Johnny Olszewski, Jr. – a Dundalk native who grew up in St. Helena and the current Baltimore County Executive – announced his re-election bid this morning.
In a video to supporters, Oszewski said he and his administration shared a vision for a more efficient Baltimore County, referring to his initial election bid launched in 2017.
Back in 2018, Olszewski won the Democratic nomination for County Executive by a narrow 17 votes and went on to defeat GOP opponent Al Redmer, a former state delegate, in the general election.
So far, Olszewski is the only candidate in the 2022 County Executive race. The Eagle reached out to both the Baltimore County Republican Party and the Baltimore County Libertarian Party, whom have yet to have any candidates announce an election bid.
Proposed record education funding
Olszewski said that his administration has delivered on that promise, naming off a series of accomplishments from this current term. One of those accomplishments he cited is record education funding. The Olszewski Administration has proposed a $2.05 billion Baltimore County Public Schools budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which begins on Oct. 1.
The proposed funding includes $50.8 million for future school construction projects. As many as 122 teaching positions would be restored if Olszewski’s education budget is approved by the Baltimore County Council. In addition, full funding would be provided for step increases and cost of living adjustments (COLA) for BCPS staff.
Olszewski’s budget proposal also includes $16 million for a new fire station and police substation in Sparrows Point, and would provide enough funding to supply all County law enforcement officers with body-worn cameras.
Olszewski told supporters in an email that “(s)ustainability and equity have become a part of our culture, values embedded as a critical lens through which we view every decision” and that the county is “consistently touted as a statewide and national leader on our response to the worst global health crisis of our time,” referring to climate change.
Last month, he announced an aggressive sustainability goal, aiming for 100 percent of Baltimore County’s electricity demand to be met with solar energy. That number is projected to increase to 125 percent by 2030. He also recently appointed the county’s first ever chief sustainability officer, and restarted a glass recycling program that had been sidelined in 2013.
A more transparent government
Shortly after taking office more than two years ago, Olszewski vowed to make the Baltimore County Government more accessible and transparent. Since that time, an online dashboard has been created that allows residents to follow every public dollar spent. His office created the county’s first Office of the Inspector General – a resource with intent to find and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.
Shortly after taking office, Olszewski introduced his budget town hall series, which allows each district’s representative and himself to listen to needs and concerns from residents. Olszewski and County Councilman Todd Crandell, R-7, met virtually with 7th District residents earlier this year. The county’s ethics commission oversees Olszewski’s lobbying reform – requiring lobbyists to file registration forms, as well as reports that show lobbying activities from year to year.
Olszewski is a graduate of Sparrows Point High School. He was a school teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts before winning election as a state delegate in 2006. He served in the Maryland General Assembly until 2015.
Olszewski has not yet filed his re-election bid with the Maryland Board of Elections. Prospective candidates have until Feb. 23, 2022, to file.