MANCHESTER — By a landslide proportion, Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. will be re-elected in May.
So will Councilman John A. Riley.
And political newcomer Joseph S. Gayer will grab a seat on the Town Council.
No, the town's May 21 elections are not rigged. Nor have the 1,148 registered voters here been asked their voting patterns in a comprehensive poll.
Warehime, Riley and Gayer are the only three people who filed intentions to run for office.
Barring a major, unexpected write-in campaign -- something town officials term highly unlikely -- the election outcome isn't difficult to predict.
"Unless there's a major uprising, I guess I'll be on the council again,"Riley said.
The filing deadline for candidates was 7:30 Monday night, and, up until that deadline, no one had even as much as called the town office to register interest in a four-year stint in Manchester government.
"Don't even remember an election when we didn't haveany opposition," said Kathryn Riley, the town's clerk and treasurer for 23 years. "We usually have a primary."
There's no need for that this year.
And as the current council and mayor face two more meetings before Gayer replaces Councilman Larry L. Gouker, little is expected to change in this town of nearly 2,700 people.
The council will continue to deal with parking problems -- like it did during last night's meeting when 10 people came out to either support or opposeparking on narrow Grafton Street.
It will continue to work through budgets, its $11 million sewage treatment plant expansion and a myriad of other concerns that come in front of the public body twice a month.
And, as a master plan for the town and surrounding areas nears completion, the new councilman will join a years-old debate on howbest to control growth in Manchester.
Gouker, a program management executive at Westinghouse, decided not to run for re-election.
"I guess I just decided that it was a little more work than I was ableto give it," he said before his second-to-last council meeting.
Council seats pay $500 a year, while the mayor earns $1,200.
Gouker, an eight-year chairman of the town's Board of Zoning Appeals, was appointed in February to fill the seat held by David M. Warner, who resigned to become the town's first projects administrator.
Taking Gouker's seat -- barring a write-in -- will be Gayer, a one-year Main Street resident whose other stab at political office was a run for a General Assembly seat in Howard County 20 years ago.
"I've always wanted to be in politics," the 44-year-old florist and agricultural economist said yesterday. "I want to protect the town. I have seen what happened to Howard County and Ellicott City, and I can see it on the horizon."
Gayer is the owner of Greens View Inc., a floral-consulting company he operates out of his home.
He will be joined on council by Riley, the Hampstead manager who has served as councilman since the fall, when he replaced Diane D. Maddox, who moved out of town. Council members Geoff Black, Gerald Bollinger and Charlotte Collettare up for re-election in 1993.
To vote in the May 21 election, residents must register by April 22. Forms are available at the town office on York Street.