Mayor vows to keep order at Town Council tonight

April 11, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Although the drainage problems at the Hawk Ridge Farm development may dominate the Sykesville Town Council meeting tonight, the mayor said he will not put up with disruptions from disgruntled residents.

"I am not going to tolerate a disorderly meeting," said Mayor Kenneth W. Clark. "I will do everything I can within the scope of the law to keep the meeting orderly."

That may include closing the meeting to the public, he said.

A closed session for legal advice and to discuss personnel and property acquisition is already listed on the council agenda at the conclusion of business tonight.

Mr. Clark, an observer at the Planning Commission last week, said numerous loud complainants interrupted business and led Chairman Jonathan Herman to say he would call in town police to restore order.

"There was no shouting match," said Ann Marie Osinga, commission member. "Jonathan Herman was just trying to gain control of the meeting."

The commission said it would immediately require Jeff Powers, builder of the Hawk Ridge community at the north end of town, to construct a drainage ditch to prevent runoff. That promise, not police action, quelled the noise.

Sue Curry, a Caracara Court resident whose yard is constantly flooded, questioned the commission's idea of "immediate."

"They haven't done anything yet," she said Thursday. Her yard remains water-logged, she said.

"When the ice finally melted, it looked like the Patapsco River was flowing across my lawn."

Ms. Curry said she and other residents will attend the Town Council meeting to express their complaints again. "There has to be somebody who can make Powers put drains in and do right by the people who already live here," she said. "We keep going to town meetings, but it's not getting us anywhere."

Residents frequently find themselves "ranting, raving and frustrated" at municipal meetings, she said.

"I don't like going to meetings every Monday," Ms. Curry said. "It gets on my nerves when they [town officials] keep saying they will do something and then, they don't."

Mr. Clark called for patience and said relief will not come to the homeowners overnight.

"Some residents think the town is doing nothing," the mayor said. "We are doing what we can legally do."

The town will not release any of the developer's bond money until repairs are completed, and it may consider a stop-work order for the entire project, Mr. Clark said.

Bill Oler, town building inspector, is at the construction site daily. He said he is working on several actions that will alleviate drainage problems. He also has requested a work schedule and an engineer's report from Mr. Powers.

"We are working diligently together to resolve the problems," Mr. Oler said.

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