Rain forest bill tabled


The Howard County Council tabled a bill last night that would prevent the county government from buying any products costing more than $2,000 and made with wood from a tropical rain forest.

The bill introduced by Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, received general support from the council, but a majority decided it needed further study.

Also last night, the council voted 4-1 against a bill introduced by Mr. Gray that would have required the inspection and registration of all alarm systems in the county.

And, the council took the unusual step of tabling the nomination of Allan Kittleman, a member of the Republican Central Committee, by County Executive Charles I. Ecker to the five-member public ethics commission.

Mr. Kittleman is the son of state Delegate Robert H. Kittleman, R-14B.

Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, urged the tabling. She said she wanted the ethics commission to give an opinion on whether Mr. Kittleman, as a central committee member, would be faced with conflicts of interest.

Mr. Gray said, "Nobody has ever served on the ethics board who has been a public official."

Two Republican council members, Darrel Drown, District 2, and Charles C. Feaga, District 5, accused the three Democrats who tabled the appointment of engaging in a partisan political maneuver.

The council unanimously repealed legislation authorizing the county executive to furlough county employees and adopted legislation aimed at giving the 40 people laid off this year preference when job vacancies occur.

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