Annapolis wants more state money for city services at political events

In repeating appeal, officials seek support of District 30 delegation

February 02, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Annapolis officials repeated their appeal yesterday for the state to pick up more of the extra costs the state capital pays for police and fire services at political events.

Four aldermen and a spokesman for Mayor Dean L. Johnson met yesterday with the State and County Project Subcommittee to ask for support when the District 30 delegation broaches the subject of more money for Annapolis with Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The state pays the city government $267,000 a year for police and fire service provided to its agencies. But last year, the city paid $647,000 to cover those costs. When District 30 state legislators approached Glendening about the matter three weeks ago, the governor said he was open to discussing a minor increase in the next budget cycle.

"The failure of the state to pay its fair share results in a mandate on the citizens of Annapolis" to cover the difference, said Alderman Herb McMillan, a Ward 5 Republican. "To a city of our size, that is of tremendous significance. Our entire road repair budget last year was $400,000."

Sen. John C. Astle, a Democrat who represents Annapolis, emphasized that Glendening has said he favors increasing the amount of money paid to the city in lieu of taxes in the future because it cannot be accommodated in the current budget cycle.

"The governor has made a commitment to not only increase the payment but also to look at other ways that the state can assist the city," Astle said.

District 30 Del. Richard D'Amato, a Democrat, said, "We're happy with the governor's feeling about the needs of the city. We're happy with the commitment made."

City spokesman Thomas W. Roskelly, who spoke on behalf of Johnson, said he was afraid to push the issue too hard.

"The mayor is quite satisfied that we've made some progress," Roskelly said. "We really don't want to jeopardize the city's relationship with the District 30 delegation and the governor."

In addition to McMillan, Aldermen Joseph Sachs, a Ward 4 Republican, Samuel Gilmer, a Ward 3 Democrat, and Cynthia A. Carter, a Ward 6 Democrat, attended the meeting.

Republican Del. John R. Leopold of District 31, chairman of the subcommittee, said he is glad state and city legislators are discussing the issue and that he will support the city's position when negotiations with Glendening began.

"The extent to which the county can be united on this and other issues," Leopold said, "the more our chances of success are improved."

Pub Date: 2/02/99

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