Standoff involving Angelos post ends

Council's choice gets job for which Smith nominated Orioles owner

Attorney had name withdrawn

August 04, 2004|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

Nearly 13 months after Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.'s nomination of Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos to the Revenue Authority board led to a standoff with the County Council, the council's long-standing choice for the position has gotten the job.

Monday night, council members approved the reappointment of Towson attorney Leslie M. Pittler to the five-member authority, which manages the county's golf courses and parking lots and garages, and takes in about $14 million a year.

Smith nominated Pittler after Angelos asked that his name be withdrawn, Renee Samuels, the county executive's spokeswoman, said yesterday.

The council also confirmed Smith's nomination of Stephen Burch, a Comcast Cable executive, to another term on the board.

"It feels good," council Chairman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley, a Catonsville Democrat, said of ending the stalemate over the nominations. "I think Mr. Pittler served the citizens and the Revenue Authority well in the past and will continue to do that."

Pittler said yesterday that he wasn't sure how he came to be nominated to the board. An aide to Smith told him last week that the county executive would forward his nomination to the council, he said.

Smith is on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. Samuels said the executive met two weeks ago over lunch with Angelos, who asked to be taken out of the running for the post "so he could focus more attention on the Orioles."

Angelos could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The standoff began in July last year when Smith nominated the Orioles owner and Baltimore attorney in an attempt to strengthen the membership of the Revenue Authority. Smith said at the time that he wanted the board to assume a larger role in efforts to revitalize commercial areas and that he thought Angelos' success in downtown redevelopment projects could help the county.

Council members said the nomination violated a gentleman's agreement between the administrative and legislative branches of the county government that council members choose one of the five representatives on the Revenue Authority board. For five years, the council's representative had been Pittler.

To preserve their voice in the management of the authority, council members would not schedule a vote on Angelos' nomination.

Moxley, the council chairman, said Angelos would have been a good addition to the board, "but the council wanted to retain Mr. Pittler, also."

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