Key Annapolis lawmakers took the extraordinary step Monday night of attempting to censure County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb for failing to stop the council's plan to expand the current detention center on Jennifer Road.
Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Ward 5 Democrat, introduced an amendment to a resolution opposing the jail site that chastised Ms. Lamb for her "lack of representation."
"We're not pleased with her representation on this," Mr. Snowden said. "I think in this instance she has failed so miserably that we should officially censure her."
But the amendment failed when Alderman Wayne Turner, a Ward 6 Republican, withdrew his second. The resolution opposing the jail site passed unanimously.
"That's a joke," Ms. Lamb said of her attempted censure.
"I don't know how there's any way I could have done any more. I did not have any prior knowledge [other council members would recommend the Jennifer Road site]. I suspected that they were going to do it . . . but I had no evidence," said Ms. Lamb, reached in San Francisco where she is visiting relatives.
"I'm very pleased that the City Council didn't pass that amendment, because it seems like Carl is being very political," Ms. Lamb said.
Mr. Snowden, seen as a possible candidate for Ms. Lamb's seat on the council in two years or for mayor of Annapolis next year, said his proposal was not motivated by personal dislike for the councilwoman, or political ambition. He said he's simply "fed up" with her representation.
Three other council members quickly joined Mr. Snowden in criticizing Ms. Lamb for not informing them of the jail site selection, and not doing enough to oppose it.
"My impression of her reaction was this was just one of the prices we were going to have to pay," said Alderman Dean Johnson, a Ward 2 Independent. He said her position "was unclear."
But Alderman Ruth Gray, a Ward 4 Republican, and Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins opposed the measure. Ms. Gray defended Ms. Lamb, saying her colleagues on the County Council "sprang this on her." And Mr. Hopkins argued against having a person "slapped or spanked" for failing to aggressively lead the fight.
"This is a strange night when Republicans are defending Democrats," said Alderman John Hammond, a Ward 1 Republican, who also opposed censuring Ms. Lamb because he said the entire County Council "was obnoxious to . . . Annapolis."