SYKESVILLE — A flip-flop by the Town Council president Monday means that all three incumbents will defend their seats in the May 7 town election.
Four challengers round out the field vying for the four-year council seats. The election will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town House.
Six weeks after announcing that he would not seek re-election, Council President Charles B. Mullins said at Monday's council meeting that he had changed his mind earlier that day.
Mullins, first elected in 1983, said he reconsidered on learning that Councilman Charles H. "Tim" Ferguson also would seek re-election. The third council incumbent, Maxine C. Wooleyhand, previously announced plans to run again.
Ferguson, Mullins and Wooleyhand have become known as "The Gang of Three" for their teaming up with the same conservative stances on budget and other matters. That pattern frequently has sparked dissension among the six-member council.
"I just want to look out for the taxpayer as I have for the last eight years," the 49-year-old Mullinssaid.
"The Gang of Three will not be as effective unless all three are voted back in," he added with a grin.
Wooleyhand said that she, Ferguson and Mullins "generally like and respect each other and that has a lot to do with (their cohesiveness). We've lived here a long time, raised our children here, and have a feel for the town."
Mullins, who owns and rents property in the downtown area, was the topvote-getter in the 1987 election. He was voted council president shortly afterward.
Ferguson, also first elected in 1983, sits on the Budget and Personnel Committee and was council president from 1985 to1987. He is on the county's Economic and Development Commission.
The 55-year-old councilman was a maintenance mechanic for the Maryland Division of Correction's central laundry unit before he retired on disability. He and his wife, Norma, have been married for 12 years.
Wooleyhand, 48, was first elected in 1987. She sits on the Recycling Committee and edits the town newsletter. She is Sykesville's representative to the Carroll chapter of the Maryland Municipal League, of which she also is secretary-treasurer. Wooleyhand ran unsuccessfully for a county commissioner seat last fall.
The councilwoman has been active in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Carroll County Food Sunday and ESCAPE, an emergency-aid group. She is on the county's Board of Review of the Minimum Code of Livability and the Affordable Housing Advisory Group.
She and her husband of 29 years, William, have four sons. In 1990, she graduated from Carroll Community College with an associate degree in general studies, attaining a 3.95 grade-point average for the two-year program.
Four other residents were nominated as candidates Monday:
* Jonathan Herman, 38, is a six-year resident who owns Herman Woodworking, a restoration and cabinet business. Heis chairman of the Sykesville Planning Commission, was a consultanton restoration of the historic train station, and was a member of the now-defunct Sykesville Improvement Association.
"I want to bringmore continuity to the council as a group," Herman said. "Presently,the council is usually split three to three on most issues. I would be able to address issues on an individual basis."
His goals for the town are simply "to improve the quality of living for the people of Sykesville."
He and his wife, Rebecca, and two daughters live onNorwood Avenue.
* Walter Robert White, 48, believes "that people have not been fully represented. And if elected, I would hope that the Sykesville residents would look to me as their voice on the Town Council."
A management analyst with Loral Aerospace of Hanover, AnneArundel County, White has lived in the town for six years. He and his wife, Anita, and their two sons live on Second Avenue.
* Carole Norback, 37, is an administrative assistant to the president of Greenberg Publishing Co. and property agent for Greenberg Properties in Sykesville. She also is a hostess for the annual town Strawberry Festival in June, sponsored by the town's Historic Preservation Commission.
She said she is running for the council because of concern about the town's present direction.
Norback would seek "a unification ofall town members, including old and new residents." She added: "I want a growth in business and rehabilitation on Main Street and increased activity in community activism regarding recycling, safety and trees."
She also wants growth that "provides prosperity for the town without detracting from its quaintness."
A six-year resident, she and her husband, John, and their daughter live on Springfield Avenue.
* William "Bill" R. Hall Jr., 42, moved to town in 1983. He has been employed with the Baltimore City Fire Department for 19 years andworks part time at Greenberg Publishing Co.
"I want to do what I can to help make Sykesville a better place for me, my family and all the residents," he said.
His goals include improved safety for children, controlled growth, a renaissance of Sykesville's commerce and a more ambitious recycling program.