Civic Group Meets, Learns It's No Group Papers Had Been Filed Earlier That Day . . . Dissolving The 32-year-old North County Umbrella Organization.

October 26, 1990|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

It seemed like business as usual Monday at the monthly meeting of the United Council of Civic Associations.

Two letters were read into the minutes and members heard a lengthy presentation by a former school board member opposing the tax cap proposal that will appear on county ballots Nov. 6.

One would have never known from attending the meeting that the UCCA no longer exists.

In fact no one attending the meeting -- not even the acting president -- was aware that papers had been filed earlier that day with the state Department of Assessments and Taxation dissolving the 32-year-old North County umbrella organization.

Both UCCA acting President Marge Huggins and Betsy Wirick -- a former board member whose name appears as "agent" on the papers dissolving the UCCA -- declined to comment yesterday, saying they wanted to discuss it with their lawyers.

"I'm going to get a copy of whatever was filed and see what . . . it says. We'll go on from there," said Huggins' lawyer, Charles E. Bienemann Jr.

Confusion over whether the UCCA exists has reigned since an emergency meeting June 18 when a majority of representatives from the dozen community associations that then made up the UCCA voted to disband the association, claiming it had become too confrontational.

Several civic associations were miffed by a deal worked out between the UCCA and the Chessie System Railroad (CSX), known as the "Chessie Deal."

That agreement allowed CSX to build 2,272 single-family homes and condominiums in the Tanyard Cove area in exchange for donating 125 acres of parks and a dump site for sediment from polluted Marley Creek.

The rift was aggravated earlier this year when the faction that opposed the Chessie deal tried to disband the UCCA.

Six of the 10 member associations present -- Cottage Grove, Riviera Beach, Stony View, Twin Coves, Pine Grove and Margate -- voted to dissolve the 32-year-old civic association.

The Glen Burnie Improvement Association, the largest member, voted to maintain the council.

Suburbia, Point Pleasant and Orchard Beach representatives abstained from the vote, claiming it was illegal. Mount Pleasant Beach and Greenhaven were not present.

UCCA members from Glen Burnie, Suburbia and Point Pleasant, disregarding the vote, continued to meet once a month, choosing new officers and welcoming five new community associations from Glen Burnie and Pasadena into their fold to replace the ones that dropped out.

The five new organizations were Dundee, the Maryland Waste Coalition, Shore Land, the Marley Creek Improvement Committee and Marley Area Improvement Association.

Officers from the old UCCA maintained that the new moves were all illegal since they were made without the quorum of five legal associations.

The new UCCA officials, citing a legal opinion rejecting the June vote, changed the bylaws in July to allow a quorum of three to "legitimize" their cabinet.

The new UCCA officials also maintain that since most of the old UCCA officers have resigned, they have no say over the changes.

Apparently that didn't stop two of the former officers from going to the state Department of Assessments and Taxation last Monday and signing the organization out of existence, said Paul Anderson, the department's corporate administrator.

Anderson said the officers swore under the penalties of perjury that the organization had legally dissolved itself.

Wirick said she and other former UCCA board members had contacted several lawyers before filing the papers of dissolution.

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