At its Monday evening’s meeting, the city council is slated to hear annual reports from the city’s Tree Commission and the City Arborist, covering the state of the city’s tree canopy. The council will consider two resolution related to bills in the state legislature and discuss grant applications from organizations seeking city funding.
I’ve posted my criteria for assessing grant-funding requests to my blog. There are 9 applications; large grants are for amounts greater than $2,500. Please do share your thoughts on the requests.
The two resolutions regarding state-legislative items are a) Supporting Efforts to Reverse the Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and b) Resolution Supporting Raising the Tax on Gasoline in Maryland. See the backgrounder for this agenda item.
Governor O’Malley has proposed extending the 6% Maryland sales tax to gasoline. Funds could go to transporation projects and other uses. The city resolution would support the tax and call for the money to be spent on transportation projects and increase in highway-user revenues, provided by the state to local governments, which have been cut severely in recent years. I favor it.
I have misgivings about the other item. The Citizens United decision is bad news — corporations are not people, and heavy corporate spending in electoral campaigns is pernicious — but Citizens United isn’t a city issue. Should the city devote time and resources to this question? Again, please share your thoughts.