George Liebmann: There is another way to settle ‘eminent domain’ debate

WASHINGTON – The recent election has seen states adopt constitutional amendments reversing the recent Kelo decision allowing New London, Conn., to condemn private homes for purposes of development. That decision was applauded by city officials, and was decried by many conservatives, including some seeking to ban all redistributive government activity. A dialogue of the deaf, […]

George Liebmann: Ask Gubernatorial Candidates About Schools and Education

BALTIMORE – Voters must ask the two main candidates for governor these three questions about schools before they vote for either one: Do you favor: Opening up teaching to people not trained in education schools? Pay structures resembling private labor markets, where schools compete? Building-level management of schools? Why are these reforms needed? Schools are […]

Maryland’s Pension Scandals

In March 2006, The Institute published a study, The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble, available online here. That study pointed out that the Employees’ Retirement System of Baltimore City had consistently produced investment results below its benchmark yields based on comparisons with market indices. The shortfalls were as follows: 2004-05.7% 2003-041.0% 2002-03.81% In […]

The Candidates and Education

The Candidates and Education The Sun and other publications have compared the views of Governor Ehrlich and Mayor O’Malley on education issues, but the comparisons for the most part miss the point. Fundamentally, there are three questions to be asked politicians about school improvement: Do you favor opening up teaching and administration to persons not […]

A Short Attention Span

A Short Attention Span Ten years ago, a City Council Committee, under a Chairman who shall go nameless (his name starts with “O’” and is neither German nor Ukrainian), took a look at the Baltimore City criminal justice system. Its central focus was Baltimore’s notorious Central Booking Facility, a state-financed facility whose operation has important […]

King Saud of Baltimore

King Saud of Baltimore Many have commented on Mayor O’Malley’s ambitions, but hitherto these have been thought to center on Washington, not Riyadh. It now is apparent, however, that the Mayor relishes his role as a minor-league energy czar, the commander-in-chief of an almost unique chain of a dozen municipal filling stations. A word of […]

George Liebmann: The conflict between Mr.Malley and Mr. Clark

PDF BALTIMORE – The recent opinion by an especially distinguished panel of the Court of Special Appeals in Clark v. O’Malley allowing a fired police commissioner’s suit to go forward should have come as a surprise to nobody. An 1860 statute dictating that the police commissioner of Baltimore City can be discharged only for just […]

Martin in Wonderland

The popularity of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has lasted for nearly a century, and elaborately annotated editions of it have been published to expose its subtle points to the uninitiated. In Baltimore, an equally classic teachers’ union contract has been maintained intact and virtually unamended throughout the six years of the current O’Malley administration.

The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Baltimore City has two pension funds for non-elective officials, a Fire and Police Fund with about $2 billion in assets and a fund for other employees (ERS) with about $1.3 billion. Until three years ago, the Boards of the two funds met together and maintained a common investment policy, one element of which […]

Revisiting the ‘Three Ring Circus’

In our February 2005 issue, we reviewed three ancient and venerable lawsuits: the Bradford school financing litigation in Baltimore City, now in its tenth year; the federal special education lawsuit, now aged 21; and another ‘baby’ lawsuit, the federal court housing litigation, now also ten years old….