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Pop Quiz Answers

Pop Quiz Answers

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Published by: Bryan P. Sears on Jan 29, 2010
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Answers for the County Council / county government quiz 1. No.

Council members do not vote on issues at work sessions. 2. Yes, work sessions are all open to the public. 3. Speakers are not permitted to speak at work sessions on items not on the agenda. 4. There are seven council members. 5. Currently there are six Democrats and one Republican on the council. 6. The County Council is the legislative branch in the county. 7. The charter sets forth requirements that a bill be voted on within 45-days after introduction. As a practical matter (and the answer for this question) the council votes on a bill within 28 days of its introduction. 8. Most resolutions can be voted on the same day as they are introduced. Resolutions for PUDs are required to be voted on the legislative session after they are introduced. 9. A fiscal matter is defined as items pertaining to spending of county money — typically for a contract or other purchase. 10. The executive has 10 days in which to sign a bill passed by the council, according to the charter. The executive may also veto a bill or let it become enrolled without his signature by letting the 10 day period pass. 11. Four votes are needed to pass a bill unless it is emergency legislation or has a an effective date that is shorter than set in the charter, which requires five votes. 12. No, a bill cannot be introduced and voted on at the same time. 13. Yes, a resolution can be introduced and voted on at the same time. 14. No, the council chairman is elected from among the members of the council — typically the majority party. 15. Yes, council candidates must live in the district they wish to represent. 16. The council Web site is: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/countycouncil. 17. Yes, Council agendas are on the Web site.

18. Yes, legislation is available electronically from the Web site. 19. No. Legislation that has been introduced may be amended but the council must have a formal and public vote on those amendments. 20. The council is the franchising authority for the county. A good example is the cable television contracts. 21. There are seven council districts. 22. Council members are currently paid $54,000. That salary will not change for the four-year term that begins Dec. 2010. 23. The chairman is paid $60,000. That salary will not change for the four-year term that begins Dec. 2010. 24. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30. 25. Speakers at council meetings have 3 minutes. 26. Comprehensive rezoning, known as CZMP, is done every four years. 27. Redistricting is based on the Census and is done every 10 years. 28. Vince Gardina is the longest serving council member with five terms. He is also the only councilman to serve five terms. 29. Ken Oliver is he junior member of the council with just two terms. 30. Charter amendments passed by the council must be approved by county voters. 31. All county department heads are appointed by the county executive but require the advice and consent of the council. Prior to the passage of a charter amendment in 2002, only the appointments of the county administrative officer, county attorney and the police and fire chiefs required council. 32. Fred Homan is the county administrative officer. 33. The three legislative branches are: county executive (executive), council (legislative) and district/circuit courts (judicial). Yes, technically the two court systems are technically functions of the state but for the purposes of this question, they are the third branch of government. 34. Citizens are allowed to speak at legislative sessions and are typically given 3 minutes to talk about whatever they wish even if it's an issue not on the agenda

(this is different from work sessions in question #3). 35. The council chairman, county executive and council secretary are required to sign a bill that is enrolled. 36. PAM is a designation that means a bill was passed with amendments. 37. CEB on the agenda means Current Expense Budget. 38. The county auditor works for and is appointed by the council and is not elected by county voters. 39. Unless otherwise specified, the County Charter states that the effective date of any bill is 45 days. 40. County employees seeking a zoning variance must file a public disclosure. Those disclosures part of the council's legislative session agenda and are handled with other resolutions. 41. Council chairmen may serve more than one consecutive year in the position though as a pragmatic matter the council elects a new chairman each year at the first meeting in January. Bragging rights to those of you who can name every chairman since 1995. Super bragging rights if you can do it in chronological order. If you know, leave the answer in the comments section of the blog. 42. Council members are elected by district. There are no at-large or countywide members of the council. 43. Councilman John Olszewski Sr. is currently the council's youngest councilman. He has a birthday on Feb. 24 so wish him a happy birthday. 44. Berchie Manley, the Catonsville Republican, was the last woman to serve on the council from 1990 to 1994. 45. County Executive Jim Smith was an employee of the county before being appointed to the Circuit Court. Smith served as a county councilman from 1978 to 1985. 46. The central committee of the party of the resigning councilman is responsible for selecting a replacement. 47. Jim Smith was the last councilman to resign before the end of his term. he did so in 1985 when he was appointed to the county Circuit Court. His replacement was C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. 48. Jim Smith, the current county executive, is a Democrat.

49. The next election for the council is 2010. 50. Terms on the council last four years. 51. The council cannot increase the number of members without the approval of the voters. 52. The minimum age requirement for a council member is 25. 53. The County Charter sets no term limits for council members. 54. The County Charter does set term limits for county executives at two consecutive terms. Two-term Democrat County Executive Donald Hutchinson toyed with the idea of running again in 2010 and raised questions about whether he could given the law. Some legal experts said they believe a county executive in Baltimore County could serve two consecutive terms, take a break of at least four years, and then return to run for two more consecutive terms. Hutchinson decided not to run so we'll have to wait to see if that interpretation would withstand a legal challenge. 55. The county administrative officer is responsible for performing the duties of the county executive if the executive is unable to do so. 56. Towson currently is in Council District 5 and Represented by Democrat Vince Gardina of Perry Hall. 57. The key here is the wording of the question, specifically "previous member of the county council." As of 2010, Dutch Ruppersberger holds the highest office attained by a council member after leaving the county. Republican Spiro Agnew was elected county executive in 1962 and Governor of Maryland in 1966 and was the 39th Vice President of the United States from 1969 to 1973 but Agnew never on the council. 58. Three women have served moon the County Council since it began. Super bragging rights to those of you who knew they were: Dorothy Boone from 1958 to 1962; Barbara Bachur from 1978 to 1990 and Berchie Manley from 1990 to 1994. 59. Thomas Peddicord is the current legal advisor and secretary to the council. His predecessor as council secretary was Tom Toporovich of Dundalk. 60. A council member may only have one senior council assistant, not two.

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