JOIN US -- September 27th!

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September 18, 2014

Upcoming BCPS Community Forum

This fall, Baltimore County Public School is holding five community forums through out the county in order to get feedback from students, parents, stakeholders and others about school facilities to public priorities related to the needs of both existing and future physical facilities.

The forum for our area will be Tuesday, September 30th at 6:30 PM at Catonsville High School. Mark your calendars!

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September 9, 2014

Edmondson Avenue project nears completion

Check out this great coverage about our project on Edmondson Avenue that’s nearing completion. This traffic calming will improve safety for all users of our roads, especially pedestrians and cyclists. And the beautification efforts is great for the environment and for property values. 

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September 3, 2014

BG&E Grant for the Catonsville Tree Canopy Project

 
Great news from the Catonsville Tree Canopy Project -- the group has just received a $10,00 grant from BG&E. Already the project has planted 400 trees in the community, well on their way to their goal of 1,000 by 2020. These trees will all help to beautify our community as well as reduce the urban heat island effect (read more here!). The group’s next project will be at Catonsville High School in November.
 
Read more community news in this week’s newsletter.


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August 2, 2014

New Trail Finder App from Baltimore County

Baltimore County just launched a new website to help residents find walking and jogging paths near them.  Taking advantage of these trails is a great way to get exercise, spend quality time with friends and family, and enjoy the sites of Baltimore County.
 
Visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/trailfinder to find a new path to explore near you!

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July 16, 2014

Plans for Catonsville Elementary School released

The design for the new Catonsville Elementary School at Bloomsbury was released on July 8th.  The plan will update the existing building at Bloomsbury (in brown in the above diagram) and supplement it with a new addition (blue in diagram).

The new school will have a 700 student capacity.  The historic features of the old building will be preserved, while the entire school will be updated with air conditioning and new safety features and be made accessible for those with disabilities.

The boundary change proc
ess is slated to begin in June 2015 and the school will open for August 2016. To see the designs in more detail, you can can download the presentation at the BCPS website. Additionally, to read about last night’s public meeting, check out this article in today’s Baltimore Sun.

Read more in Councilman Quirk’s weekly newsletter.

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July 9, 2014

School Construction Updates

Catonsville Elementary School Community Input Meeting

The first community input meeting about the new Catonsville Elementary School will be held at Catonsville High School on July 15th. 

The new Catonsville Elementary School is expected to open in August 2016 at the Bloomsbury Community Center.  The first design will be presented to the Board of Education on July 8th.  This new school will have 700 seats and air conditioning. Along with other new schools and additions in Southwest Baltimore County, this new school will fundamentally solve our overcrowding problem.  

 

For more information, read this article in the Baltimore Sun and plan to attend the input meeting on July 15th.
 

Plans for Relay and Westowne Elementary Released

The designs for Relay and Westowne Elementary Schools have been released.  Both schoolswill accommodate 700 students, have air conditioning, and be LEED certified. Construction will take roughly 18 months and the schools are slated to open in July 2016.
 
These two schools are part of the plan to relieve overcrowding in Southwest Baltimore County, which also includes a new Catonsville Elementary and an addition at Westchester. 

 

To see the designs in more detail, you can can download the presentation at the BCPS website. Read more in our weekly newsletter here.

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June 24, 2014

Election Results in District 1

When the polls closed at 8 pm on Tuesday, one campaign season ended but another is beginning. 

This November, Tuesday’s winners will be on the ballot again, and the choices we make will have an impact on our community here in Southwest Baltimore County.

Congratulations to the winners and to all the candidates who ran on their values and ideas for our community.  

In District 12, Clarence Lam, Terri Hill, and Eric Ebersole will continue on to November, alongside our current state senator EdKasemeyer.  

 

In District 44B, current delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliamis the Democratic nominee for State Senate, and Charles Sydnor, III came in first in the race for delegate.  The second place spot is still up for grabs -- in a contest between Patrick Young, Jr. and Aaron Barnett, absentee ballots are being counted.

