County Council To Vote On Resolution Limiting Members' Terms

January 20, 1992|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

The County Council will vote tomorrow night on a charter amendment prohibiting council members from serving more than three four-year terms.

Council Chairman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, and Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis, are co-sponsoring a resolution to put the amendment on the ballot in the November general election. The electorate must approve all changes to the charter.

The purpose of the amendment is to prevent officials from making a career of one particular political office, Boschert and Lamb have said.

Five of the seven council members must approve the resolutionfor it to appear on the ballot.

At least two council members havesome reservations about term limits.

"Just to replace someone doesn't mean you get better government," said Virginia P. Clagett, D-West River, who is serving her fifth term. "I think voters need to keep flexibility, and the only way to do that is to vote people out or keep them in if they're doing a good job."

Still, Clagett said she'llprobably back the resolution and let the voters decide.

Councilman Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, said he favors term limits but doesn't think the resolution is restrictive enough. "I'd like to see it limited to two terms," he said.

"If you look at the average terms (of council members), I don't think you'll find many that serve more than three terms. It might sound like they're accomplishing something, but substantively, they're changing nothing."

Lamb is serving her third term. Boschert is serving his second elected term after being appointed in 1986 to replace the late Wallace "Chunky" Childs. He has said he plans to run for higher office rather than seek repeated council terms.

"Well, that's a career," Clagett noted.

If adopted, the limit would go into effect Jan. 1, 1994. It would not be retroactive, meaning the current council members could run in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

Also on tomorrow night's agenda:

* A hearing and vote on a bill to transfer $260,000 from the Agricultural Easement Acquisition fund to pay the first installment on property to be added to the Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary near Wayson's Corner.

Park officials intend to purchase 140 acres of shoreline, woods and meadow southeast of the sanctuary for $900,000.

* A hearing on Middlebrooks' bill allowing carnivals, bazaars, lawn parties and similar events on Sundays. The councilman also is looking at whether the current law prohibiting such events also applies to yard sales.

* A hearing on a resolution reappointing Severn River Commission members.

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