Council wants to name room after former comptroller

February 29, 2000|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

After failed attempts to rename an old Baltimore post office and a courthouse after him, former Comptroller Hyman Aaron Pressman, known for his poetry and relentless battles against waste of city tax dollars, might have his name immortalized at City Hall.

The City Council introduced a bill last night to rename the Board of Estimates room -- where Pressman ignited controversy by exposing city waste, fraud and abuse -- in honor of the man who served as watchdog over the city's finances for 28 years. Pressman retired in 1991 and died in 1996.

"He was a great asset to Baltimore City," said City Council President Sheila Dixon.

The council introduced a bill two years ago to rename the old post office and Circuit Court building at 111 N. Calvert St., but several people opposed the legislation, including former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who believed the courthouse should be named for a member of the judiciary.

A hearing on last night's bill will be held during the next few weeks.

Also during last night's meeting, the council passed resolutions in support of a moratorium on the death penalty and in support of General Assembly legislation that would move the city primary election from odd-numbered years to coincide with the presidential election in even-numbered years.

Voters passed a referendum in November to move the city's general election to coincide with the presidential election, but only the General Assembly can decide when Maryland jurisdictions hold primary elections. Without state action, the city's next primary and general elections would be held in separate years -- the primary in September 2003 and the general election in November 2004. A hearing on the state bill is scheduled for 1 p.m. today before the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee.

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