The following were among actions taken at Monday's meeting of the Howard County Council. For more information, call 992-2001.
COUNCIL ELECTIONS -- The council elected Ruth Keeton, a Columbia Democrat, as chairman for next year.
C. Vernon Gray, who is from eastern Columbia and had been chairman since 1985, will become vice-chairman. The council also elected Angela Beltram to chair the zoning board and Gray to head the liquor board.
Charles Feaga will serve as vice chairman of the zoning and liquor boards, as well as serve on the Water Quality Coordinating Committee, a Regional Planning Council subcommittee that monitors the county's water.
Shane Pendergrass will represent the county on the Regional Planning Council, and Beltram will serve on the Maryland Association of Counties and the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Council.
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION -- The council voted 5 to 0 to increase the number of members on the county Historic District Commission from five to seven in an effort to more evenly divide the commission's workload and to provide future help for the commission if the county creates additional historic districts.
The county's only historic district, which is in downtown Ellicott City, was created in 1973. County executive Elizabeth Bobo is considering a proposal to establish historic districts in Savage and Elkridge.
Council member Pendergrass, whose district includes Elkridge, called the decision "a good step for now," but he would like to see a more even geographical distribution of commission members in the future. Currently, four members of the commission are from Ellicott City and one is from Savage.
COUNCIL AIDE STATUS -- The council voted 3 to 2 to upgrade the status of council aides by increasing their salaries and changing their professional classifications.
Council member Gray, who introduced the bill, said that the five council aides now are classified as para-professionals when they act as professionals.
Council member Feaga opposed the proposal saying that the county aides' salaries were the same as those paid to people in comparable positions at the state level. Under the bill, the aides would receive a pay raise effective July 1988 that would increase their salaries from $21,490 to $22,573. The aides also would be given the new title of special assistant.
HISTORIC SITE MARKERS -- The council voted 5 to 0 to table a controversial bill that would amend the existing sign code to allow markers at the county's 500 historic sites.
The bill's sponsors, Pendergrass and Keeton said they felt that the county's historic landmarks would be easier to find if there were signs on the highways directing visitors to the sites and markers at the sites.
Opponents of the bill fear that an amendment to the sign code would allow the proliferation of signs at historic sites.
The bill is expected to be discussed at the next legislative session on Jan. 4.