Neall sends Solley school bill to council

June 08, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall sent a bill to the County Council last night that would provide money to build Solley Elementary School and renovate Andover Middle School.

Last month, the council cut funding for Solley Elementary as it approved the $663 million budget for fiscal 1994.

Mr. Neall's compromise bill would transfer $5.4 million of the $13.5 million the council appropriated for Andover Middle School in Linthicum to the Solley school project, which he strongly supports. The money for Andover would be replaced in the 1995 fiscal year budget.

When the council cut the money for Solley last month, Mr. Neall and Councilman Carl G. Holland, a Pasadena Republican in whose district Solley is situated, warned that $1.6 million in state funding could be forfeited. State officials have told the county that they are willing to wait only a month before offering the DTC construction money to other jurisdictions.

Mr. Neall has made it clear that if Solley is not funded, Andover will not be funded.

"If Solley doesn't go, Andover doesn't go," Dennis Parkinson, Mr. Neall's Chief Administrative Officer, said last night after the council meeting. "[Mr. Neall] has said that several times and it is a fact."

Mr. Parkinson said he is confident that the legislation will receive the four council votes it needs to be adopted. "I don't know how this could be a controversial bill. That's why I expect a 7-0 vote," he said.

Mr. Neall has already said he will not introduce a bill to use money that the council set aside in the budget to fund a 3 percent pay raise for county employees.

The council, which cannot authorize pay raises that were not included in the budget, voted to pay for the raises by cutting operating funds for capital projects, including $2 million from Solley, Mr. Neall said. But the executive must request in a bill that the money be transferred for the raises, and Mr. Neall has said he will not do that. If the council does not approve the school funding bill, Mr. Parkinson said, the money will just sit there.

"If we don't have the fourth vote, whoever votes against [the school construction bill] is essentially voting to leave money in the fund balance and punitively kill Andover Middle School," Mr. Parkinson said.

Mr. Holland, who was outraged when the council cut Solley from the budget, was in a much better mood last night. "For the first time in the history of the county, we're going to re-do a budget, one project at a time," he said.

The bill will come before the council for a public hearing and vote at its June 21 meeting.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a resolution opposing a Baltimore City Council bill that would allow the medical waste incinerator in Hawkins Point, near the county line, to expand the area from which it accepts waste.

The council also passed a resolution opposing the recent executive order by Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke that requires new municipal employees to live in the city.

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