Cumberland Evening Times from Cumberland, Maryland on December 1, 1955 · Page 3
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Cumberland Evening Times from Cumberland, Maryland · Page 3

Cumberland, Maryland
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 1, 1955
Page 3
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Dial PA-2-4600 for a WANT AD Taker EVENING TIMES, CUMBERLAND. MD., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1955 THREE Legislature May Abolish State Roads Commission By HERB THOMPSON BALTIMORE (#>)—It appears certain now that the 1956 Legislature will abolish the State Roads Commission and replace it with a director of highways operating But there may be a scrap over •with an advisory board, how to do it. The Legislative Council yester- Y day endorsed the highway director •'.-idea proposed by the Green Commission on .State Programs, Organization and Finance and already agreed to by^pov. McKeldin. The between-sessions study grou of the General Assembly came up however, with its own plan for new roads group which contain two major changes from the Gree: proposal. Instead of a two-member advis ory board as proposed by th Green Commission, the counci voted for a five-man board wit members being appointed from th Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland Central Maryland, Western Mary land and Baltimore City. The di rector would be one of the policy making members and also woul have full-time duties as adminis trator of state highway programs Under the council bill now being drafted, members would be ap pointed by the governor subject ti Senate confirmation. The Green Commission proposal would give the governor full authority over ap pointing and removing members Del. Robinson (D-Balto 4th), a member of the Green Commission opposed the idea of expanding th membership as well as giving the Senate confirmation over. appoint ments, but .was outvoted. He ar gued the governor should have ful responsibility for state roads ac tions and that Senate control over appointments would be "unreal istic." • Sen. Louis Goldstein (D-Calvert) president of the Senate and chair man of the Legislative Council proposed the wider geographic rep resentation for the roads board anc said Gov. McKeldin was agreeable to it. It is not likely, however, tha the governor will feel as kindly toward giving the Senate • final say over whom he appoints. McKeldin, meanwhile, has gone ahead with other Green Commission suggestions for streamlining the SRC. He told the commission yesterday to'carry out proposals .calling for direct authority by the chief engineer over the right-of- way department, the traffic division and advisory engineer. He also suggested* hiring additional administrative personnel to give the chief engineer more time for engineering duties. In Addition to discussing the new highway director set-up yesterday, the council received an 18-page report ,from its Budget and Finance ~ Committee on an investigation of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel project. There had been criticism by Democrats since the 1954 general election campaign of the 7'/2 per cent fee paid two real estate firms to buy land for the project. One of the firms is headed by David M. Nichols, a former commission member who was awarded the 'contract shortly after he resigned from the SRC. The council committee said il "received no testimony which links the resignation of Mr. Nichols from the State Roads Commission to the contract for the tunnel approaches." But it sharply criticized the SRC's relations with -the J. E. Greiner Co., consulting engineers on the tunnel project who recommended the real estate agents, amount of fees and method of fees and method of land acquisition being employed. The council committee said the commission had delegated too much of its own authority to the Greiner Co. and added: "We be lieve the land for. the Patapsco River Tunnel might have been acquired more cheaply and without raising the sharp questions of public policy which have resultec from the contract." "In our opinion, the contracl should not have been entered into, and we hope that it will be the last of its kind ever to be used by the State Roads Commission oi Maryland." Six Democrats signed the report. Refusing to sign were Seriate Minority Leader Harry Phoebus (R- Somerset), House Minority Leader Melvin Derr '(R-Frederick) and Sen. Bertorelli (D-Balto 1st). The council decided yesterday to ask the Legislature and the governor to appoint a 15-member commission to go into the question of a possible revision of the formula for .redistributing .the state gasoline tax to subdivisions. The State presently keeps 50 per cent of the tax, gives Baltimore City 30 per cent and divides the remaining 20 per cent among the counties. Baltimore County claimed the formula is now "outmoded" and should be changed to give it more of the revenue. Representatives from Prince Georges, and Montgomery that a revision Anne Arundel counties agree should be made. Baltimore City is opposed' to the suggestion. The proposed commission to study the problem and other State- ocal fiscal relationships would meet with county and city interests and report back to the council by next Aug. 1. In other business, a committee of the council shelved a proposal 'or a re-registration of Maryland drivers. The Department of Motor Ve licles had pressed for the re •egistration. f f f t- $ I ! < i ! i E Central Fire House ts Being Repainted The interior of Central Fire Sta ion is being repainted by Rober Matthews, local paint contractor vho recently completed similar vork in City Hall and Police Head quarters. The fire house is being paintec combination of aqua, green anc vory. The-favorite in New York 2000 spotless rooms Sensible rates include radio Many rooms with Television HOTEL NEW YORK ON TIMES SQUARE AT RADIO CITY Mild itn'a. EM. Mgt. • Binj & Binj. Int.. Mjl. 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