Despite the advance publicity, Councilman Tom Quirk likely won't have anything earth shattering to say about a controversial Owings Mills development or come out against council courtesy on zoning issues.
"About 95 percent of my talk will be focused on the budget and fiscal issues facing the county," said Quirk, after being asked about the talk and what he might say.
"I guess because (the topic) is being promoted in the headlines, I'll touch on it," he said.
Quirk is scheduled to speak Thursday morning before the Greater Baltimore Economic Forum during a breakfast at Five Farms Country Club near Timonium. The event is organized by Robert Latshaw, a commercial real estate broker in Towson and former member of the Baltimore County Planning Board.
But the talk was being promoted Wednesday as an address about zoning decisions being left in the hands of one council member, as opposed to being handled countywide by members of the group Say No To Solo Cup.
"We trust Councilman Quirk is an honorable public servant," the group wrote in an email Wednesday. "We look forward to hearing Councilman Quirk’s views, but no media is allowed at the event and guests will be charged over $50 to hear Tom discuss these community matters. We are hopeful that Councilman Quirk will share his views about community involvement with all of us, and not just a select few."
Latshaw was not immediately available but the media has been allowed to attend the breakfast meetings in the past.
Quirk's views, however, on the Solo Cup proposal and councilmanic courtesy aren't exactly surprising.
The project is opposed by a group called Say No to Solo Cup as well as the developer of the Metro Centre at Owings Mills.
Quirk said he is involved in talking to Councilman Ken Oliver about the Metro Centre project and a bill that would lift zoning restrictins on it and with Councilwoman Vicki Almond, who represents the district that includes the Solo Cup property.
"I'm a big believer in focusing on the issues in southwest Baltimore County and my own zoning issues," said Quirk. "I think each councilmember knows their own districts best and they are accountable to the voters in those districts."
Quirk said he continues to support the policy of councilmanic courtesy in which members typically defer to the wishes of an individual councilmember when it comes to projects in their respective districts.
Such courtesies were an issue for Quirk last summer when the Catonsville Democrat wanted to revoke tentative approval for a proposed 10-home development on three acres off Thistle Road.
Quirk said he has no interest in telling other council members how to make decisions in their districts.
"It's not something I would do to another council person," Quirk said.