Two Odenton Improvement Association board members who were backed bya Silver Spring developer in their November election have decided tostay, even though the president who also was backed by the company resigned last week.
"I don't have any reason not to stay," said Gladys Twardowski. "I don't know how well they will accept me, but I don't have any quarrels with anybody."
Her friend and newly elected president of the board, Mary Chewning, resigned, saying board members and residents had spread derogatoryrumors about her personal life. At the time, Twardowski said she wasnot sure if she would remain.
Another board member backed by the Halle Cos. in the November election, Dan Thomlinson, also said he hasno reason for leaving.
"Unlike Mary Chewning, I am not fazed by the association," he said. "I am in it for a reason. Everything in this association is so crooked, I can see why she would resign."
Chewning was elected amid a storm of controversy about her ties to the Halle Cos., which has 4,700 homes under construction in Odenton.
Thecompany used a membership loophole last November to pack an electionand get its slate of candidates elected. In an unsigned flier distributed before the election, the company backed Chewning and three people running for the 12-member board. Chewning defeated association-backed Sally Shoemaker by two votes.
Twardowski won a seat on the board and Thomlinson, who works for Halle selling apartments, became thenew secretary. Both of them denied they were asked to run by officials from Halle.
Twardowski said she ran only because she is friendswith Chewning. Thomlinson said he decided to run when he was sittingin the Seven Oaks club house and asked Warren E. Halle if it would be a conflict of interest if he sat on the board. He said the answer was no, and he ran for the position.
He said Halle and other company officials encouraged him, but never asked or told him to run. He also said he does not get any special favors from Halle, as rumors he said he has heard in the community suggest.
"I get no compensation,no breaks," Thomlinson said. "If I screw up, I am out of work. I am a resident of Odenton first, an employee of Halle second."
Thomlinson didn't show up for his first board meeting Jan. 8, where he was to be sworn in as a new officer. The acting president of the board, Norman Meyers, said he has been unable to reach the new secretary.
Thomlinson said he never received notice and never knew about the meeting. But Pat Wellford, the immediate past president of the improvement association, said she sent notices to every board member, includingone to the address Thomlinson gave her. All other board members received notices.
Thomlinson said he does not think the board will be able to work together and blamed the press for inciting opponents of Halle.
"The biggest problem is that the board of directors isn't able to keep an open mind," he said. "The general membership needs to hear both sides, and that has to come from the press. That's law."
Meyers said the board will not be split. "If he says the board can'twork together, it is strictly from his side."