Ernie Grecco, President of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, urges his members to go to the polls on Tuesday, September 14th to elect Joe Bartenfelder as the new Baltimore County Executive. Click on the text below to read the letter from Ernie.
Baltimore County Executive
- Political Party: Democratic
- Birthdate: 01/03/1957
- Education: Towson University, BS, Business Administration, 1978
- Political Experience: Baltimore County Council; House of Delegates
- Professional Experience: Bartenfelder Farms, owner/operator
“We need to lead by example.”
Joseph Bartenfelder’s Blog
In 28 years of public service I have never voted for a tax increase. I was the only councilman to vote against my own pension increase and salary hike.
In today’s tough economic times, our pension system is not making money. We have asked our everyday full-time employees to make concessions, and their families have made those sacrifices. Why shouldn’t we?
My pension bill would collectively save the County nearly $2 million. Based on an auditor’s report:
- It would raise the retirement age for a council pension from age 55 to age 60
- If a council member served 4 terms or more, he would be eligible at age 55—not at any age, as is the current law
- It would affect the current veteran council members who have served 4 or more terms, by requiring an early payback if a member wanted to collect at age 55
- This bill would enact a maximum 60% cap linked to the Executive salary, which would prevent anyone from collecting a pension of more than $100,000 per year
As a small businessman, I have been meeting a payroll for more than 30 years. I understand what working families and business owners need to succeed. I have applied that experience as a businessman throughout my career to streamline government and keep spending in check, and I will continue to do so when I am Baltimore County Executive.
It’s time to lead by example.
We’re at a critical time for Baltimore County and the voters have clear a choice. My campaign for Baltimore County Executive has been all about issues that are vital to you, and how my record of accomplishment qualifies me to help move our County forward for the next four years. I will continue to conduct a positive campaign with honesty and integrity.
Along with Jobs, Public Safety and Education are my highest priorities. Our education system is one of the best in the nation. With an educated work force we can attract new jobs, and our tax base will continue to grow.
As a former teacher, I know firsthand what students need to excel. In spite of having 65% of our high school graduates go to college, a large percentage (35%) do not. We need to meet their needs also.
Teachers and administrators from all over the county agree with me that we could do much better in providing the technical training in the vocational fields to better prepare these students to be productive wage earners in the workplace.
I have a plan to construct two new technical / vocational schools in the Northeast and Northwest areas of the county that would provide these students with an interest in education and the training they need. At the same time these new schools would alleviate overcrowding in Perry Hall, Loch Raven, Towson, Dulaney, Woodlawn, Randallstown and Milford Mill.
I also have a plan to attract jobs to Baltimore County and create new business opportunities. I have pin-pointed three areas in the county that are ripe for expanded economic development
- The Route 43 Expansion to Eastern Avenue, which is ideal for attracting B.R.A.C. related businesses and jobs in other high-tech related fields
- An entertainment / cultural destination business district in The Liberty Road Corridor of Randallstown
- The Lockheed redevelopment at Dark Head Cove, which, along with The Federal Depot site across from Martin State Airport could provide more than 1,000 jobs
Public Safety has been one of my areas of expertise for many years. I have been honored to receive the endorsements of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police and the Baltimore County Firefighters Association.
I work very closely with my constituents to try to make sure they have the personnel and equipment they need. For example:
- When the northern part of the Sixth District showed a need for additional police as the population grew, I obtained funds to add more officers to the force.
- When the community indicated a need for underground water tanks to fight fires in rural areas of my district where no large water source was available, I obtained funding for the Baltimore County Fire Department-Water Storage Tank Program.
I have always been an advocate for green initiatives while on the County Council. I voted for legislation to protect scenic view sheds by camouflaging cell phone towers, and to protect watersheds in Baltimore County. I have been active in preserving thousands of acres of farmland by helping to acquire more funding for the Agricultural Land Preservation Program. On my own farm I have a nutrient management program approved by the State of Maryland to protect the environment.
The primary is September 14th and I hope the more you find out about me, the more energized you will feel about the election. There are a lot of great videos on You Tube about our campaign, and our new web site is coming soon.