Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Departure of City Finance Director Harry Black, Names Henry Raymond as Replacement

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Brandon M. Scott
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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Departure of City Finance Director Harry Black, Names Henry Raymond as Replacement

BALTIMORE, Md. (July 30, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the departure of Baltimore City Finance Director Harry Black and appointed Henry Raymond, the City's current deputy director of finance as Black's replacement. The transition is effective August 20, 2014. Mr. Black will serve as city manager in Cincinnati, Ohio—pending approval by the Cincinnati City Council. 

"I would like to thank Mr. Black for his dedicated service to my administration and the City of Baltimore," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "A lead architect of the City's first 10-Year Financial Plan, Mr. Black has helped put Baltimore's finances, and overall government, back on a sustainable path as we continue to grow our city. Our budgets are back in the black, we have made more progress in property tax reduction than any administration in recent history, and we have cut our long-term structural deficit by half. We wish Harry the very best." 

Standard and Poor (S&P) recently upgraded Baltimore City's bond rating to AA from AA-, signaling the City's first increase in seven years. S&P rated Baltimore City's finances as "stable," citing "strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity due to its proactive management team and demonstrated willingness to cut expenditures to maintain balanced operations." The increase puts Baltimore in the same standing as other big cities like New York, and ahead of Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Under the 10-Year Financial Plan, Baltimore City has cut roughly $300 million from the City's long-term structural deficit of $750 million, while making critical investments in education, infrastructure, and job creation. 

"Baltimore is in the midst of a public financial renaissance," said Harry Black. "I am humbled to have been part of this movement, and I am confident that the City of Baltimore will continue to grow under Henry Raymond's strong financial leadership." 

Raymond has served as the City's deputy director of finance since 2010. In this capacity, he is responsible for day-to-day administration of the department's five bureaus, including the Office of Risk Management. Raymond has more than 30 years of state and local government experience, including service in the Maryland Governor's Office during the administrations of Governors William Donald Schaefer and Parris Glendening. Raymond is also a former chief financial officer for the Baltimore City Public School System, where he oversaw a budget of $1 billion. 

"Henry is exceptionally qualified to continue moving Baltimore City in the right direction," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Over the years, as we have grappled to put the City on a sustainable financial path, I have often relied on his wise counsel, and I can't think of a more dedicated public servant for the citizens of Baltimore."

Raymond obtained an undergraduate degree in Public Administration from North Carolina A & T State University, a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, and a graduate degree in Business Management from Bowie State University. He has also completed the accounting coursework required to qualify for CPA candidacy. 

"I am honored to continue my service in the Rawlings-Blake Administration," said Raymond. "Baltimore continues to make exceptional progress under this mayor's leadership. Many cities have looked to Baltimore as a guide for good stewardship of city finances and Mayor Rawlings-Blake deserves a great deal of credit for keeping us on the right path." 

In recognition of his long-serving work to improve City services and make city government more efficient, Raymond was the 2013 recipient of the City's Richard A. Lidinsky, Sr. Award for Excellence in Public Service.

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