Appointment bypasses environment board chief

January 24, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The Carroll County commissioners ended several months of behind-the-scenes wrangling last week by agreeing to appoint a 40-year-old Finksburg resident to the environmentalist's slot on the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board.

The commissioners bypassed incumbent Chairman Franklin L. Grabowski, who had sought a second three-year term, to appoint Kevin E. Dayhoff, owner of the Kevin E. Dayhoff and Co. landscape design business.

They also appointed Georgia Hoff, a partner with her husband in Samuel C. Hoff Real Estate and Insurance, to represent developers. Mrs. Hoff replaces Westminster Realtor Gwenn Bockelmann, who bowed out because of increasing demands of business.

T. Edward Lippy was reappointed to represent agriculture. He is a co-owner of a large family farm corporation in Hampstead and a former president of the Carroll Board of Education, on which he served nearly 20 years.

The commissioners divided over Mr. Grabowski's bid for reappointment. Donald I. Dell was implacably opposed, although refused to discuss his reasons publicly. Julia W. Gouge, who eventually sided with Mr. Dell, left for a conference in California Saturday after the decision was reached and was unavailable for comment.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy, who is not related to T. Edward Lippy, supported Mr. Grabowski's candidacy. Mr. Lippy said earlier that if he couldn't get a majority, he would hold out for a "genuine environmentalist" to fill the post.

The environmental board works with developers on the county forest conservation ordinance, which has occasionally produced some friction with developers who challenged the board's interpretation of the ordinance.

Commissioner Lippy said Mr. Dayhoff fits his criteria.

Although Mr. Dayhoff does not belong to any of the environment-oriented organizations the commissioners use as sources, Mr. Lippy said he has done free landscaping work at Bear Branch Nature Center and Piney Run Park. Mr. Dayhoff served on the committee that drew up the county landscape manual and on the tree-preservation committee that preceded the environmental board.

"I think by anyone's description, he is a true environmentalist," Mr. Lippy said. He said he was also impressed by Mr. Dayhoff's willingness to debate issues in interviews with the commissioners. "He's not a 'yes' man," Mr. Lippy said.

Mr. Dayhoff said he hopes to bring "an intelligent and informed approach to environmental matters. I'm going to avoid an emotional approach. I firmly believe that the environment and development in Carroll County can peacefully coexist."

Mr. Dayhoff is at least a sixth-generation Carroll countian who was drawn to plants when he was growing up.

He learned their Latin names by spending time at WestminsteNurseries and reading plant labels. He couldn't weed a flower bed without rearranging the perennials for a more aesthetic design.

He learned landscaping from the late Daniel Stoner, owner of Westminster Nurseries, and later from the late Pasquale Donofrio, owner of Carroll Gardens.

Mr. Dayhoff said his son Zachary, 8, is also interested in rocks and plants. Being a parent intensifies "one's position as to leaving Carroll County, leaving the planet, in better shape than we found it," he said.

Mr. Grabowski, who has been on the environmental board since it was formed in 1990, said he enjoyed the opportunity to serve and hopes to remain involved in environmental affairs "in whatever way I can."

Mrs. Hoff, who has chaired the Chamber of Commerce environmental affairs committee for two years, said she plans to seek "a happy medium between protecting the environment and shutting everything down."

She said she didn't start with an interest in environmental issues, "But I've sort of been pulled into it and as I've been pulled into it, I became interested."

Mrs. Hoff also traces her family back several generations in Carroll County. She grew up in Gamber. She and her husband live in New Windsor near his childhood home and have operated their business in Westminster for 27 years.

The couple has two daughters, two sons and three grandchildren. Three of their children live in other states. One son lives in Carroll and is employed in the family business.

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