Trade council to launch hot line

December 02, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel Trade Council is launching a legislative hot line on Tuesday for county residents who want their views relayed to county council members.

The hot line is primarily intended as an information-sharing resource, more than an "I'm-against-this or I'm-for-that" hot line, said Jeanette Wessel, chief executive officer of the Trade Council.

Council employees will write down the views of callers who leave them and tell legislators what comes in over the phone lines, regardless of whether the views coincide with the trade council's position on various issues.

Calls to the hot line will be taken by the trade council's eight employees during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours callers can leave a message on an answering machine. Someone will call them the next business day.

Callers will be sent information packets on the issue being spotlighted.

The hot line was set up to give callers information on legislative issues, to tell them whom to contact to influence legislation and to lend support and advice from trained task-force volunteers in areas from education to health, said John Dodds, chairman of the trade council's legislative committee.

Topics the hot line deal with will rotate according to what issue is before the county council.

"Whatever we attack will be driven by whatever the county council is addressing," said Ms. Wessel.

The Critical Area program will be the first issue the hot line will address. The Critical Area law guides development and construction within 1,000 feet of the county shoreline.

The trade council supports protection of the Chesapeake Bay, but questions some changes that have been made to the Critical Area law, such as the requirement that permits for home additions like decks and garages must meet the Critical Area standard.

Homes that could not comply with the law would have to seek a variance, which can be time-consuming and expensive, Mr. Dodds said.

The changes to the Critical Area law have complicated the development and construction process without being of benefit to the bay, he contended.

The legislative hot line number is: 757-6709 or 974-4402.

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