The Montgomery County Council will ask Maryland State Del. David L. Scull if he wishes to resign from the legislature and take his mother's seat on the council, several council members said yesterday.
The coucil members said Scull, chairman of the county's 21-member House delegation, is the favorite of four people being considered to fill the vacancy caused by the death Friday of Elizabeth Lee Scull, despite the fact that he does not live in his mother's district.
"If he wants the seat, he'll get it," said one council member who asked not to be named.
David Scull, a Chevy Chase lawyer who recently represented Maryland taxpayers in a successful lawsuit over kickbacks allegedly paid to Spiro Agnew, said yesterday he will consider the council offer.
"I'd do it to continue the policies that my mother and father worked so hard for," Scull said. "That's why it's particulary appealing to me."
"Scull's mother, 57, who died of cancer, was a liberal force on the council for 11 years and served as its president for several years. Scull's father was a member of the county council from 1966 until 1968, when he died of a heart attack in the council conference room.
Council members said appointing the son would maintain the status quo on the seven-member council since his political attitudes are similar to his mother's. Both believed the county should increase its supply of low and moderate income housing. Like his mother, Scull is considered a liberal on social issues and a conservative on fiscal issues.
The council position offers greater political visibility as well as a bigger salary than a seat in the General Assembly. Salary is not considered a factor for Scull, who is a member of one of Montgomery County's wealthest families.
Council members said they are considering, in addition to Scull, at least three other persons for the vacancy. Tom Bratten, a member of the Democratic Central Committee, Gus Gentile, a Democratic Party worker, and Jack Hewitt, a real estate salesman and a former planning board member.
Under Maryland law, the council must choose Mrs. Scull's successor within 30 days. The new council member must be a Democrat, as was Elizabeth Scull, and must live in Scull's district, which includes the southeastern portion of the county.
Bratten, Gentile, and Hewitt live in Scull's district, but her son does not. "I'd have to do something about that," said Scull yesterday, referring to his Chevy Chase residence. One council member suggested that Scull might move into mother's house.
At a brief meeting Friday, council members decided to refrain from doing anything about filling Scull's seat until next Saturday, the date of a memorial service for Scull. The council will then formally advertise the vacancy, asking those interested to write to the council.
Council members, however, have been talking about possible replacements for Scull for the past few months and individuals interested in the job have been talking to council members about the position.
"Since the day Betty was operated on last September, there have been people clawing at that seat," said one council member. "They're political vultures."
Scull, despite her declining health, never talked about her preference for a possible replacement to her seat. "She put her all into carrying on and fighting the disease," said council member Neal Potter.
Some council members said they might consider switching council member Rose Crenca, who lives in Scull's district, from an at-large seat to Scull's district seat, in order to allow them to select someone who lives anywhere in the county for Scull's seat. "That would only happen if no one is reaily acceptable" to the council who lives within Scull's district, said council member Rose Crenca.
The last time the council had to appoint a new council member was in 1978, when Norman Christeller resigned from his council job to take a job that paid more money. The council then appointed William Coleman, a former school board member, at the urging of Elizabeth Scull.