Bell seeks council role in choosing next legislative reference director


City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III wants the council to have a say in the selection of a new director of the city's legislative reference service.

"There is no office that is more important to the City Council than the Department of Legislative Reference," Mr. Bell said yesterday. "That is where our concepts are developed into bills that become laws."

Mr. Bell plans to introduce a resolution next week asking the Board of Estimates to speed a provision of the revised city charter that gives the council a representative on an expanded Board of Legislative Reference. The new charter is scheduled to take effect July 1, but the Board of Estimates has the authority to put parts of the charter into effect sooner.

A similar resolution has been introduced by 2nd District Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge.

Bernard F. Murphy -- the longtime director of the Department of Legislative Reference, who has been on extended medical leave since November -- is leaving the position Monday. The city began accepting applications for the $65,000-a-year post yesterday and is expected to name a successor in two weeks.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who controls three of the Board of Estimates' five votes and also chairs the Board of Legislative Reference, did not comment directly on Mr. Bell's resolution but vowed to include the council in discussions.

"Most council people just want to have an input. That's what I committed to do. I've already met with three different council people," the mayor said.

Pub Date: 3/07/96

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