The Westminster City Council proposal to strip the mayor of his power by hiring a city manager would leave Mayor W. Benjamin Brown the only figurehead executive in Carroll. Although Brown says he supports the idea of a manager, he opposed the ordinance before the council because it removes his power to oversee city departments by having the council appoint and supervise the manager.
Low voter turnout results in an election with few surprises, but there were a few mild shocks; Senate District 5 Republican candidate Larry E.
Haines defeats Sharon W. Hornberger, R-Carroll, Baltimore. County Commissioner hopeful Donald I. Dell, a Westminster farmer, won the Republican primary, outdistancing second-place finisher and lone incumbent Julia W. Gouge by nearly 1,000 votes. Board of Education challenger Joseph D. Mish Jr. topped two-term incumbent Robert L. Fletcher in the school board primary, 5596 to 5133.
Traffic worries planners
The Mount Airy Planning Commission reviews a study conducted by the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments and finds some startling traffic predictions. Traffic volumes will double and triple on some town streets by the end of the century. The study projected an increase in daily traffic from the current 2,530 vehicles to 20,830 in 1999 on Twin Arch Road. It also predicted a jump from 4,780 to 13,140 vehicles on Ridgeville Boulevard between Ridge Road and Main Street.
Controversy on annexation
Mount Airy residents are fuming over a plan to annex 81 acres, currently zoned for agriculture, that would allow a developer to build 120 to 260 town houses and apartments. But the Town Council is studying the annexation request because the developer says the land could provide lots of water to the town, which is struggling to meet its water needs. Some of the 120 people who attended a public hearing pleaded with the council not to approve the annexation simply to obtain water.
No impact fee increase
In a surprise move, the County Commissioners grant a reprieve to developers and citizens who want to build homes in Carroll by deciding not to increase impact fees. The move followed almost a year of debate on the issue. Commissioner Julia W. Gouge cited a slumping economy and real estate market as one reason for rejecting the proposal.
An 18-inch Caiman alligator disappears from a plastic wading pool in the yard of a Mount Airy couple, only to reappear unharmed a month later. Wayne Kuster -- an animal control officer with Montgomery County -- and his girlfriend, Kim Sabel, had scoured their yard looking for 1-year-old Spot.
The increasing popularity of such exotic pets is prompting the County Commissioners to work on legislation that would set guidelines on keeping such animals.
Police seek driver
The Carroll County Sheriff's Department is searching for the driver of a black pickup that police believe caused a multicar accident on Route 30 near Tracy's Mill Road that left one man dead and others injured. James R.
Cottrell, 43, of Manchester, died of injuries received in the accident, which occurred when the truck, traveling southbound on Route 30, made a left turn into the parking lot of Piper's Wine and Spirit Barn. A police deputy said the truck failed to yield the right of way to a northbound car in which Cottrell was a passenger. The car skidded across the center line into the path of a van, and then the van and car hit a parked truck.
Alford plea entered
Fearing that she could face harsher punishment if convicted of first-degree murder but steadfastly maintaining her innocence, former Mount Airy resident Gloria E. Crutchfield enters an "Alford" plea to manslaughter in Garrett County Circuit Court. With such a plea, she acknowledges that the state has enough evidence to convict her but does not admit guilt.
Crutchfield, 37, was charged with first-degree murder in the 1987 shooting death of her live-in boyfriend, William Richard Lawrence, 46.
Day-care task force
County Commissioner Julia W. Gouge starts a task force to encourage more licensed day-care homes while controlling the impact on towns and neighborhoods. In the meantime the Carroll State's Attorney's Office is launching a crackdown on people who provide day care in their homes without a license.
A resident of Moxley Street in Mount Airy reports to state police and animal control officers that her cat was shot with an arrow. The cat, Weasel, dragged himself home, and the owner removed the arrow and took the cat to an animal hospital for treatment.
City buys club land
Members of the Taneytown Rod and Gun Club, fearing that an inevitable push of development could ruin their Stumptown Road property, decide to sell it to the city. The rapidly growing city will pay $365,000 for the wooded 20-acre parcel with a three-acre stocked pond and use it as a park.
"With this park, we can always be sure we have some open space to offer our residents," says City Manager Neal W. Powell.