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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Cyclists, Brandon Scott, O'Malley, Artscape, and Xerox

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

Illustrations by Alex Fine


1 Cyclists

The Board of Estimates approved a $2 million expansion of the Jones Falls Trail, which will extend the pedestrian and bicycle path, which begins downtown, up from the Cylburn Arboretum to the Mount Washington Light Rail stop, including a bridge over Northern Parkway. The news, along with the anticipated launch of Charm City Bikeshare, should keep local pedals pumping into 2014 and beyond.

2 Brandon Scott

Baltimore’s youngest and most ambitious councilman sponsored a bill—which cleared the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations committee and that the mayor had promised to sign—that would add a 10-cent fee for each paper or plastic bag accepted at retailers. It’s smart policy, good for the environment and the economy, but was voted down by the full council, in a move as short-sighted as we’ve come to expect from our city legislators.

3 O'Malley

The governor’s last state of the state address was filled with bald self-promotion clearly aimed at the Democratic base he hopes will embrace his likely bid for the presidential nomination. It was unbecoming at best, but the list of accomplishments—abolishing the death penalty, legalizing gay marriage, passing the Dream Act—is impressive, as is his intention to add increasing the minimum wage to the list this year.

4 Artscape

Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) finally hired Lou Joseph to replace (former CP designer) Jim Lucio, who oversaw the giant arts festival for years, but applications for artists to submit projects just became available on Jan. 27—almost two months later than they did last year. It’s too early to tell how well organizers will be able to pull things together, but BCPR is hopeful that this great showcase of local talent (and corn dogs) isn’t allowed to stagnate or whither.

5 Xerox

The city’s $268,000 “secret” audit of the speed-camera program operated by Xerox was leaked to The Sun and the results were horrifying: The error rate was not “less than a quarter of 1 percent,” as city officials had claimed, but over 10 percent. Besides our obvious gripes about transparency and fraud, it’s worth pointing out what a complete failure this is for a technology company—BCPR is guessing they were at the top of the list of those trying to hide the report.

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