Councilman-elect Nick Mosby is on the verge of being sworn in to represent District 7 in the Baltimore City Council after doing the nearly impossible—defeating an incumbent.
“I’m excited," Mosby said. "It’s weird to work so hard for something, and something that you’ve always wanted, and once you get it you’re like ‘Oh man I have it.’ ”
Mosby, 32, who had previously served on the Democratic Central Committee and ran in District 11 before redistricting, was the only challenger to defeat an incumbent City Council member last fall. He defeated Councilwoman Belinda Conaway in the Democratic primary, and fended off her attempt to retain her seat as a write-in candidate in the general election.
On Thursday, when Mosby will be sworn in as a member of the 71st Baltimore City Council, he’ll pivot from campaigning to governing. He will be confronted with several high-profile issues ranging from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s push to increase the city’s bottle tax, privatizing city recreation centers and another budget deficit.
Sitting in his Reservoir Hill home on Tuesday, Mosby said he was confident he was ready to represent the district which covers parts of the Hampden and Medfield neighborhoods in North Baltimore.
“Well the entire time, throughout our campaign, as it related to constituent services and dealing with the neighborhood association presidents, and just understanding the issues in the community, we kind of approached it like we were already in office,” Mosby said.
But there are still issues, such as the proposed 3-cent hike in the city’s 2-cent bottle tax that Mosby is trying to figure out where he stands. That’s a departure from his predecesor Conaway, who has been a bottle tax opponent and introduced legislation trying to move up the timeline for the tax to expire.
He said that he hasn’t seen any specific legislation regarding the tax, but said he would consider almost anything that would bring more funds to Baltimore City Public Schools.
Mosby also said any decision he makes regarding the tax hike would also have to include information about the impact on businesses and the city’s economy, and that a 150 percent increase in the tax isn’t something to take lightly.
“Like I said, I haven’t seen either side, but I’m interested in seeing and hearing both sides,” he said.
Mosby will also have to keep an eye on the proposed 25th Street Station mixed use development in Remington. The project recently suffered a setback when big box home improvement retailer Lowe’s announced it was no longer interested in building a store as part of the project.
Although the development is no longer in the 7th District following redistricting this year, the project is still controversial and will have an impact on residents in neighborhoods that Mosby represents.
He said that he was hesitant to “Monday morning quarterback” any decisions regarding the project, and emphasized he viewed development in the city as a positive, but was critical of the way developers and city government reached out to his new constituents regarding the project.
“I just think we could’ve done a better job of bringing in the residents and surrounding stakeholders, meaning the small businesses, in trying to formulate the actual solution for that site. I don’t think that was done and I think the residents and business owners are upset,” Mosby said.
This article has been changed reflect that Remington is not in District 7.