Budget hearings are ongoing in Maryland’s capital, where leaders all around the MONSE or the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement has had to endure many questions regarding sustainability from members of the community of the City Council.
The leaving Exec Director, Shantay Jackson, has held many questions up for open answer as they went on to talk about the expansive payroll of the public safety dilemma, as well as long-term funding. Within the budget presentation, MONSE holds about 45 budgeted positions. Out of them all, about 19 are funded via the American Rescue Plan Act. In which case, some members from city council, like Nick Mosby, have been raising concerns about what could happen to the staff as soon as the ARPA dollars dry up around budget year 2025.
Councilman Eric Costello, from the budget hearing, has asked the size of which MONSE is known to grow, making note of how there had been about 33 positions in the agency, that indicate how large MONSE could really be, while the buildout is approximate to where the services are offered.
Jackson is making about $223,000 every year.
Throughout the presentation, many queries had been raised about the GVRS or the Group Violence Reduction Strategy. This is an effort to stop gang violence in the city of Baltimore by offering an out for participants. Yet, because of resources being pulled, it’s dubious whether the program is doing any actual good. There’s a 25.4% reduction in violence as of yet.
The MONSE agency also oversees the Safe Streets Program: an effort to stop gun violence. Eight various non-profits had previously managed the ten locations but has since dwindled down to Catholic Charities and LifeBridge Health.
The Final Budget has until June 26th, 2023. Jackson and MONSE haven’t a specific name on who can lead after her departure, yet.