A Nemesis Gains Audience With The Commissioners

February 06, 1991|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

The way Peggy T. Gordon sees it, government in this county is unfair, arbitrary and unconcerned with personal rights.

And, for a half-hour tomorrow afternoon, the unsuccessful candidate for County Commissioner is going to bring her view of Carroll government to the commissioners.

"I don't want anything that anybody else in Carroll County isn't entitled to," said the 63-year-old Sykesville real estate broker and erstwhile caterer. "But I don't want anything else."

For Gordon, dealing with the county's elected leaders certainly is nothing new; a string of lawsuits dating back some 14 years has kept her in constantcontact with at least three boards of Commissioners.

And now she's beginning a relationship with a fourth.

"At least the new ones (Commissioner President Donald I. Dell and Vice President Elmer C. Lippy Jr.) exhibit the tendency to listen," she said. "They do at least seem concerned about their constituency."

Gordon's meeting tomorrow will focus on the lawsuit she filed against the last board of Commissioners in July, a case where she says the county arbitrarily enforced laws in 1989 when it cited her and her husband for the storage of three cars without license plates on their 15-acre tract on Strawbridge Terrace.

That suit is scheduled for a hearing in Carroll CountyCircuit Court on Feb. 19.

Her other suits have sprung from disputes she and her husband, Irvin, have had with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission has turned down requests for both a private croquet and bridge club and for a gourmet restaurant. The Gordons have said the county turned down those projects because officials "act in an unconstitutional manner."

In both instances, Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. upheld the county's decision.

The lawsuit and her views on the role of government are on the table for her meeting with the commissioners.

When she meets with the three commissioners, she will be the first person to be given a half-hour just to chat.

And it was a half-hour given to her very reluctantly.

"I have not the foggiest idea of what Peggy is going tosay," said Lippy. "She has every right to talk to us.

"Frankly, Ihope it's worth it. We're giving her more time than we give our department heads."

Department heads routinely are given 15 minutes twice a week with the commissioners.

Lippy said the meeting also could serve as a way to try to diffuse the litigious relationship betweenthe Gordons and the County Commissioners.

"I am going to exert every ounce of my charm, and maybe Peggy will drop it," he said. "But Idon't suspect that charm will work."

For Dell, the meeting with Gordon gives him a chance to prove that he and his colleagues are openand accessible.

"I guess we'll find out how she thinks governmentshould work," he said. "She pops in and out of here with her concerns and doesn't take no for an answer. We are trying to be open with all of the citizens."

Gordon sees the meeting as a chance to let this board of Commissioners know that she doesn't take no for an answer,ever.

"I am not going to just sit here and take all this garbage," she said, referring to her legal battles with the county. "I feel right is right, wrong is wrong, and I will follow this through all the way to the end."

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