Klocko asks Burlison to resign as chairman

Council leader limited speech on Taylor site

August 09, 2002|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Council member John J. Klocko III demanded yesterday that council Chairman Bill D. Burlison resign as leader of the elected body, citing Burlison's handling of a recent contentious meeting.

Klocko, who made his unusual request by letter, chastised Burlison for his actions at a council meeting Monday during which legislation to redevelop the former David Taylor Research Center near Annapolis was debated.

Klocko, who yelled at Burlison during the marathon meeting that lasted past midnight, accused Burlison of attempting to "impede the democratic process" when he limited the speech of another elected official.

The chairman defended his action, citing a rule that allows him to limit speech when a member is being obstructive.

At the meeting, Burlison, a Democrat from Odenton, told Council member Barbara D. Samorajczyk, a Democrat from Annapolis, that she had five minutes to explain an amendment to a bill that would transfer the 46-acre site from the Navy to private developers Annapolis Partners.

Samorajczyk, who offered 23 amendments in all, appealed Burlison's decision, but a majority sided with the chairman.

Klocko, a Republican from Crofton, characterized Burlison's actions toward Samorajczyk as "punitive and biased."

He accused him of violating rules of order by making a motion merely to speed up business.

"The ensuing confusion caused by your reluctance to follow the proper procedure impeded the progress of the meeting," Klocko said.

For his part, Burlison said he has no intentions of stepping down as chairman.

"Mr. Klocko and I disagree from time to time, and obviously we disagreed over the decisions I made the other night," Burlison said. "I think I made the right decision. I have no regrets."

Samorajczyk said she, too, wants Burlison to resign.

"We all have equal power," she said.

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