Valianti appointed to liquor board Brewer's seat on panel still vacant

October 20, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Carroll's commissioners have replaced liquor board member William A. Sapp with Westminster resident Romeo Valianti, but a vacancy remains on the three-member board.

Mr. Sapp, a Sykesville resident, was appointed by former Commissioner J. Jeffrey Griffith to complete Kenneth Holniker's term in 1989. He was then reappointed to a three-year term, which expired in June.

County Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy said they have not chosen a replacement for liquor board Chairman Earle H. Brewer, who resigned in September to dedicate more time to his Westminster barber shop and hair-replacement business.

Mr. Brewer became the liquor board chairman in October 1990 after the death of Champ C. Zumbrun.

"I think it is an honor to be chosen to serve on the board, and I hope I can do the job that's expected of me," said Mr. Valianti, a Carroll County native. "I hope I am worthy of the appointment."

Mr. Dell said Mr. Valianti's government experience made him perfect for the job.

Mr. Valianti, 69, retired as an assistant state comptroller and director of the division of admissions and amusements in January 1983. That year, the state combined his department with the sales tax division, said the comptroller's public information officer, Marvin Bond.

The state now collects amusement taxes for counties and towns rather than keeping the money itself, Mr. Bond said.

"Romeo has some background in this type of thing," said Mr. Dell. "He has worked for the government in collecting entertainment tax and is familiar with government forms and assessments."

Mr. Valianti, a Westminster High School classmate of Mr. Dell, has expressed an interest in serving on the liquor board for years, Mr. Lippy said.

"He's had a lot of experience in governmental matters," he said of Mr. Valianti, who also served on the Department of Social Services board. His term on the county recreation and parks board expires Nov. 1.

"He's the type of person who, when you give him a job, he'll knock himself out to do a perfect job," Mr. Lippy said.

Mr. Lippy also said Mr. Valianti was chosen to get some "fresh blood" on the board.

"Of course, the blood might be from my nose when Earle [Brewer] hears what we've done," he said with a laugh.

In his letter of resignation, Mr. Brewer had suggested the commissioners appoint Mr. Sapp board chairman because he was the group's most senior member.

Although the commissioners have a verbal agreement limiting board members to serving two terms, Mr. Sapp's reappointment has not been ruled out, Mr. Dell said.

"We might reappoint him for a period of time, reappoint him, replace him or ask him to take Earle's place," Mr. Dell said.

However, Mr. Lippy seemed to indicate that Mr. Sapp was not being considered for the remaining position.

"Donald suggested this candidate, and I said I hadn't thought of him, but would give him due consideration," he said.

Mr. Lippy declined to name that candidate. The two commissioners expect to discuss their proposal with Commissioner Julia W. Gouge by the end of the week.

"We've more or less agreed on a candidate that we think is quite qualified," Mr. Lippy said. "But we want to run it past Julia. We will be quite sensible and make this a decision between all three of us."

Mr. Sapp, who joined the board under Mr. Zumbrun's leadership, said he will miss working with Mr. Brewer and Russell Mayer, the group's third member. The three considered under-age drinking and drunken driving very important and devoted much of their deliberations to those issues, he said.

"This has been one fantastic board," Mr. Sapp said. "We have taken everything very seriously, thinking about the individual entrepreneur and thinking about the area, whether [a licensee] is really needed.

"We complemented each other so well and thought of the county and the liquor issues when making our decisions."

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