In what was a surprise to few, community activist Bernard C. "Jack" Young was chosen last night to fill the 2nd District Baltimore City Council seat left vacant by Anthony J. Ambridge in the spring.
Young, a 42-year-old clerical manager from the Middle East community, was voted in unanimously and immediately took his seat on the council floor after being sworn in by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
"I feel good because this is something that I have always wanted," Young said. "I want to be a role model for all the kids in the neighborhood."
In other news last night, the council approved the nomination of real estate developer Carl William Struever as a 1st District member of the Board of School Commissioners.
Also, Schmoke sent to the council the nomination of deputy city solicitor Otho "Duffy" M. Thompson to replace Neal M. Janey, who recently left the position of city solicitor.
Young will serve until 1998. Then he will have to run for the seat in a special election.
Young said last night that he intends to run in 1998. Two candidates who didn't make the cut said they would challenge him.
Edward K. Hargadon, a Charles Village community activist and an assistant state attorney general, and Sarah Louise Matthews, who was the fourth-place Democrat in last year's 2nd District council race, plan to launch campaigns.
Ambridge now is the city's real estate officer.
Second District council representatives Paula Johnson Branch and Robert L. Douglass chose Young from a field of 12 candidates for the $37,000-a-year-position. The council, as a courtesy, backs whomever the district delegates choose to fill that district's open seat.
"He is a lifetime resident and worked under the tutelage of [former council President] Mary Pat Clarke, Anthony Ambridge, [former 2nd District representative] Carl Stokes and [state] Sen. Nathaniel McFadden," Branch said. "None of the other candidates had that range."
Young worked as a special assistant to Clark and served as a council aide to Ambridge. He also is active in the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition. He has attended community political meetings as a representative for Stokes and McFadden.
Young was a contender in the council election last year but dropped out before the primary for "personal reasons," he said. He was considered a front-runner this year because of his ties to the coalition, a favored community organization of Branch and Douglass.
It is too early to know for sure how Young's votes will affect a council that has split into two camps, one that generally backs the mayor's initiatives and the other that backs the pet projects of President Lawrence A. Bell III.
But Young is likely to share the philosophies of Branch and Douglass, who most times side with the mayor whenever Schmoke and Bell butt heads.
"I'm a people person, not a Schmoke or a Bell person," Young said.
Young, who got the nickname "Jack" as a child because he was fTC as thin and fast as a jack rabbit, said he will work to expand employment opportunities in his district.
Pub Date: 10/22/96