Stung In Election, Association To Alter Bylaws

December 11, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

The Odenton Improvement Association will have a general membership meeting next week to close loopholes that allowed a developer to pack an election last month and to elect his slate of candidates.

Outgoing President Pat Wellford declined to elaborate on a press release sent out Monday, which also says the board will confirm two appointments to occupy vacant seats on the board.

"Recent developments have brought to light unintended weaknesses in the existing constitution and bylaws," the release says. The statement added that board members want to revise the rules to ensure the organization serves "the people whom it was intended to serve."

Last month, a Silver Spring-based developer drew criticism when it publicly backed Mary Chewning for president and encouraged three other people to run for seats on the improvement association's board of directors.

What normally is a straightforward election attracting 30 or35 voters turned into a packed house at the Odenton Fire Hall, with nearly half the 48 people who signed up as new members that night coming from outside the county. The organization's bylaws allow any resident of Maryland to join or run for office.

Many of the new members work for The Halle Cos., which is building 4,700 homes in Odenton and frequently has locked horns with county government and the improvement association over growth issues.

In addition to trying to change the bylaws, Wellford said the board will confirm two people to open board positions, which were vacated by people with one year left ontheir terms.

Wellford said the board will appoint Hazel Sanner, alongtime Odenton resident, to fill one slot and Shoemaker will fill the other position.

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