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NEWS
December 31, 2003
On Tuesday, December 30, 2003; JOSEPH P. MERKE of Columbia, MD, devoted husband and loving father. Survived by his wife Barbara Merke and children David (Jennifer) Merke, Nathan (Missy) Merke of Columbia, MD, Ann Merke (John Levelle) of Annapolis, MD and Susan (Jeff) Kramer of Cincinnati, OH; grandchildren Zachary, Sarah, Ben, Nicholas, and Michael; brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews other relatives and friends. Visitation will be held Friday, January 2 from 5 to 7 PM at the Center for Ministry and Education of St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD. A Funeral Service will be held at 10 AM, Saturday, January 3 at the church.
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | January 3, 2004
Joseph P. Merke, a retired engineer and former chairman of the Columbia Council and Columbia Association board of directors, and an adviser to the Howard County Board of Education, died of cancer Tuesday at Sinai Hospital. He was 65. Mr. Merke, who was born and raised in Cincinnati, earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management in 1962 with a minor in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering and Business Administration of the University of Cincinnati. For 23 years, he worked in the plastic molding industry in Cincinnati - where he was a plant owner-manager, a consultant, a sales manager and an assistant chief engineer - before moving to Columbia in 1985.
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NEWS
October 27, 1992
Columbia Council member Joseph Merke deserves a note of praise for his decision to resign last week after being embroiled in a controversy over whether he should vote on a proposed golf course adjacent to his property.In announcing his departure, Mr. Merke acted with the dignity and scrupulousness that his council colleagues maintained were always present. But as he said himself, the controversy over the vote had "tainted the [Columbia] association, the council, the budget process and my integrity."
NEWS
December 31, 2003
On Tuesday, December 30, 2003; JOSEPH P. MERKE of Columbia, MD, devoted husband and loving father. Survived by his wife Barbara Merke and children David (Jennifer) Merke, Nathan (Missy) Merke of Columbia, MD, Ann Merke (John Levelle) of Annapolis, MD and Susan (Jeff) Kramer of Cincinnati, OH; grandchildren Zachary, Sarah, Ben, Nicholas, and Michael; brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews other relatives and friends. Visitation will be held Friday, January 2 from 5 to 7 PM at the Center for Ministry and Education of St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD. A Funeral Service will be held at 10 AM, Saturday, January 3 at the church.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | January 19, 2000
The chairman of the Columbia Council will retire from the Columbia Association's governing body at the end of the current session in April. Joseph Merke, who represents Town Center on the 10-member panel, said he will not be a candidate in village elections April 15. He has served a total of eight years on the council. "I've had enough," Merke, former vice chairman of the Town Center village board, said yesterday. "It's a lot of work and a lot of time. That's mainly it." Merke said he didn't want to commit to another two years.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | February 12, 1993
In reaction to the resignation last fall of one of its members, the Columbia Council debated last night whether to create a committee to re-evaluate the recently established policy on conflicts of interest.The council decided to vote on whether to form an ethics panel -- either a subcommittee of the council or an appointed group of volunteers -- at its March 11 meeting.The council is revisiting the sticky matter of deciding when a member should be prohibited from voting on an issue being considered by the council because of the confusion created when village of Town Center representative Joseph P. Merke resigned unexpectedly in October.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | January 3, 2004
Joseph P. Merke, a retired engineer and former chairman of the Columbia Council and Columbia Association board of directors, and an adviser to the Howard County Board of Education, died of cancer Tuesday at Sinai Hospital. He was 65. Mr. Merke, who was born and raised in Cincinnati, earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management in 1962 with a minor in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering and Business Administration of the University of Cincinnati. For 23 years, he worked in the plastic molding industry in Cincinnati - where he was a plant owner-manager, a consultant, a sales manager and an assistant chief engineer - before moving to Columbia in 1985.
NEWS
By Mark Guidera and Mark Guidera,Staff Writer | October 15, 1992
A legal opinion issued this week says Columbia Council Member Joseph Merke shouldn't have participated in an Oct. 8 vote on whether he has a conflict of interest.According to council Chairman John Hansen, the opinion found that Mr. Merke shouldn't have been allowed to vote on whether he has a conflict in voting on the proposed $5.5 million Fairway Hills golf course. The course would abut his Town Center property.Several council members now want the council's conflict-of-interest policy to be revised to bar members from participating in decisions on whether they have conflicts.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | May 7, 1999
The Columbia Association's governing body last night elected a new chairman who wants to improve relations with the community's villages, consider acquiring more land from the Rouse Co. and streamline the council's biweekly meetings.Joseph Merke of Town Center was unanimously elected to head the 10-member council -- which sets communitywide policy for the 87,000 residents of James W. Rouse's planned community -- for the yearlong session that began Saturday.Merke, who described the position as "first among equals," served one term as council chair during the 1997-1998 session, but was defeated for re-election by Norma Rose of Wilde Lake.
NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Dan Morse and Erin Texeira and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
The Columbia Association's (CA) governing body last night chose its leadership for the coming year with scarcely a mention TC of this week's disclosures about widespread problems with the homeowner group's purchasing practices.In a work session that only two residents attended, Columbia Council -- with nine of its 10 members present, including three newly elected members -- selected a new chairman, Joseph P. Merke from Columbia's Town Center.Merke, viewed as a moderate who occasionally challenges decisions of the CA's paid staff, defeated David Berson of Columbia's River Hill village.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | April 28, 2000
The Columbia Council held its final meeting of a tumultuous yearlong session last night, even as members worked at the 11th hour to determine the fate of Columbia Association President Deborah O. McCarty. McCarty's future remained unclear as the council -- acting as a board of directors -- went into executive session late last night. The makeup of the board will change Monday when four new members will take office. Council Chairman Joseph Merke had been trying to piece together support behind the scenes for an agreement that would be acceptable to McCarty and a majority of the 10-member council.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | April 11, 2000
Three candidates for the Town Center Columbia Council seat faced off last night, sharing their views on such issues as whether the planned community should incorporate as a city to whether embattled Columbia Association President Deborah O. McCarty should resign. Council Chairman Joseph Merke is not running for re-election. The Town Center council seat is open, and the three candidates vying for the seat -- Dennis Lane, Donna Rice and Suzanne Waller -- seemed to have more in common than not. Responding to written questions from an audience made up largely of senior citizens at the Vantage House retirement community, all three said they oppose the elimination of the 10 villages as part of Columbia's governance structure.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | February 20, 2000
Another member of the Columbia Council is supporting an independent audit of travel and other expenditures made by Columbia Association President Deborah O. McCarty. Kirk Halpin, of Kings Contrivance village, is the second of 10 board members to call for an outside review of expenditures that have included trips to Florida, Georgia and California during the past 18 months. "As a publicly elected official from the village of Kings Contrivance, I believe that the public has the right to know how their assessments and membership dollars are being used by Deborah McCarty," he said.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | January 19, 2000
The chairman of the Columbia Council will retire from the Columbia Association's governing body at the end of the current session in April. Joseph Merke, who represents Town Center on the 10-member panel, said he will not be a candidate in village elections April 15. He has served a total of eight years on the council. "I've had enough," Merke, former vice chairman of the Town Center village board, said yesterday. "It's a lot of work and a lot of time. That's mainly it." Merke said he didn't want to commit to another two years.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | May 7, 1999
The Columbia Association's governing body last night elected a new chairman who wants to improve relations with the community's villages, consider acquiring more land from the Rouse Co. and streamline the council's biweekly meetings.Joseph Merke of Town Center was unanimously elected to head the 10-member council -- which sets communitywide policy for the 87,000 residents of James W. Rouse's planned community -- for the yearlong session that began Saturday.Merke, who described the position as "first among equals," served one term as council chair during the 1997-1998 session, but was defeated for re-election by Norma Rose of Wilde Lake.
NEWS
By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | April 1, 1998
Claire L. McGough, a social worker in the Maryland prison system, died of cancer March 25 at her Timonium residence. She was 60.Mrs. McGough, who had battled cancer for 15 years, joined the state Division of Correction in 1976, evaluating inmates at the Maryland Penitentiary and later the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center, both in Baltimore. She retired on medical disability in 1995.A woman with a forceful personality, she could "walk into someone's life and start reorganizing it before they knew it," said her husband of 21 years, Dennis McGough, director of human resources at the Maryland School for the Blind.
NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Dan Morse and Erin Texeira and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
The Columbia Association's (CA) governing body last night chose its leadership for the coming year with scarcely a mention of this week's disclosures about the widespread problems with the homeowner group's purchasing practices.In a work session that only two residents attended, Columbia Council -- with nine of its 10 members present, including three newly elected members -- selected a new chairman, Joseph P. Merke from Columbia's Town Center.Merke, viewed as a moderate who occasionally challenges decisions of the CA's paid staff, defeated David Berson of Columbia's River Hill village.
NEWS
By Mark Guidera and Mark Guidera,Staff Writer | October 23, 1992
Columbia Council member Joseph P. Merke resigned last night, saying he could no longer serve because his integrity had been "tainted" by questions raised over a possible conflict of interest.The resignation stunned the council. One member sat with her face buried in her hand, while others' faces appeared ashen as Mr. Merke announced his resignation."The results of one evening's meeting have unfortunately tainted the [Columbia] association, the council, the budget process, and my integrity.
NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Dan Morse and Erin Texeira and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
The Columbia Association's (CA) governing body last night chose its leadership for the coming year with scarcely a mention of this week's disclosures about the widespread problems with the homeowner group's purchasing practices.In a work session that only two residents attended, Columbia Council -- with nine of its 10 members present, including three newly elected members -- selected a new chairman, Joseph P. Merke from Columbia's Town Center.Merke, viewed as a moderate who occasionally challenges decisions of the CA's paid staff, defeated David Berson of Columbia's River Hill village.
NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Dan Morse and Erin Texeira and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
The Columbia Association's (CA) governing body last night chose its leadership for the coming year with scarcely a mention TC of this week's disclosures about widespread problems with the homeowner group's purchasing practices.In a work session that only two residents attended, Columbia Council -- with nine of its 10 members present, including three newly elected members -- selected a new chairman, Joseph P. Merke from Columbia's Town Center.Merke, viewed as a moderate who occasionally challenges decisions of the CA's paid staff, defeated David Berson of Columbia's River Hill village.
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