Dillon of Pasadena becomes council's youngest chairman


Ronald C. Dillon Jr. became the youngest chairman of the Anne Arundel County Council last night as fellow council members elected him to a one-year term.

Dillon, a 29-year-old Republican from Pasadena, was elected to the council in 2002 and has been its vice chairman for the past year. As chairman, he will run the council's biweekly meetings and have a large hand in setting its agendas.

Dillon succeeds Severn Republican C. Edward Middlebrooks, who was known for keeping council proceedings brisk. Middlebrooks encouraged members to ask technical questions during daytime work sessions and to leave night meetings open for public testimony and policy debate.

Dillon said he will follow a similar path.

"I think Ed's done a real nice job of keeping the agendas to an appropriate length," Dillon said. "I intend to do the same."

The new chairman said he wants the council to be more active outside its legislative responsibilities, encouraging local charities and helping to organize community events.

Dillon has said he hopes to be county executive someday but that the chairmanship has little to do with that ambition.

"The chance to put it on my resume is not really why I'm interested in doing this," he said.

Four Republicans hold seats on the seven-member council. After the 2002 election, they reached an informal agreement that each would serve a year as chairman and a year as vice chairman. Crofton Republican Edward R. Reilly was elected vice chairman last night.

More than 100 county churchgoers attended last night's meeting to oppose a proposal by Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk that could have limited the size of church construction projects.

Samorajczyk, an Annapolis Democrat, withdrew her proposal, which would have limited the size of "impervious surfaces" such as private school and church parking lots in residential areas.

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