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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Photo: Illustrations by Alex Fine, License: N/A

Illustrations by Alex Fine


 

1 City Council

It’s rare when someone, anyone, in city government pushes back on the steady stream of tax breaks, kickbacks, and shady deals lined up for rich developers, and so credit should go to City Council members who questioned Il Mayore’s plans to grant another $107 million in taxpayer money to Michael Beatty, developer of Harbor Point. The proposal is particularly egregious, coming as it does after the council last year, in a move that would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic, expanded an “enterprise zone”—supposed to be reserved for economically challenged areas—to ritzy Harbor East so Beatty could get a $53 million tax break. Now Stokes, et al, need to put their votes where their mouths are.

2 MD Petitions

The group that successfully wasted an immense amount of money by challenging gay marriage and forcing a referendum has now been defeated without having to wait until the next election. The group, chaired by Del. Neil Parrott (R), hoped to force referenda on the new gun laws and the abolishment of the death penalty but failed to get the required signatures. “The groundswell of support across the state just wasn’t there,” said Parrott. Hmm—no groundswell of support for more guns and death? Nice work, Maryland.

3 Birdland

Look, nobody likes to see pinstripes in Camden Yards. But that doesn’t mean we throw beers at people wearing Yankees hats or worse, punch them, as Gregory Fleischman and Michael Bell allegedly did to Matthew Fortesse last week, sending him over a rail to the concrete and almost killing him—that’s some idiot shit a Yankees fan would pull. Remember, we’re from Charm City and it’s only a game. We’ll beat ’em on the field.

4 Baltimore Police

Last week, one of Baltimore not-so-finest, Ashley Roane, was indicted on gun, drug, and identity-theft charges after helping a man she thought was a drug dealer traffic heroin and collect Social Security numbers for a tax-fraud scheme. It was only the most recent of several cases filed against BPD officers in recent weeks. This week, the Baltimore Police Review Board, the civilian group that’s supposed to oversee police misconduct charges, was reported to be a sham, with four of the nine seats empty, and four of the remaining five members looking to jump ship. It’s long past time for Commissioner Batts to come out swinging and reform the force.

5 The Federal Railroad Administration

Lots of disturbing things have come to light in the wake of the collision between a CSX freight train and a commercial truck, which caused a derailment and massive explosion in Rosedale last week. It turns out that only 20 percent of public-grade train crossings in the state are gated (the one involved in the accident was not). Worse, only eight of the 17 rules the FRA was required by Congress to implement in 2008 have been implemented. BCPR hopes last week’s incident speeds up the process before a more deadly crash hits home.

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