Release: Comptroller Bill Henry Urges Voters to Support Question J

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Bill Henry
Comptroller,
Baltimore City
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-5410

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
(410) 387-5704

geoff.shannon@baltimorecity.gov

 

Baltimore, MD - Comptroller Bill Henry is urging Baltimoreans to vote for Question J, an amendment to the charter that will create a Department of Accounts Payable under the Comptroller’s office. Question J will be on the Baltimore City general election ballot and, if passed, will go into effect in January 2023.

Currently, Accounts Payable (AP) is one of three divisions in the Bureau of Accounting & Payroll Services, which is one of six bureaus that make up the Finance Department. This service is responsible for paying an average of 10,400 vendor invoices each month. AP is part of a larger payment system that begins with Procurement and coordinates closely with fiscal offices in each of the City’s agencies to ensure timely vendor payments.

If passed, question J would:

  1. Create a new Department of Accounts Payable, responsible to the Comptroller;
  2. Give the Comptroller’s office the opportunity to extend its modernization efforts to the City’s check-cutting operations; and
  3. Keep accounting and payroll duties where they are currently, under the Director of Finance.

“Given the key role that Accounts Payable plays in getting vendors, contractors and other partners paid - and the fact that the City hasn't been doing a great job of that for a while now - the Administration asked us if we'd be willing to help fix that piece of the puzzle,” Comptroller Bill Henry said. “I’m looking forward to building on the efforts that the City Administrator and the Finance Department have made in the last year to tackle systems issues, improve accountability, and modernize processes. This will enhance our system of checks and balances and take advantage of the expertise that both of our administrations have been developing.”

If voters approve the creation, the head of the Department of Accounts Payable would be appointed by the Comptroller and report to the Comptroller through the Deputy Comptroller, Erika McClammy. The Deputy Comptroller also oversees the Departments of Audits, Telecommunications, and the Municipal Post Office.

"The Comptroller oversees four agencies, while the Mayor is responsible for more than two dozen,” explained Deputy Comptroller Erika McClammy. “Our team has more bandwidth to bring more high-level attention to properly assessing current performance, determining what needs to be done differently, and then implementing whatever changes are identified - culture shift, process modernization, etc.”

The Baltimore Sun editorial board published supportive commentary of Question J earlier this summer: “A city that can meet its obligation to vendors might just be a city that can hold its police officers accountable, that can chip away at substandard housing and improve the quality of life, that can attract employers and support public education — and maybe, just maybe, reduce gun violence.”

Prior to getting on the ballot, the City Council unanimously approved the enabling legislation, 22-0242 Charter Amendment - Accounts Payable, in June 2022. It was signed by the Mayor in August.

How to Vote:

The election will be held on November 8, 2022. Early Voting will take place from Thursday, October 27, 2022 through Thursday, November 3, 2022 from 7am until 8 pm.

The deadline to register to vote is October 18, 2022.

Your request for a mail-in ballot for the Gubernatorial General Election must be received by November 1, 2022.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked or placed in a designated ballot drop box by 8 pm on November 8, 2022 for the Gubernatorial General Election.

More information on the 2022 General Election can be found here: https://elections.maryland.gov/elections/2022/index.html

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