The rivalry for recognition in the Baltimore City Council reached new heights last night as no fewer than seven members urged support for proposals ranging from continuing library funding at its current level to creating a parent-teacher organization in every public school.
One council member after the next stood up to deliver a speech on what turned out to be an eclectic array of nonbinding resolutions. The action comes at a time when at least three council members are running to succeed Council President Mary Pat Clarke, who is challenging the mayor's bid for a third term.
Among them was one by 3rd District Councilman Martin O'Malley, who asked for an investigation of the propriety of using a city grand jury to "promote the repeal of state drug laws." He said the grand jury that recommended last week allowing doctors to give heroin and cocaine to drug addicts acted improperly.
Mrs. Clarke urged a public hearing to look into a potential budget cut to the 28 neighborhood branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. An early proposal by the Schmoke administration targets the financially strapped library system for a $300,000 cut, from $18.9 million to $18.6 million, she said.
Several library advocates, wearing T-shirts depicting how little Balti
more spends on its libraries compared with other big cities, showed up in support of her resolution.
Other resolutions included one introduced by 6th District Councilman Melvin L. Stukes to form more parent-teacher organizations and one by Council Vice President Vera P. Hall, on behalf of the teachers union, to re-examine contracts between the public school system and KPMG Peat Marwick for conflicts of interest.
The city hired the accounting firm, a partner with Education Alternatives Inc. in the school privatization venture, to perform financial work twice for the school system.