When the Carroll planning commission meets today, the seven-member board will begin the process of selecting a new leader. But some members already are saying they'll vote to keep Chairman Dennis P. Bowman.
With Mr. Bowman's five-year term set to expire in November, the rest of the board will select a successor. In years past, the seat has gone to the panel's vice chairman, a seat now occupied by Zeno M. Fisher Jr.
But, according to commission members interviewed yesterday, Mr. Bowman could retain his post if -- as expected -- he is renominated to the commission for a second five-year term.
"I haven't been told anything recently, so I don't know what the commissioners are going to do, but I would gladly serve again," Mr. Bowman, a Union Bridge farmer, said yesterday.
Two of the commission's newest members -- David T. Duree of New Windsor and Joseph H. Mettle of Sykesville -- are expected to ask their commission colleagues for a clarification of the way leadership positions are selected on the board, and to formulate guidelines so that they and the public know how the commission functions.
"We really need to be able to make an intelligent vote between now and then," said Mr. Mettle, who is on a subcommittee putting together the guidelines.
Mr. Duree, a former commission alternate, said that it will be important to "have reliability and predictability in our workings."
Among the areas that have proven least predictable is how the commission views the county's adequate public facilities certification process.
Today, Mr. Bowman said the commission will decide whether or not to approve developments in areas served by schools deemed inadequate by county school officials.
Mr. Bowman said that the situation is affecting a specific project of about 50 homes in the central part of the county, and he is going to ask the commission to decide whether a commitment to fund the construction of another school is enough to approve the development even though the current school is overcrowded.
"We really need to decide at what point we say 'Yes' or 'No,' " Mr. Bowman said.
Robin M. Frazier, appointed to the commission a year ago by Commissioner Donald I. Dell, said that the issue is one of the most important facing the commission.
"We've never been at this point before, and this comes down to a real difficult decision," Mrs. Frazier said. "We have a lot to clear up, so that we, the public and developers know what's going on."
The planning commission meets at Bear Branch Nature Center, adjacent to Hashawa Environmental Center off Route 97. The meeting, which is expected to last all day, will begin at 9 a.m.