Howard Co. GOP may challenge map resolution

December 04, 1991|By Michael J. Clark | Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun

Howard County Republicans said yesterday that they are considering a legal challenge to a resolution the County Council's three Democrats passed Monday to set new councilmanic boundaries.

Carol A. Arscott, the chairwoman of the Howard County Republican Central Committee, said legal action is likely because "the major issue is whether the county executive has a veto."

"Since a resolution can not be vetoed or taken to referendum, it leaves too much power in the hands of three people," she said, referring to the three Democrats on the five-member council.

The councilmanic map was passed 3-2 in the form of a bill Nov. 4, but it was vetoed by Republican County Executive Charles I. Ecker.

The three Democrats could not get a fourth vote Monday to overturn the veto, so they approved the councilmanic redistricting map 3-2 by resolution.

Councilman C. Vernon Gray, who sponsored the councilmanic map bill, said yesterday he believes the Democrats' action "is legal" and will be upheld in the courts.

Councilman Darrel E. Drown, R-2nd, said he expected the Republicans would find a lawyer who would test the resolution without charge. One scenario, he said, would have him file now for the 2nd district seat in advance of the 1994 election to test whether the existing councilmanic boundaries in the law would stand.

Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, said he backs a legal challenge of the resolution "to set the record straight," but he said he was "hopeful that a compromise can be reached."

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