Charter supporters lost in fund-raising efforts Two major donors boost contributions to anti-charter group

August 21, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Carroll's charter government initiative appears to have been as unattractive to people's wallets as it was to voters in the May 1 election.

According to reports filed with the election board Tuesday, Carroll County Citizens for Charter Government, which favored a switch to a county executive and council, raised $2,469, including a $500 gift from the North Carroll Democratic club.

The anti-charter group, Citizens Against Big Charter Government, raised nearly twice as much -- $4,733. But more than half of that amount came from two contributors.

Carmen Amedori -- who resigned in February as chairwoman of a charter-writing panel appointed by the County Commissioners and worked for the defeat of the proposed charter -- gave $1,306 to the anti-charter committee.

Edward Primoff, president of a property-rights lobby known as the Carroll County Landowners Association, contributed $1,451 to the anti-charter campaign.

Among the contributors to the pro-charter campaign were Neil Ridgely, Hampstead town manager, and his wife, Deborah, vice chairwoman of the county planning commission. Together, they gave $100.

Hampstead Mayor Christopher M. Nevin, who was co-author of the proposed document along with New Windsor Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr., gave the campaign $100, as did his brother, Steven Nevin.

Gullo was not on the list of 44 pro-charter contributors. He was away from his office yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Anti-charter forces collected $1.92 for every $1 raised by pro-charter forces -- a ratio nearly comparable to the election results May 1.

On that day, opponents outnumbered charter supporters 1.6-to-1, collecting 11,151 votes to the pro-charter movement's 6,860.

The turnout for the county's first Saturday election in more than a century was one of the lowest in decades -- slightly more than 25 percent. Only 19,049 of the county's 75,238 registered voters cast ballots on the charter issue.

The vote marked the fourth time in three decades that Carroll residents have voted against a charter proposal -- the last occurred in 1992.

Carroll has had a three-commissioner form of government for 142 years.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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