Dundalk Democrat Olszewski named Baltimore County Council chairman

January 08, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

Councilman John A. Olszewski Sr., a first-term Democrat from Dundalk, was elected chairman of the Baltimore County Council last night.

The position rotates annually and is largely symbolic - the chairman runs legislative meetings and meets more frequently with the county executive than other council members do - but it is often noted as evidence of leadership skills when council members run for higher office.

Olszewski, who takes over for Councilman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley, a Catonsville Democrat, said he plans to run for re-election in the fall but will consider higher office someday.

His prospects in the immediate future appear to be limited in the state redistricting plan. If the proposal becomes law, Olszewski will live in one of two precincts joined with and dominated by Anne Arundel County.

"You always keep your optionsopen, but I look forward to representing the citizens of the 7th [council] District," Olszewski said. "Especially if the map stays the way it is, I'll be working that much harder representing my constituents and making sure they get everything they deserve to keep up the good things that have been happening on the east side."

In other business, Councilman Vincent J. Gardina reintroduced minimum lot-width standards for the Bird River/Middle River area. He proposed the regulations last month but ran into opposition from other council members because they had not been developed in conjunction with the planning board or with a committee that had been preparing a development plan for the area.

Gardina said that in the meantime, he has met with several community groups and residents in the area and found universal support for the standards, which would require lots to be 75 feet wide and to have front yards at least 20 feet deep and 45-foot-deep back yards.

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