Baltimore County officials will make their annual migration to Ocean City next month for the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference but they won't be holding their traditional party.
"I felt uncomfortable about last year's event," Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, said. "I have ordinary people who give me $30 or $40 and I don't think they want their money subsidizing a party."
Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, said she opted not to pay a share of the party because the council has been barred from raising money for nearly a year while it handles zoning requests in the county's quadrennial Comprehensive Rezoning Map Process.
"I quite honestly didn't want to take money out of my campaign funds for a Coke and a crab cake," Almond said.
Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, is traveling in Norway and was not immediately available for an interview.
In an email, Quirk said simply that he was "not participating in the MACo reception."
Last year, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and all seven council members contributed $1,000 toward the party. The money came from their campaign accounts.
Another $15,000 came from various interests including lobbyists and attorneys.
A Reporter was kept in the lobby outside the event while about 250 people including leaders of other jurisdictions, state legislators, lobbyists and others interested in influencing county decision-makers enjoyed drinks at the open bar and dined on various meats on a stick.
Almond said she plans on attending the conference as she did last year. She and Marks were seen frequently at the convention center, taking advantage of the three days of seminars for county leaders.
"I like going to the classes," Almond said, adding that she didn't feel that if she didn't go to the party that she would be neglecting the development attorneys who normally attend. "I have a pretty nice relationship with them but I've worked with them a lot already this year."