Bel Air's Dave Carey opts not to run for another term as commissioner

An election is under way in the Town of Bel Air, but it might be a quiet one. With Commissioner David E. Carey choosing not to seek another four-year term, the two candidates who filed before the deadline are all but guaranteed the two open seats on the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners, making the election just a formality. (Aegis)

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Oct. 8 // Audit splits mayor, Pratt

Chronic mistakes in Baltimore's tax bills commanded attention at City Hall Monday as the mayor said her administration is fixing the problems and the comptroller ordered an audit nonetheless. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city is implementing an automated system to reduce mistakes — which officials acknowledged have cost the city $11 million in the past decade — and she asked citizens to give finance officials "a chance to work." But a City Council chairman called for an audit, and Comptroller Joan M. Pratt said her office has asked for the documents needed to perform one. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Republican Party hires former Steele aide Joe Cluster as its new executive director

Joe Cluster, a onetime aide to former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R), has taken over as the new executive director of the Maryland Republican Party. Maryland GOP Chairwoman Diana Waterman on Monday announced the hiring of Cluster, 34, who fills an opening left by David Ferguson’s resignation in late August. “It’s been a job that I’ve always wanted,” said Cluster, a Maryland native and son of Del. John W.E. Cluster Jr. (R-Baltimore County). (Wash. Post)

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House Speaker Michael Busch to endorse Anthony Brown in Maryland governor’s race

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) is scheduled to pick up his latest endorsement for governor this week from House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who rarely endorses in Democratic primaries, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. Brown has credited Busch (D-Anne Arundel) with being a mentor during his days in the House of Delegates. In 2004, Busch elevated Brown, then a second-term member from Prince George’s County, to majority whip — a leadership position that facilitated Brown’s rapid rise in Maryland politics. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore Co., AFSCME agree on contract 

Baltimore County and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have reached a new labor agreement through FY 16, June 30, 2016, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Monday. The new contract passed by an overwhelming margin, 127-58. There are 743 Pay Schedule II employees represented by the AFSCME bargaining unit, who are employed in the Department of Public Works and Property Management. (Daily Record)

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Neuman pulls health care proposal to make way for Benoit bill

Less than a week after proposing sweeping change to address what she called an "unsustainable" retiree health care system for county employees, Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman has withdrawn her plan. As soon as Neuman's bill was introduced at Monday's County Council meeting in Annapolis, it was withdrawn at her request to make way for a proposal by County Councilman Jamie Benoit, who like Neuman is calling for longer terms of service before employees are eligible for health care in retirement, and also changes in county contributions for such plans. (Balt. Sun)

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Candidates report funds for final month before election

With a month until the Nov. 5 election, Frederick city candidates reported a combined total of about $75,000 remaining to spend to get their message out, according to the campaign finance reports that were due at noon Monday. Money will not necessarily make the difference, said the candidates in the mayoral race with the most money and the least. Democratic candidate Alderwoman Karen Young reported $18,398 on hand, and former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty, running as an independent, reported $6,285. (News-Post)

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Oct. 7 // Candidates for governor pledge tax cuts

Several candidates for governor — a Democrat and three Republicans — said Friday that they would cut taxes to improve Maryland's business image and revive its ailing manufacturing sector. The three Republican candidates and Democratic Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler each promised tax relief in different forms as they appeared at a forum sponsored by the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland. (Balt. Sun)

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