By Nicholas Sterling
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
A bill to provide affordable housing to Baltimore City residents that originally passed the City Council during its Oct. 29 meeting has been recalled from the mayor’s office.
City Councilman John Bullock clarified why the bill needed to be recalled during its regular meeting on Monday. The bill, described as an historic agreement, requires the City to allocate, within the next five years, at least $20 million annually to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The Trust Fund, also known as the Recordation and Transfer Taxes Surtax, will be funded through a combination of legislation from the City Council, general obligation bonds, and other revenue sources.
“When the initial bill was passed, there was a language that we initially had then the agreement between the administration and succession was revised and the language was not double checked,” Bullock said.
Confusion was raised on why the bill was being revoked and what the members of the council were voting on. After Council member Bill Henry asked if the vote could be moved to the Dec. 3 meeting, members of the council were confused on whether they were voting on moving the vote to Dec. 3 or voting to recall the bill from the mayor’s office.
Council President Jack Young gave his clarification before one final vote.
“We are voting to recall the bill from the mayor’s office,” Young said after a 20-minute discussion. “In order to fix the bill, it needs to be recalled, fixed and then passed forward.”
In other action, the council recognized three police officers:
• Officer Silas Phillips, a member of the Baltimore Environmental Police, was honored for apprehending three suspects after a pharmacy robbery in May 2015. He was given the Carroll County Sheriff’s award for his heroism in March 2016.
• Officers Tony Clark and Martin Smith were recognized for meritorious behavior.