Three days after taking office earlier this month, Mayor Catherine Pugh gathered her department heads for their first meeting. But instead of getting together in a board room at City Hall, she had them climb onto a charter bus and take a ride around the Westside.
Pugh’s chief spokesman, Anthony McCarthy, said in an email that the meeting “gave the mayor an opportunity to share her vision for a variety of issues such as economic development, housing, education, recreation and parks,” among other issues.
During the course of the two-hour tour, the mayor asked the leaders of nearly all of the city’s 31 agencies about specific projects they wanted to complete and suggested collaborations between departments.
Pugh actually livestreamed parts of the tour, which made stops in Mondawmin and Sandtown-Winchester, among other neighborhoods.
“Putting people together on a bus is certainly one way to start off this new government on a really, really good foot,” said Davis in a selfie video address, right before the Mayor herself video-bombed the shot.
As all of the agency heads were climbing off the bus at the end, each delivered a snippet statement about the importance of collaboration or their plans in the new mayoral administration. While the answers varied, they all seemed pretty upbeat about the format of their first meeting. “This is a great Cabinet meeting on wheels,” remarked Public Works Director Chow on his way out.
Pugh has been very busy during her first two weeks in office: She’s boldly made the case for investment in Baltimore directly to President-elect Trump; publicly supported new efforts to house the homeless and the city’s artists, gotten rid of the housing commissioner she didn’t want; and made sure the world knows she also wants police reforms to be implemented before the country gets a new attorney general, among other actions. Perhaps her first meeting gave her some of the momentum to hit the ground running.
“This is only the beginning, but what a great start,” Pugh wrote on Facebook after the tour.
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