Pugh names pol­icy team

Ad­vis­ers will as­sist her in pre­par­ing for the tran­si­tion in De­cem­ber

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Yvonne Wenger and Luke Broad­wa­ter

Bal­ti­more Mayor-elect Cather­ine E. Pugh an­nounced a tran­si­tion team Wed­nes­day that she said would help her re­fo­cus the city’s hous­ing pol­icy on com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and the Po­lice Depart­ment on fos­ter­ing mu­tual re­spect and col­lab­o­ra­tion with res­i­dents.

She said she will pur­sue an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strat­egy that will du­pli­cate Ham­p­den’s suc­cess in Pig­town and es­tab­lish mass tran­sit lines that will con­nect res­i­dents to jobs.

“Bal­ti­more is a city of great op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said Pugh, 66, the third con­sec­u­tive woman elected to the job. “I am re­ally fo­cused on build­ing com­mu­ni­ties and mak­ing peo­ple feel safe in their neigh­bor­hoods and great about their city.”

She will be­come Bal­ti­more’s 50th mayor on Dec. 6. To help build her ad­min­is­tra­tion, she chose about 20 peo­ple with a range of back­grounds to lead her tran­si­tion, in­clud­ing Diane Bell-McKoy, di­rec­tor of Associated Black Char­i­ties; Calvin G. But­ler Jr., CEO of the Bal­ti­more Gas and Elec­tric Co.; and Ty­rone Pow­ers, a for­mer FBI agent and host of “The Pow­ers Re­port.”

Pugh said the group will eval­u­ate agency op­er­a­tions and gov­ern­ment ser­vices and make rec­om­men­da­tions for how they can be bet­ter run. The group Pugh

will be ex­panded, she said.

She made Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment in the lobby of the fam­ily shel­ter Sarah’s Hope in West Bal­ti­more’s Sand­town-Winch­ester neigh­bor­hood. With money from busi­nesses, gov­ern­ment and non­prof­its, the shel­ter was ren­o­vated and ex­panded. A chain link fence sur­rounds the prop­erty, where a play­ground is be­ing built and a green space is be­ing de­signed. Ablock away, the Western Dis­trict Po­lice Sta­tion is also be­ing ren­o­vated.

Pugh said she chose the lo­ca­tion for sym­bolic rea­sons. “This can be the great­est city in Amer­ica,” she said.

The state se­na­tor won the may­oral election with 57 per­cent of the vote. She de­feated the Repub­li­can and Green Party nom­i­nees and for­mer Mayor Sheila Dixon, who ran a spir­ited write-in cam­paign.

Pugh said she will build on the city’s suc­cesses by lean­ing on re­la­tion­ships with Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan, Demo­cratic Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen, and phil­an­thropic and busi­ness lead­ers.

James T. Smith Jr., a for­mer Bal­ti­more County ex­ec­u­tive who also is aid­ing Pugh’s tran­si­tion, said she has reached out to “worker bees and grass-roots peo­ple” to ex­plore what best prac­tices the city can adopt, what poli­cies to toss and which agency lead­ers should be kept.

“She’s go­ing to make a fan­tas­tic im­pact on Bal­ti­more,” Smith said. “She has the vi­sion, and that vi­sion in­cludes the neigh­bor­hoods and com­mu­ni­ties.”

Smith, a for­mer state trans­porta­tion sec­re­tary, ac­knowl­edged that he is in talks to join Pugh’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. He de­clined to say for what po­si­tion.

Del. Pete Ham­men and for­mer schools in­terim CEO Tisha Ed­wards are also help­ing Pugh’s tran­si­tion. All three at­tended Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment. Pugh said she has not de­cided what po­si­tion she might of­fer any of them.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the tran­si­tion team con­trib­uted fi­nan­cially to Pugh’s cam­paign, in­clud­ing Smith. Pugh re­ceived a $100,000 loan from Smith’s cam­paign ac­count in the Bal­ti­more Mayor-elect Cather­ine E. Pugh poses for a photo with Tony Hin­ton of St. Vin­cent De Paul Church of Bal­ti­more af­ter nam­ing her ad­min­is­tra­tion tran­si­tion com­mit­tee. wan­ing days of the pri­mary. She has since re­paid that loan.

An­other mem­ber, fi­nancier J.P. Grant, gave her $6,000, the max­i­mum al­lowed. Bell-McKoy con­trib­uted $250 and But­ler gave her $1,000, in ad­di­tion to money the util­ity com­pany con­trib­uted, records show.

Out­go­ing Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ingsBlake said she, too, is com­mit­ted to work­ing with Pugh on the tran­si­tion. Rawl­ingsBlake, who has served as mayor since Fe­bru­ary 2010, did not seek re-election.

“I pledge, as I have from the be­gin­ning of this process, a smooth tran­si­tion from the Rawl­ings-Blake to the Pugh Ad­mi­nis- tra­tion,” Rawl­ings-Blake said in a state­ment. “I look for­ward to work­ing with the mayor-elect over the next cou­ple weeks so she can hit the ground run­ning as the city’s next chief ex­ec­u­tive.”

Pugh said she wants to con­tinue some of the pro­grams and poli­cies Rawl­ings-Blake put in place and im­prove them where she can. For in­stance, Pugh said, she wants to ac­cel­er­ate Rawl­ings-Blake’s sig­na­ture Va­cants to Value pro­gram that re­de­vel­ops and de­mol­ishes aban­doned houses.

Pugh said she would also use the Rawl­ings-Blake ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fi­nan­cial pro­jec­tions as a foun­da­tion for her ad­mi­nis-

Pugh’s tran­si­tion team

On Wed­nes­day, Mayor-Elect Cather­ine E. Pugh named th­ese peo­ple to her tran­si­tion com­mit­tee:

Diane Bell-McKoy, CEO, Associated Black Char­i­ties

Stephen A. Burch, chair­man, Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Sys­tems board

Calvin G. But­ler Jr., CEO, Bal­ti­more Gas & Elec­tric

Kee­nen Geter, founder, Young Men with Power

Rachel Mon­roe, CEO, Wein­berg Foun­da­tion

Chuck Til­don, vice pres­i­dent, United Way of Mary­land Pugh also cre­ated sev­eral com­mit­tees to study ed­u­ca­tion, neigh­bor­hoods, em­ploy­ment, trans­porta­tion, polic­ing and the city’s agen­cies. tra­tion.

“There is a10-year fi­nan­cial plan in place. We have re­duced prop­erty taxes,” Pugh said. “Now we have to set our goals.”

Pugh, who is the out­go­ing pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Black Cau­cus of State Leg­is­la­tors, said she will not hes­i­tate to turn to An­napo­lis and Wash­ing­ton to help pay for up­grades to Bal­ti­more’s in­fra­struc­ture. To start, Pugh said, tran­sit cen­ters in the city need to be fixed.

She is pre­pared to ap­proach the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald J. Trump along with Mary­land’s con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion.

“It is not just about what the city can do and the state can do, it is about what the fed­eral gov­ern­ment can do,” Pugh said. “I will be able to, with this del­e­ga­tion, go to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and make the ar­gu­ment around in­fra­struc­ture money.”

To the pub­lic, she said: “We want to hear your ideas. Send us your ideas.”


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