Voters may not get the chance to decide how often city agencies are audited after all.
The City Council Monday voted down the amendment to the City Charter 8-7, but City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young sent the bill sent back to the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee.
"I’m almost too stunned to speak," Councilman Carl Stokes Stokes said before casting his vote and after enough of his colleagues voted against the bill.
Stokes is the sponsor of the bill, which would have required that every city agency undergo an audit every other year. Currently, agencies do not undergo regular audits.
Council members such as Bill Cole, Bob Curran and Nick Mosby voted against the bill, but voiced support for the concept of auditing city agencies.
"This is a difficult issue for me because I believe this city should be auditing every city agency as often as possible," Cole said.
Ultimately opponents argued that they were concerned about the cost of the audits, suggested that such an important issue shouldn’t be handed to the voters through a charter amendment and sought more time to consider the bill.
"There needs to be time for more discussion," Mosby said.
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke argued for the audits and called it "the transparency issue of the season" in Baltimore.
"My district wants this bill on the ballot," Clarke said. "It’s time we found out where our money is."
How Your Council members voted:
- Councilman Bill Henry, York Road Corridor, voted in favor of the audits.
- Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, Mt. Washington, North Roland Park and Poplar Hill voted against the audits.
- Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, Roland Park, Cross Keys and Evergreen voted against the audits.
- Councilman Nick Mosby, Hampden, Medfield and Hoes Heights voted against the audits.
- Councilman Carl Stokes, Charles Village and Remington, voted in favor of the audits.
- Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, Hampden, Roland Park and Tuscany-Canterbury, voted in favor of the audits.