County Council's Scenic Roads Resolution Takes Detour

October 09, 1991|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

The County Council, which has done its share of arguing during the last year, found something new to bicker about Monday: a simple resolution to create a scenic roads committee.

The resolution -- the kind of measure that usually passes without comment -- was quietly introduced, discussed and approved by all eight council members last month, near the end of a meeting that concluded about 11:30 p.m.

Figuring that everyone who had something to say about the resolution had said it, Council Chairwoman Virginia P. Clagett, D-West River, who sponsored the measure, began composing the panel. She named eight members of environmental and historic groups who had expressed interest and asked other council members for names.

Then, at the beginning of Monday night's council meeting, Councilwoman Diane R. Evans,R-Arnold, called for the resolution to be reconsidered because therehadn't been time to consider it. Evans said she objected to voting on "policy-making resolutions" the same night that they are introduced.

After five of the seven council members rescinded their votes, an uncharacteristically irritated Clagett withdrew her resolution, saying she would work on the panel herself. "This is just advisory. Thisisn't policy, so I think we ought to get that straight," she said.

Evans said she assumed when she voted that the 14-member panel would included two representatives from each council district. But later she found that Clagett's eight suggested appointees were all from the6th and 7th districts.

"I really take issue with the assumption that there are only two districts that have really beautiful roads," she said.

Clagett said she's been asking her colleagues for three weeks to submit names. She and her aide have asked them personally andsent them a letter. "If you have an additional name to offer, let meknow as soon as possible," Clagett wrote in the letter.

Neither Councilman Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, nor Evans -- who Clagett said she asked three times for suggestions -- responded. Evans said she refused because "we were only asked to submit one name."

After the meeting, the frustrated chairwoman wondered why Evans did not personally suggest two people from each district instead of surprising her with the complaint in public.

"Let me put the shoe on the other foot," Evans said. "The sponsor of the bill should have been explaining this to the rest of her colleagues. If this was so important, why didn't she do her homework and tell us about it? We have to be more considerate of each other."

Only Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis, sided with Clagett regarding the roads resolution.

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