally pledged to run for his previous office of City Council president, but later declared a bid to keep his seat. Young and Scott butted heads in the months leading up to the primary; their political skirmishes did not abate after Scott won the primary.

Dixon again faces Scott in this spring’s mayoral primary.

Across town, a former Young aide held a fundraiser of his own Thursday night. Liam Davis, a current city Department of Transportation staffer, invited donors and supporters to belt out songs with him at a karaoke night at Southern Provisions Bar & Kitchen in Canton.

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City Council hopeful Liam Davis sings at a karaoke fundraiser on Jan. 4, 2024.
City Council hopeful Liam Davis sings at a karaoke fundraiser on Jan. 4, 2024. (Emily Sullivan)

“Fundraisers should be fun,” he quipped. The Democrat went with an inspirational rock ballad to woo his supporters, performing “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.

He is running to represent South and Southeast Baltimore’s 1st District. The seat is open; incumbent Councilman Zeke Cohen is running for City Council president. Mark Parker, a community activist and pastor at Breath of God Lutheran Church in Highlandtown, is also running as a Democrat.

Davis reported having $27,432 on hand this time last year, according to the most recent campaign finance data available. Parker reported having $48,856.

The next round of campaign finance reports are due on Jan. 17. They will detail candidates’ fundraising and spending for the entirety of 2023.

— Emily Sullivan

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Former state Sen. Peters dies

Former state Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters from Prince George’s County died on Dec. 30 from complications of multiple myeloma.

The Democrat from Bowie was 60 years old. He resigned from the Senate in 2021 to take a position of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents.

His political career included 14 years in the state Senate, one term on the Prince George’s County Council and one term on the Bowie City Council. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve, reaching the rank of captain and earning a Bronze Star while deployed for Operation Desert Storm.

“His was a life of service,” Peters’ family wrote in a statement. “He was unfailingly dedicated to his family, to his church, and to his community. We, his family, are utterly bereft. We take some measure of solace in knowing the tremendous impact he had on Bowie, Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland.”

He is survived by his wife, Corinne Peters, six children and three grandchildren.

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— Pamela Wood

General Assembly roster full with delegate appointment

Maryland’s newest member of the House of Delegates will be Denise Roberts, a Democrat from Prince George’s County.

Roberts was nominated by the Prince George’s County Democratic State Central Committee during a vote in late December. She’ll represent District 25, which includes communities such as Largo, Forestville, District Heights and Clinton. Roberts is a Prince George’s County native who has worked in communications and media, including as communications director for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy.

Six candidates applied for the vacancy, and Roberts received 19 votes from the central committee. The others who received votes were Rhonda Porter (3) and Antoine Thompson (4), according to Antwan C. Brown, committee chair.

Roberts’ appointment must be made official by Gov. Wes Moore, who so far has accepted all nominations for vacancies from party central committees.

Roberts would replace Nick Charles, who was named state senator, replacing Melony Griffith, who resigned to become head of the Maryland Hospital Association. Once Roberts is appointed, the General Assembly will be up to full strength of 141 delegates and 47 senators.

— Pamela Wood

U.S. Senate race update

The leading Democrats running for the U.S. Senate this year continue to trade endorsement announcements.

Angela Alsobrooks, currently the Prince George’s County executive, stopped in Baltimore to pick up endorsements from state Sen. Cory McCray, Del. Jackie Addison and City Councilmembers Danielle McCray and Antonio Glover.

McCray said Alsobrooks “rolls up her sleeves to get the job done for her constituents.” He told The Banner that before endorsing Alsobrooks, he made sure she spent time in Baltimore, getting to know community leaders and their challenges.

David Trone, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced two labor union endorsements this week: The Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 24 and the IBEW Local 1200.

Juan Dominguez, an Anne Arundel County businessman who has been slow to gain traction in the Democratic primary, filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission this week noting his intention to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd District instead. A campaign rep declined to comment but said an announcement would be forthcoming next week.

— Pamela Wood

Olszewski to hold Baltimore County-wide budget town halls

County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. is holding seven town halls starting Jan. 31 through early March across the county to help shape the 2025 budget.

Olszewski launched the annual town halls during his first year in office in 2019. They’ve drawn thousands of residents to share requests for where their dollars should be invested and to give residents an idea of the county’s budget priorities. Sign language and Spanish interpreters will be available and the district’s council representative will be present.

The 2024 budget town hall meetings will take place in each of the seven councilmanic districts — open houses with county officials are scheduled to begin on the following Wednesdays at 6 p.m., with the town hall starting at 6:30 p.m.

  • 2nd District Town Hall, Jan. 31, 2024, at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School (4300 Bedford Road)
  • 6th District Town Hall, Feb. 7, 2024, at Parkville High School (2600 Putty Hill Ave.)
  • 3rd District Town Hall, Feb. 21, 2024, at Dulaney Valley High School (255 E. Padonia Road)
  • 4th District Town Hall, Feb. 28, 2024, at Randallstown Community Center ( 3505 Resource Drive)
  • 5th District Town Hall, March 6, 2024, at Perry Hall High School (4601 Ebenezer Road)
  • 7th District Town Hall, March 13, 2024, at Dundalk Elementary School (2717 Playfield St.)
  • 1st District Town Hall, March 27, 2024, at Center for the Arts at CCBC Catonsville (360 Campus Drive)

— Taylor DeVille