Baltimore Co. Council names attorney, reserves right to buy Pikes Theater


Members of the Baltimore County Council agreed last night to consider buying the old Pikes Theater in Pikesville for use as an arts center, confirmed a former school board president as county attorney and learned they had no say in what the county executive pays for trash cans in Essex.

The council approved a resolution sponsored by County Executive Roger B. Hayden and Councilman Melvin G. Mintz, D-2nd, to "reserve" the Pikes Theater, essentially preventing its owners from selling it to any party except the county.

Economic development director Richard Story said the resolution means the county has until April 30, 1992, to decide whether to purchase the closed theater in the 900 block of Reisterstown Road from the family of Sylvia B. Piven.

An arts foundation is set up to raise funds for renovations and possibly to lease and operate the facility if the county purchase is approved. Some 3,000 signatures have been collected on a statement supporting use of the theater, closed for eight years, as a center for stage performances, concerts, musicals and lectures, Mr. Mintz said.

Also last night, the council confirmed H. Emslie "Lee" Parks, a Towson lawyer and former school board president, to the $70,304 post of county attorney. The appointment had drawn objections from black leaders, who said Mr. Hayden had ignored requests to appoint an African-American as a county department head.

As for Mr. Hayden's agreement to reimburse the Essex Development Corp. $22,828 for new trash cans along Eastern Boulevard, because the contract is for less than $25,000, council members learned last night there was nothing they could do about the expense. At last week's council work session, Council Chairman Douglas B. Riley questioned the cost of the 38 cans, which come to roughly $538 each.

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