Read more in this week’s newsletter.

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June 13, 2014

Triple A Bond Rating for Baltimore County

On June 5, Baltimore County received a triple A bond rating for just over $60 million in bonds.  This means that Baltimore County can issue its bonds at the lowest possible interest rate, saving tax payers over $7 million in the next six years. 


A triple A bond rating is the highest rating for a municipality, and Baltimore County is one of only 38 municipalities with this recognition in the entire country.

"This triple A bond rating is an important recognition of our strong economy and commitment to fiscal responsibility here in Baltimore County," Councilman Quirk said.  "These low-interest bonds help us fund important public works and school construction projects without raising property taxes."

Read more in this week’s newsletter.

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June 3, 2014

Bike to Work Day

Last Friday, May 30, Catonsville residents joined together to Bike to Work.  The event was one of many taking place in the Baltimore Area. 

The event was sponsored by Catonsville Rails to Trails and the Hub/C’Ville Bikes.  Cyclists left the Frederick Road meet-up and biked to BWI, Towson, Relay Elementary, and many other locations.

Commuting by bike saves money, reduces pollution, and has great health benefits.  Recognizing this, in 2011, Councilman Quirk helped start the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee in Baltimore County.  The committee’s goal is to improve the safety of our roads for both cyclists and walkers.  You can learn more about their work and upcoming meetings here.

This week’s Friends of Tom Quirk newsletter can be found here.

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May 29, 2014

Field of Honor at Charlestown

This past weekend, Tom was honored to speak at multiple events honoring Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by service men and women for our country.  

One of those events was the opening ceremony for the Field of Honor at the Charlestown 
retirement community.  Exactly 1,000 flags will be up until Saturday and then will be sold to raise money for veterans groups.  
 
You can read more about this new tradition here. For more community news, read this week’s newsletter here.

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May 15, 2014

Growth at UMBC

This week, at a community leaders meeting, the UMBC administration announced a number of exciting projects to take place on the campus over the next few years.

 

  • Campus entranceway improvement: this development will address traffic and safety concerns that have arisen with the campus’s growth.
  • Events center: A new events center will open in 2017-2018 school year with 1000 more seats than the current RAC.  The new center will hold sports games, graduations, and other events and will be available for community purposes as well.
  • Forest conservation: In the face of all this construction and growth, the campus is setting aside 11 acres for conservation.  These forest areas will not be developed and will protect the natural environment around the Herbert Run Stream that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

Especially as many of our high schools get ready to graduate at the Retriever Activity Center in a few weeks, it’s important to remember that the Investments at UMBC benefit our community as well.  

 

Check out additional coverage and video from the Community Leaders Meeting at the Baltimore Sun.

 

You can also read more in this week’s newsletter here.

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May 8, 2014

Keeping Our Kids Safe

 
On Monday night, the Baltimore County Council passed legislation requiring that adult volunteers who work with children through Department of Parks and Recreation programming must complete a background check.
 
Council Chair Cathy Blevins introduced this legislation when she realized that such a requirement did not already exist.  Councilman Tom Quirk strongly supported her effort.
 
"Our Department of Parks and Recreation provides great programming for our kids to make new friends, try new sports, and develop healthy fitness habits," Quirk said.  "However, their safety must always come first."
 
To find out more, read this week’s newsletter here.

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April 17, 2014

County Budget Effectively Eliminates Overcrowding in Southwest Baltimore County

 

The Baltimore County budget for fiscal year 2015 includes funding for several projects of great importance to southwest Baltimore County. 

 

Most significantly, it provides a solution to widespread overcrowding at area elementary schools through several capital investments:

  • A new elementary school in Westowne
  • A new elementary school in Relay
  • A new elementary school in Lansdowne
  • An addition at Westchester Elementary
  • An addition to the new Catonsville Elementary at Bloomsbury
  • 350 additional seats to serve Dogwood and Johnnycake Elementary Schools

In 2014, the County budget included the acquisition of eight (8) acres of open space to establish the Catonsville Regional Park at Spring Grove. In response to the community’s need for more active recreational space, the 2015 budget provides for turf fields to be installed. Additionally, 257 acres of passive open space will be purchased to establish Granite Park in the Woodstock area immediately adjacent to the first district.

