Former Maryland governor Parris N. Glendening's new Smart Growth Leadership Institute will operate on a $1 million annual budget, and he's raised about a third of the first year's funds.
At a news conference in Washington yesterday, Glendening said the two-person institute, dedicated to promoting smart-growth policies nationally, will train and advise state and local officials interested in issues related to land preservation and halting suburban sprawl.
"People understand we have to change," he said. "But the key question is how."
Glendening said he has raised the funds in part with a grant from the Ford Foundation. He said he expects contributions from private philanthropists, business and labor.
Glendening declined to say how much of the institute's budget will go into his paycheck as president. "The contract," he said, "is confidential."
Senate Delays Vote
On State Police Chief
The Senate once again delayed a vote on the confirmation of Edward T. Norris as superintendent of the Maryland State Police, with some lawmakers saying they first want Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to settle a long-running racial profiling lawsuit.
Yesterday, the Senate postponed a vote on Norris's appointment for the third time at the request of Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore), who said she and other legislators want to meet with Ehrlich to discuss a proposed settlement in a lawsuit alleging a pattern of racial discrimination by state troopers.
The settlement was negotiated by the administration of former governor Parris N. Glendening but has not received Ehrlich's approval. Ehrlich has said he supports the settlement in principle but wants more time to review it and make changes.
Norris and Ehrlich's legal counsel, Jervis Finney, are scheduled to meet today with a federal mediator to discuss the settlement, Finney said. The mediator suggested the meeting to explain the settlement to Ehrlich's team.
Gladden said Ehrlich's aides have agreed to meet with lawmakers tomorrow. Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver said the governor stood squarely behind Norris, a former Baltimore police chief.
Former D.C. Detective
To Take House Seat
Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) announced yesterday that former D.C. police detective W. Louis Hennessy will fill an open House of Delegates seat in Charles County.
Hennessy, 47, was nominated by the local Republican Central Committee last month to replace former delegate Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins, whom Ehrlich appointed secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A La Plata defense lawyer, Hennessy was sworn in yesterday and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
Hennessy's nomination became controversial when Hutchins criticized him as unqualified and called into question the unity of the committee, which voted 3 to 2 for Hennessy with two abstentions. Ehrlich sent state GOP Chairman John Kane and Paul Ellington, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's deputy chief of staff, to Charles County last week to ask for another vote. The committee unanimously reaffirmed its support.
Staff writers Michael Amon and Craig Whitlock contributed to this report.