Timonium planning group selected

September 21, 1990|By Dale Austin | Dale Austin,Sun Staff Correspondent

LAUREL -- Maryland Racing Commission member John H. Mosner Jr. has been named chairman of a planning committee to study and make recommendations on Timonium Race Course and the state fair.

The eight-member committee, consisting of Mosner, five members of the board of the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society -- which operates the fair and races -- and two persons not associated with racing, will study options available at the fairgrounds.

Mosner, 64, is president of Mercantile Bankshares Inc. and a racing fan. He served as treasurer of the Timonium board until appointed to the racing commission in 1987.

The outsiders are Michael Chesser, vice president of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., and Russell Rourke, former Secretary of the Air Force.

Timonium board members on the committee are Charles Fenwick Jr., noted steeplechase rider and trainer; Austin Kenly, former president of Hutzler Brothers; Marlin Hoff, who has an extensive dairy operation; Gerry Grewster, an attorney who recently won the Democratic nomination for a seat in the General Assembly; and Max Mosner, vice president and general manager of the fair and the track. John and Max Mosner are not related.

John Tortura, secretary of the board, will be an ex-officio member of the committee.

The committee will consider the impact of several actions proposed over the years, such as moving the fair farther north in Baltimore County on less expensive land and selling the property along York Road, which has been valued as high as $100 million.

Other proposals have been to abolish the 10-day race meeting for more advantageous use, such as seeking law changes to conduct intertrack betting on nightly harness racing from Rosecroft Raceway and permit Baltimore Blast owner Ed Hale to build a 20,000-seat arena there for the Major Soccer League team.

Hale also is considering using part of a proposed domed stadium for Blast games if a National Football League franchise is awarded to Baltimore.

Grove Miller, president of the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society, selected the panel.

"I haven't given them any deadlines," Miller said yesterday. "We'll go ahead and apply for racing dates in 1991 and continue to make plans for a race meeting. I have no idea what their recommendations will be or how our board would react."

Miller and John Mosner said the committee will make recommendations only. The 31-member fair board is the only group with authority to take action.

Mosner said he studied racing law and decided that his appointment would not represent a conflict of interest.

"The law in effect says a commissioner can't have any financial interest in a track, and I don't," he said. "Besides, this is only a planning committee. I don't have any vote. Anything that I would recommend, the board could ignore."

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