The Accountability Index | WYPR

The Accountability Index

Credit Artondra Hall

Welcome to The Accountability Index, Maryland Morning host Tom Hall’s monthly series of conversations with reporters from the online investigative daily, the Baltimore Brew, in which they discuss emerging issues of fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government.

Since we began the series in November 2015, Brew  founder and editor Fern Shen and reporter Mark Reutter have joined Tom Hall in the studio to talk about construction delays and budget overages on local road projects; the status of Baltimore’s audit process; the new Port Covington development being proposed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank; and how the candidates for Baltimore mayor have been raising, spending, and accounting for the money that fuels their campaigns. You can find those and future installments of The Accountability Index posted here.

Baltimore Brew

Time  for another installment of The Accountability Index, our monthly series of conversations with the reporters of the investigative online news journal, The Baltimore Brew. Today, veteran city reporter Mark Reutter joins Tom in the studio to give us the real numbers on Baltimore's vacants - those dilapidated buildings that dot the landscape of so many neighborhoods.  They were a hot topic in the mayoral campaign.  But Mark -- who's been covering this issue for 40 years -- says the real number of vacant and abandoned houses has been seriously under-reported by city agencies and the media.  Why the discrepancy? And how have city leaders allowed this problem to fester for so long?

Fern Shen / Baltimore Brew

We begin with this month’s installment of the Accountability Index -- our series of conversations with reporters from the Baltimore Brew, in which we examine issues of fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government.  The Baltimore Development Corporation has recommended a $535 million dollar bond deal to help Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank realize his dream of a city-within-a-city in Port Covington.  The BDC made the call in meetings in which the press and the public weren’t allowed.  Was that a violation of Open Meeting Laws?  To discuss that question, and the complex financial issues at the heart of the development, Tom talks with Fern Shen of The Baltimore Brew and freelance reporter Joan Jacobson.

Time for another installment of The Accountability Index -- our monthly conversation with reporters from The Baltimore Brew about fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government. Today, we take a look at campaign financing in the race for Baltimore Mayor.  We follow the money, and ask: Does it all add up? Tom's guest is Brew reporter Mark Reutter, who has been looking into the unusually large number of amendments former Mayor and 2016 candidate Sheila Dixon has made to correct the reports she has filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections over the past 10 years.

Under Armour

We begin today with this month’s installment of the Accountability Index, our series with reporters from the Baltimore Brew, in which we examine issues of fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government.  We began this series in November and discussed construction delays and budget overages on local road projects.  Last month, reporter Mark Reutter told us about the status of Baltimore’s audit process.  This morning, Fern Shen, the editor and publisher of the Baltimore Brew, and Ed Gunts, a reporter with long experience covering planning and architectural issues, join Tom to talk about a massive development project in Port Covington being proposed by the Sagamore Development Company, the real estate arm of Under Armour and its CEO, Kevin Plank.   

Yianni Mathioudakis // Flickr Creative Commons

The Accountability Index is our monthly series of conversations with reporters from Baltimore Brew, in which we examine issues of fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government. Last month, we talked about construction delays and budget overages on some local road projects.

This morning, Baltimore Brew's senior writer, Mark Reutter, joins Tom to talk about the city’s broken audit process. Reutter has been reporting in the Baltimore area since 1970, when he started as police reporter at the old Evening Sun.  He worked a variety of urban beats for the Baltimore Sun papers before joining the Brew.

Fern Shen - Baltimore Brew

Tom talks with investigative reporter Mark Reutter from Baltimore Brew -- an on-line news source that focuses on local issues -- in the first of a series of occasional conversations with Brew reporters here on  Maryland Morning that we're calling The Accountability Index.  Much of Brew’s coverage has to do with holding local and state officials accountable for a variety of taxpayer expenditures, and our hope is to zero in on certain projects, and explore how public funds are being spent; to find out, simply, if we’re getting our money’s worth. Today, Tom and Mark talk about a couple of controversial Baltimore city road projects.