Senators want new lineup on Baltimore liquor board Bolton Hill activist is third recommendation

February 11, 1997|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's state senators are urging the governor to name former City Council candidate Sarah Louise Matthews to the city liquor board as part of their effort to remake the panel.

Matthews, 45 and a Bolton Hill resident, would replace George G. Brown, chairman of the Board of Liquor License Commissioners, who has fallen out of favor with the senators because of recent board decisions.

Those include the board's vote to give a $10,600 pay raise to the liquor board's deputy executive secretary and the panel's failure to act on the senators' recommendation that former state Sen. Nathan C. Irby Jr. be named to the $59,000-a-year job of executive secretary -- a post that has been vacant since December.

During a telephone interview yesterday, Brown declined to comment on the senators' actions.

Last month, the senators recommended that two of the liquor board's three commissioners be replaced. Then on Thursday, they decided to replace Brown, too, and sent their recommendation of Matthews to the governor yesterday.

Last month, the senators recommended William A. Welch, 43, son of city Councilwoman Agnes B. Welch, and Leonard R. Skolnik, 60, a retired apartment manager, to the liquor board. The senators want Skolnik to be the chairman.

The governor is expected to appoint the liquor board members recommended by the senators when he makes his other "green bag appointments" this week.

"I just think it is important to have a new lineup," said Democratic Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, chairman of the city Senate delegation. "We decided to wipe the slate clean and start all over."

The senators' latest pick is a recommendation of Democratic Sen. Ralph M. Hughes. Matthews, who was the fourth-highest vote-getter in the 1995 2nd District election, is an activist in her Bolton Hill community.

The liquor board posts are considered to be among the state's top patronage plums. Although the part-time positions pay just $18,000 a year, board members wield a great deal of influence because they control licensing and regulation of all liquor establishments in the city.

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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