Public meeting with Cooke representatives is Jan. 14

December 22, 1993|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

Representatives of Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke will hold a public meeting with the Howard County Council, the county executive and other civic leaders at 9 a.m. Jan. 14, Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray said yesterday.

Mr. Cooke has announced plans to move his professional football team to Laurel and build a stadium there. Although the stadium would be on Anne Arundel County property, the parking lot likely would be in Howard County.

January's meeting is expected to follow the line of the private briefing Mr. Gray, County Executive Charles I. Ecker and other county officials had with Cooke representatives Dec. 16.

Mr. Gray said he plans to invite representatives of the county Chamber of Commerce and the county's tourism council to the January meeting. Mr. Ecker will bring the public works director, the planning and zoning director and the executive director of the economic development authority.

"The county's planning and engineering people need to understand what impact, if any, the stadium will have here," Mr. Ecker said. "The economic development people will be looking at the economic impact."

Mr. Ecker earlier had pledged to cooperate with Mr. Cooke's preliminary efforts, but also said that he continues to support the governor and the stadium authority in their drive to get a team for Baltimore.

Mr. Gray said he did not expect any legislation to result from what he described as January's informal meeting.

"Anything along those lines will hopefully come from the executive working with the council, should this become a live option for the Redskins," Mr. Gray said.

Were the Redskins to move to Laurel, he said, "it is clear some negative impacts, as well as some benefits, would accrue for Howard County. Hopefully, this meeting will further elucidate the issue."

Gov. William Donald Schaefer is meeting with Washington Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly today to discuss the Redskins' situation.

Although Mr. Ecker spoke with Mr. Cooke prior to the Dec. 16 briefing in his office, he has not yet spoken with the governor, he said. The county executive said he has not spoken with Cooke representatives since the Dec. 16 meeting, other than to confirm the date of the meeting with the County Council.

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