Oakland Mills Residents Reject Board Incumbent In Strong Turnout

Butsparse Voting Leaves Owen Brown Election Unvalidated

April 24, 1991|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff writer

Columbia's villagers braved their fifth straight rainy election day Saturday, voting out an incumbent village association board member inOakland Mills and failing to cast enough ballots to validate the election of board members in Owen Brown.

Incumbent Diane Beil received 128 votes to come in seventh in a field of eight candidates for the Oakland Mills village association board, which made the race the most competitive in Columbia.

In contrast to the 397 votes cast in Oakland Mills, only 172 voters turned out in Owen Brown, where incumbents Marilyn Newhouse and Jay Stearman and newcomer Wanda Hurt sought to fill three available board seats.

Columbia Council member Karen Kuecker is in the middle of a two-year term. To validate the election, at least 340 votes were needed.

"We did not get our quorum; we had a very poor turnout," said village manager Ruth A. Bohse.

That happened despite the village's most aggressive attempt yet to lure voters -- it gave each votera raffle ticket for $100 worth of gift certificates.

Bohse said she hopes to schedule a new election that would allow any number of voters to qualify as a quorum.

Oakland Mills village association manager Susan Schmugge said her village offered no special incentives and has a history of good voter turnouts, regardless of issues or competition.

"There were no overriding issues," Schmugge said, although"there have been some things that happened in the last year that attracted a lot of interest."

Among those were the board's lobbying to get a large parcel of farmland protected from development, get a traffic study of east Columbia roads done and deal with the problem of a playground becoming a teen-age hangout.

Two newcomers, Neil Noble and Paulette Smith, joined Beil in losing to incumbent John Lilly, returning member Frances Na-- and newcomers Jim Oremland, Lisa Werre and Al Dunn.

Oakland Mills' Columbia Council representative slot was also contested, with Fran Wishnick prevailing over Marcelino Bedolla, 196-157, to replace outgoing representative David Rakes.

In two other contested elections:

* Wilde Lake voters re-elected incumbents Gene Collins and Janet Mason and elected Eric S.Marburger, Elizabeth T. Alexander and Gregory Siracusa to their board, while rejecting Stephen Deets. Deets' brother, Michael Deets, was re-elected to hiscouncil seat without opposition.

* Hickory Ridge residents re-elected incumbents Philip Berman, Miles Coffman, Carol Thelen and Mike Rethman, as well Mike Bennett, who resigned his board seat last year to go to graduate school.

Newcomer Natalie Yopconka lost, 79 votes shy of Bob Hixson, who had the fewest votes among the winners.Councilmember James Loesch was re-elected without opposition.

The remaining five villages had no contests, but got enough voters and open space votes for a quorum.

* Dorsey's Search incumbents Ria Malloy, Colin Cox and Dan Bucks are returning to serve with newcomer William Thies, while Evelyn A. Richardson will continue as council representative.

* Harper's Choice incumbent Bill McKinstray returns with newcomer Tom Mann.

The board will appoint two members to replace board chairman Tom Shick and member Kevin Gillespie, who are both resigningwith one year remaining of their two-year terms. Council representative John Hansen has a year remaining in a two-year term.

* Kings Contrivance incumbents George Pangburn and Barbara Seely return to theboard, leaving one seat to be filled by appointment. Columbia Council chairman Charles A. Acquard also returns to his post.

* Long Reach incumbent Ron Beard will return, but David Zeitzer will not, leaving one open seat for appointment. Gail Bailey will return as ColumbiaCouncil representative.

* In Town Center, Terri Shawn and Donna Rice return as incumbents and will be joined by new member Greg Williams. Council representative Joseph Merke is also returning.

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