2 on zoning panel asked to resign


The fracas at Monday's Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission meeting has led at least one resident to contact Mayor C. Clinton Becker, asking for two members to apologize and resign.

Ken Meekins, who lives in North Carroll Farms, has suggested the mayor review the tapes of Monday's meeting to examine the behavior of commission member William Drummond and the chairman, Arthur Moler.

"I believe you will be as outraged as those who were exposed to the inappropriate behavior of Mr. William Drummond," Mr. Meekins said in a letter dated Tuesday.

"It is my hope that you will remove Mr. Drummond from his position on the zoning board before his behavior explodes into violence."

The issue will be discussed at the next council meeting, Oct. 11, said Councilman Wayne Thomas, who attended Monday's meeting.

Hampstead's town code says commission members may be removed by the mayor and Town Council for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

"Can we avoid it? No," Mr. Thomas said. "If it's not on the agenda, one of the people attending will bring it up."

Mr. Drummond, who was attending his second commission meeting since being appointed in August, apparently lost his temper during public comment on a proposal to defer reviewing plans for new subdivisions until a town-county committee could study ideas to control growth.

James Springer of North Carroll Farms was one member of the audience who addressed the issue during a period for public comment.

Those at the meeting have said Mr. Drummond leaned across the commission table and began yelling at Mr. Springer when he had finished his remarks and turned to return to his seat.

Mr. Moler, who Mr. Meekins has also suggested should resign, allowed Mr. Drummond to continue shouting for several minutes until Mr. Thomas and other members of the audience called for him to restore order, people who attended the meeting said.

The chairman then briefly adjourned the meeting while he spoke with Mr. Drummond in a back room.

"I was very disappointed in what happened Monday night," said Mr. Thomas, who declined to comment on whether the two men should resign. "It certainly didn't make the commission look good. It was embarrassing."

Mr. Moler, who is also a member of the town council, and council members Jacqueline Hyatt and Dwight Womer declined to comment on the incident.

Neither Mr. Womer nor Mrs. Hyatt attended the meeting Monday. Mr. Drummond and Mr. Becker could not be reached for comment.

"I want to get the tape and listen to the tape," Mr. Womer said. "That way, I know exactly what happened."

But Councilman Gary Bauer, who did not attend the meeting, said he didn't think the men should be required to resign because the incident did not constitute "malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance."

"I can't comment on whether he should apologize or not," Mr. Bauer said. "As an official, you're subject to all that, and you have to take it with a grain of salt and not respond to what the audience says.

"But as far as resigning, they have not done anything that was not following the rules established in the charter."

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