The Baltimore County Council holds its annual public hearing on the budget Tuesday night.

But in reality, the seven council members have little power over Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s nearly $5 billion spending plan.

There is a debate over whether the council and executive should have more authority, or whether that could lead to both political and fiscal disaster.

The county executive holds nearly all of the budgetary cards. The county charter stipulates that the council can only cut his proposed budget.

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