Lack of quorum lets council reset Passover hearing

April 01, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

In an apparent change of heart, the County Council has decided to reschedule its meeting from Monday night, which is the beginning of Passover, to Wednesday.

Annapolis lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano, who represents the Tobacco Institute and is leading the fight against a proposed anti-smoking bill, objected to holding the meeting Monday because Jewish business people and lobbyists, including himself, would not be able to attend.

Mr. Bereano filed a complaint Monday with the county's Human Relations Commission after he asked council Chairman David G. Boschert to reschedule the hearing. Mr. Boschert, after polling the council, said the consensus was to forge ahead.

But yesterday, after polling council members again, Mr. Boschert said he discovered that there would not be a quorum.

"It's ironic, but since we will not have a quorum that evening, I am going to reschedule the meeting until April 7," Mr. Boschert said.

He refused to admit that the council had bowed to pressure. "Because of the separation of church and state, I cannot by law honor any holiday that is not already stipulated by the federal, state or local government," Mr. Boschert said.

Maureen Lamb was one of the council members who will not be able to attend. "I've got a problem on Monday night," Ms. Lamb said. "There were enough of us who had a problem that they decided to reschedule the meeting. It's strictly because there was not a quorum."

Mr. Bereano congratulated the council for moving the meeting to Wednesday. "I'm very pleased and I appreciate the council further considering this matter and responding positively and favorably to the concerns of the Jewish community," he said.

"What I'm going to do on my part, is when the Jewish calendar comes out next year, I'm going to send one over to the council," he said.

The proposed anti-smoking legislation would ban smoking in businesses with more than 50 employees and would mandate nonsmoking sections in restaurants serving more than 75 patrons.

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