Last night's Baltimore City Council meeting was punctuated by an angry outburst from the president of a group that's pushing for a publicly owned, non-profit insurance cooperative for city drivers.
Police were called to restore order and A. Robert Kaufman, president of the City Wide Insurance Coalition, was ejected from the meeting.
The incident occurred as a beaming Councilman Melvin A. Stukes, D-6th, explained how he and other council members had devised a way for donors to make tax-deductible contributions to raise $60,000 needed for a study of the alternative insurance company for city drivers.
"This is a charade, and the people of this city should know it's a charade," shouted Mr. Kaufman, as Council President Mary Pat Clarke attempted to gavel him down.
"They're not doing anything," shouted Mr. Kaufman, who maintains that the plan to cut city drivers' high insurance premiums by creating the cooperative has been stalled by the council.
"We're on announcements, not rampages," Ms. Clarke said, and the meeting continued.
Meanwhile, the feud between the council and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke over the controversial Channel One television news program in city schools, died quietly yesterday. It was a week old.
Councilman Carl Stokes, D-2nd, said that over the weekend council leaders and administration officials -- including those on the school board -- agreed to meet yesterday and resolve their differences.
Mr. Stokes, chairman of the Education and Human Resources Committee, threatened last week to subpoena the entire school board -- a move that Mr. Schmoke had said he would fight in court.
But after a meeting yesterday of committee members, the school board, Mr. Schmoke and Mrs. Clarke, the matter appeared resolved, Mr. Stokes said.