CITYWIDE: MAYOR’S OFFICE OF POLICY AND PLANNING

5-D
CITYWIDE: MAYOR’S OFFICE OF POLICY AND PLANNING
Problem Identification:
There exist a myriad of major public sector policy and planning issues with long-term time financial and service implications confronting the City of Baltimore. While many of these ‘big picture’ issues cut across departmental boundaries and involved significant expenditures of tax dollars, the Mayor’s Office does not have a dedicated function devoted solely to studying these matters and developing long-term strategic solutions.

Recommended Action:
Create a policy and planning capability within the Mayor’s Office to manage citywide issues such as transportation planning.

Classification:
Organizational

Functional/Operational Area:
Mayor’s Office

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Next Steps:
Identify the City’s long-term policy and planning needs and recruit a small staff of qualified public policy and planning professionals to perform extensive research and to develop well-conceived plans for strategic solutions that can be implemented of City government.

Analysis:
The vast majority of recommendations contained within this report were crafted to address specific operational or financial shortcomings or deficiencies in City government. As the new Administration grapples with improving the quality and effectiveness of municipal services while also trying to maintain the government’s continued fiscal stability, there exists a risk that too much effort and energy will be devoted to short-term fixes and temporary solutions to some of Baltimore’s larger, systemic problems. While issues such as ‘crime and grime’ dominate citizens’ lives on a day-to-day basis and largely dictate the government’s priorities, there exist other less well-defined, but no less important, challenges that confront Baltimore and its municipal government.

The Greater Baltimore Committee/Presidents’ Roundtable project teams encountered a number of these issues during the course of its work. Most notably, the City’s apparent lack of a comprehensive strategy/vision for local transportation planning. Another apparent deficiency is the City’s inability to integrate health and human services functions to provide a seamless continuum of care and services to the public. The City government as a whole could be well-served through the creation of a ‘think tank’-like policy and planning capability to tackle these large-scale issues.