 

At the Community College of Baltimore County’s Catonsville campus, $2.9million has been allocated for the conversion of the former library into a state of the art Science and Mathematics hall. An additional $1.5million will fund the restoration of the historic CCBC mansion.

 

After the County Executive’s budget address, Tom Quirk, 1st district Councilman and chair of the Spending Affordability Committee, spoke fondly of the collaboration between himself and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “As he has been in years past, the County Executive was incredibly responsive to local need for more elementary school seats and recreational space. The residents of southwest Baltimore County are extremely well served by this budget.” 

 

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Join Councilman Quirk for An Evening Among Friends

 

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It’s Official! Councilman Quirk is running for reelection.

On Tuesday, January 28th, Councilman Tom Quirk of Catonsville filed for reelection at the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

 

“In the past three years, Southwest Baltimore County has seen great progress in economic revitalization efforts, investment in our schools, and efforts to protect our environment and improve our public safety,” Quirk said.  “I’m running for reelection to see that our district’s positive momentum continues over the next four years.”

 

Elected in 2010, Quirk has represented the residents of Councilmanic District 1 for the last three years.  He concluded a one-year term as Chair of the County Council this past month. 

 

 

For the past three years, Quirk has chaired the Spending Affordability Committee which makes recommendations to county officials on how to create a fiscally responsible budget that funds the core public services that residents depend on for their quality of life.

 

As a financial planner who owns a local small business, a husband and father, and an avid cyclist, Quirk’s commitment to continuing the efforts to improve the district’s schools and environment, as well as promote the economic vitality and public safety of the area is strong. 

 

During his term, Quirk has helped secure funding to school renovation and construction to alleviate overcrowding in the district.  He has also been a strong advocate for local business, and a driving force behind preserving open space and establishing a network of trails through the area. 

 

“I have been honored to serve the residents of Southwest Baltimore County for the past three years,” Quirk said.  “I’m confident that the progress we’ve made is only the beginning.”


Read more at The Tribune. 

 

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February 20, 2014

 

Progress in Paradise, featured in the Baltimore Sun

Check out this article in the Baltimore Sun featuring some of the incredible community work and state investment happening in Paradise.

 

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February 19, 2014

Baltimore County named a top community for Complete Streets

Smart Growth America released its list of the top 15 communities with Complete Street policies in the U.S. Baltimore County came in at number 6!

Complete Street policies are ones that promote the safety of streets for all users - which includes bicyclists and pedestrians. Improving the walkability and bikability of our communities has always been a priority for Councilman Quirk.

"I’m proud of the policies that we’ve enacted in Baltimore County," Councilman Quirk said. "These policie improve our safety, encourage outdoor activity, and raise property values."  

Read coverage of this honor here, and learn more about the Complete Street policies rankings here.

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February 6, 2014

Baltimore County receives Triple-A bond ratings

Baltimore County earned three triple-A bond ratings from the top rating agencies on Wall Street. Fewer than one percent of all counties in the U.S. receive this recognition. These ratings recognize the strong fiscal responsibility exercised by the County Executive and County Council.

Read more here.

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December 6, 2013

Councilman Quirk - a Comcast Newsmaker!

Tom speaks with reporter Yolanda Vazquez about his work chairing the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC) and some of the things he loves about Southwest Baltimore County.

 

Check out the interview here, and browse the fiscal factbook that Tom talks about here. 

 

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October 16, 2013

Baltimore County Fiscal Factbook released

The Baltimore County Auditor’s office recently released their first Fiscal Fact Book.  The book contains facts related to Baltimore County’s demographics and highlights from the FY2014 budget for our schools, public works, libraries, parks, and more!  Check it out here.


By Authority, Jeff Utzinger, Treasurer, Friends of Tom Quirk