Council Considers Candidates For Charter Committee

Hearing To Examine Choices For Revision Commission

May 06, 1991|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

Former councilman Theodore J. Sophocleus, lobbyist Bruce Bereano and tax-revolt leader Robert Schaeffer are among the candidates the County Council will consider tonight for the job of updating the county charter.

A hearing on a resolution appointing the five-member Decennial Charter Revision Commission is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

Council members predict a lively and perhaps contentious session.

"There's going to be an awful lot of controversy" over the appointments, predicted Councilwoman Diane R.Evans,R-Arnold.

Evans and the only other Republican council member, Carl G. "Dutch" Holland of Pasadena, are determined that two Republicans serve on the commission. But the five Democratic councilors have their own ideas about the makeup of this important panel.

FOR THE RECORD - In yesterday's story about the formation of a five-member county charter revision commission, the name of one applicant was incorrect.
John F. Beck, a member of the County Republican Central Committee, is one of 12 declared candidates the County Council will consider. The council may consider other residents as well.

"You can throw out the political affiliation thing in my book," said Councilman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville. "I want five conservatives onthat board. (Political) party doesn't mean a thing."

Councilman Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, also discounted the partisan political issue, saying he wants to make sure women and blacks are represented.

Only Holland has said who he plans to appoint -- Schaeffer, the leader of the Anne Arundel Taxpayers Association, who also was electedlast fall to the Republican Central Committee.

"Who knows more about the charter than me?" Schaeffer said last week. He said he becamean expert on county government while developing a charter proposal to limit property tax revenues.

Boschert said Friday he will not support Schaeffer, or any other elected official.

"Why should we putpolitics before the people's needs?" he asked. "We had people from the Democratic Central Committee who wanted to be on it, and we discouraged them.

"I think it's an outrage to put political hacks in this most important commission. That's like putting a fox in the henhouse."

Realistically, Schaeffer said, "I think I probably have one vote."

Besides Schaeffer, those who have submitted resumes to the council include:

* Theodore J. Sophocleus, the former two-term councilman from Linthicum who narrowly lost the executive's race to Nealllast fall.

* Robert Agee, a Democrat and former chief aide to former County Executive O. James Lighthizer.

* Mark Anderson, a Democrat who served as Lighthizer's campaign manager.

He served on the last charter-review commission.

* Michael Pace, a Republican. The Crofton attorney headed Lighthizer's transition team and served on County Executive Robert R. Neall's transition group.

* Bruce C. Bereano, a well-known Democratic lobbyist who headed Democrats for Neall.

* Dallas Evans, a black Republican activist. He chairs the Planning Advisory Board, a panel that recommends which capital projects should be funded.

* Harold Counihan, a Democrat and professor at AnneArundel Community College.

* P. Tyson Bennett, an attorney and former school board member.

* John F. Beck, member of the county Republican Central Committee.

* Muriel G. Carter, president of the County Board of Supervisors of Elections and the Glen Burnie Improvement Association.

* Maurice L. Chaput Jr., Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. projects administrator and former campaign manager of Councilwoman Diane R. Evans, R-Arnold.

Council members may consider other candidates.

Each of the seven council members will appoint a nominee; the field will be narrowed to five by secret ballot.

The commission will revise the charter, Anne Arundel's constitution and re-drawcouncilmanic boundaries. A politician's fate could hinge on where his district's boundaries are drawn.

If Boschert and Lamb have theirway, the commission will consider several major changes to the way local elections are conducted. The two have co-sponsored a resolution asking the commission to study staggering council terms, adding an eighth council representative and a council chairman-at-large, limitingcouncil members to three four-year terms and electing the county executive during presidential election years.

The charter commission has one year to report to the council. Suggested changes must be approved by voters in 1992.

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