Efforts by Prince George's County to set up a new nonprofit hospital system moved ahead yesterday as the County Council approved 11 of 15 names submitted by County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan to fill seats on a new board that ultimately will lease the county's three hospitals.
Hogan, who tried unsuccessfully to have the hospitals leased to a private firm, has been deadlocked with the council over the remaining four names since negotiations began two months ago.
The council rejected a proposed letter to Hogan asking him to pick two members and allowing the council to pick two. Council members decided to delay any decision until after the November election.
If the two sides cannot agree by Dec. 31, already selected members of the board will have the authority to fill the remaining vacancies.
Dorothy McNeill, vice president of a senior citizens' group, Betterment for United Seniors, which had lobbied for the new hospital system, said she was satisfied that "things are finally rolling along."
Other appointments made by Hogan, a Republican, did not fare as well, however. The all-Democratic council rejected about 40 names to fill vacancies on various boards and commissions, calling them "12th-hour appointments."
The council members had said they would reject the names when Hogan released them earlier this month, because the Republican executive and a majority of the council were now lame ducks. Council members, who have clashed with Hogan over appointments throughout their terms, said that new officials should have a free hand in shaping the new government.
But the names were rejected without prejudice, meaning they can be resubmitted when the new officials take their seats in December.
Council member Sue V. Mills cast the one dissenting vote, saying that many of the nominations, on such bodies as the mental health advisory committee and the landlord-tenant commission, are urgently needed. Hogan was unavailable for comment.
In other action, the council approved a number of industrial revenue bonds, a contract agreement for supervisory nurses at Prince George's General Hospital, and an agreement consolidating the printing facilities of the county with the school board, a proposal negotiated over the last eight years.
The council delayed action on two potentially controversial decisions until after the election. One would appropriate $2 million in surplus revenue for the police department to replace old cars. Some council members wanted the money shared with the schools.
Another bill concerning the county's new ethics law was tabled after some council members and county lawyers said it was too broad and would restrict citizen access to the council