Reintroduced bill would require notice of end to city services

December 10, 1991

At City Hall last night, Councilman Lawrence A. Bell, D-4th, reintroduced a bill that would prohibit city agencies from closing recreation centers, libraries or urban services centers without giving 60 days' notice to the affected communities.

Mr. Bell said the bill was passed by an overwhelming majority of the City Council last spring but died because it was never signed by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. A spokesman for Mr. Schmoke said the mayor felt that the bill needed more "study and examination."

Councilman Bell's bill would also require public hearings to be scheduled before any center was closed so that communities could explore alternative funding or staffing sources.

"We need to have some process so that the community can be part of the decision and have time to respond," Mr. Bell said.

In other council action, Councilman Martin E. "Mike" Curran, D-3rd, introduced a bill that would eliminate police presence at polling places on Election Day.

The cost of the 701 officers stationed at polling places across the city for the general election last month was close to $100,000. Mr. Curran said that figure does not include midlevel officers or high command staff.

"That's 700 officers who could have been out fighting crime," said Mr. Curran.

"And it could save the taxpayers some money," he added.

The bills will be considered in committees during the council's winter break. The entire council will reconvene Jan 21.

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