Pecoraro is selected to fill council vacancy

November 29, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Westminster City Council members appointed L. Gregory Pecoraro, an aide to U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee, to fill a council vacancy last night.

Mr. Pecoraro is one of six city residents who entered their names into consideration for the post. His appointment was part of a council reorganization prompted by Mayor W. Benjamin Brown's election as county commissioner Nov. 8.

Other changes:

* Council President Kenneth A. Yowan became mayor, replacing Mr. Brown, who is scheduled to be sworn into office as a commissioner Monday. The city charter provides for the council president to become mayor when the mayor leaves office before his term expires.

* The council elected Edward S. Calwell, its senior member, council president.

Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein announced before the council considered nominations to fill the vacant seat that she planned to abstain, "regardless of the nomination. It has nothing to do with the personality of the nominee."

Ms. Orenstein said after the meeting that she abstained because she has friends among the candidates.

Several council members expressed a desire to keep the City Council nonpartisan. City office candidates run as individuals rather than by party affiliation.

"I think it's very important that we keep politics off this council," said Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr.

Mr. Pecoraro said he didn't see a conflict between his roles as central committee chairman and council member. "City government is not about parties, city government is not about ideologies," he said. "It's about solving city problems."

Mr. Pecoraro's appointment is effective until the next city election, in May 1995, when he said he intends to run for a full council term. Mr. Pecoraro is also a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and state executive committee. He served as acting executive director of the state Democratic Party in 1992.

Mr. Pecoraro and his wife, Carole ("Cyd"), moved to the Furnace Hills subdivision in 1989. Mrs. Pecoraro, who ran unsuccessfully for the county school board this fall, has been active in the subdivision's homeowners association. They have one child, a 2 1/2 -year-old daughter.

Mr. Yowan said he has no "pet issues" that haven't been on the council's agenda.

Mr. Yowan said any changes are likely to be in style rather than substance, as he puts his collegial management stamp on the mayor's office. One immediate change: The new mayor already asked the mayor's secretary to become the mayor and council's secretary. Council members have not had any support staff to handle correspondence or similar tasks for them.

The council agreed to provide free parking at Westminster meters, effective today through Jan. 1, 1995.

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