Betterton mayor defeats predecessor in re-election bid

October 08, 1990|By Joel McCord

Betterton Mayor Carolyn Sorge, who was appointed to the post two years ago, won re-election Saturday by more than a 2-to-1 margin, handily defeating her predecessor, Frank S. Puleo.

Mrs. Sorge, a teacher and Betterton native, received 113 votes to 49 for Mr. Puleo, a retired Pennsylvania highway worker who was elected mayor of the Kent County town four years ago.

Mr. Puleo, 69, resigned after two years in office because he said he "couldn't get no cooperation" from the Town Council. Then he decided to try to win back his old post.

Nearly three-quarters of the town's 204 registered voters turned out for the election Saturday, Mrs. Sorge said yesterday.

"There are lots of people interested in what's going on in the town," she said.

Mrs. Sorge will serve for four years. Cathy Roberts and Donald Sutton also won election to the four-member Town Council, the mayor said. During the mayoral campaign, a flap developed over a "Puleo for Mayor" sign. A supporter of Mr. Puleo had put a sign on her lawn and promptly received a letter from the town planning board, insisting that she pay a $25 permit fee in accordance with zoning requirements or remove the sign.

Mayor Sorge and the city's zoning administrator contended that the letter was not politically motivated.

Last Tuesday, the Betterton Town Council called a special meeting to eliminate the $25 permit fee. Mrs. Sorge said then that, after the election, she would take steps to have political signs exempted from the zoning ordinance governing sign requirements.

Yesterday, Mrs. Sorge said, the proposed ordinance change is "in the works."

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