Rolley unveils plan to 'rebuild' city government
Mayoral candidate Otis Rolley is slated Wednesday to release his plan to "rebuild" city government by cutting high-ranking staffers, requiring new or promoted municipal workers to live in Baltimore and performing random anonymous checks of city services.
Rolley says he wants to "increase... the public's faith in how government makes decisions" by forcing disclosures of contributions from contractors and subcontractors and barring major donors from receiving no-bid contracts or participating in powerful boards.
"If you’re serious about a open and transparent government and if you're truly respectful of the citizens as your customers and your bosses then you do things differently," Rolley said in an interview.
Rolley, who served as the city's planning director under then-Mayor Martin O'Malley for four years and as former Mayor Sheila Dixon's chief of staff for one year, plans to present his plan tomorrow afternoon at his campaign headquarters in Hampden.
In the seven-page proposal, Rolley says he would eliminate the two deputy mayor positions, which currently have a salaries over $100,000.
"The mayor needs to hire competent, qualified courageous [agency heads] and deal with them directly," he said.
Rolley said he would require more detailed disclosures from lobbyists working in the city and require contractors and subcontractors bidding for city work to disclose all political donations. He would also prevent companies that donate more than $10,000 to receive no-bid city contracts.
"I want to be sure there isn't the illusion or even the appearance of someone being able to buy business with the city," he said.
Rolley would also require the city to seek competitive bids for all non-emergency contracts larger than $25,000 -- limiting "sole source" contracts -- which he said would provide more opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses.
He would also employ "secret testers" of city services, similar to secret shoppers.
"When you're paying the highest tax rate in the state, I think its appropriate... to raise the bar," said Rolley.
Rawlings-Blake's campaign manager, declined to respond to the specifics of Rolley's proposal.
"Mr. Rolley who served as Sheila Dixon's chief of staff is a latecomer to ethics reform.," said campaign manager Travis Tazelaar, reading from a prepared statement. "This mayor has led the way since her first day in office as Baltimore's mayor 15 months ago."
Rolley said that he made the planning office more efficient while he was at its helm, eliminating management positions, among other initiatives. And he says that he was limited in his power to reform government in his role as chief of staff.
"There's a difference between implementing my agenda and implementing someone else's agenda," he said. "What you have in front of you is my agenda."