Rivalries Renewed In Campaign For Town Positions

Annexation Questionfaces Union Bridge

May 01, 1991|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff writer

UNION BRIDGE — Before the May 14 election, residents here can expect to see Perry L. Jones Jr. and Scott W. Davis on their doorsteps.

In this town ofless than 1,000 people, their names might be household words, but these mayoral candidates each plan door-to-door campaigns.

Behind those doors are nearly 300 votes and the opportunity to sit in the mayor's office at 1 W. Broadway for the next four years.

"I'm not taking any chances," said Jones, 39. "I am going to talk to everybody. I want the job, and I want the voters to know that."

Jones, with 10 years of experience on the Town Council, four of those as its president, again faces the challenge of Davis, a first-term councilman.

In the 1989 election, Davis, 62, earned one of the three available seats with 18 more votes than Jones, as 150 of 273 registered voters cast ballots.

One of the first items on the new mayor's agenda will be the annexation of the 171-acre Phillips property, south of town.

After nearly two years of grappling with the issue, thePlanning and Zoning Commission recently recommended annexation of the land, which, when developed, could triple the present population of 966.

"The Planning and Zoning Commission has done a great job intrying to regulate growth here," said Jones. "If we can come to an agreement with the developers, the council should vote for the annexation."

Davis also favors annexation.

"If we don't annex this property, we'll have no control and no new tax revenue," he said. "The county wants growth to continue around the municipalities because of water and sewerage considerations."

The site also could provide theone-well town with a much-needed new water source, Davis said.

Despite some residents' opposition to the annexation, voiced at severalpublic hearings, the Town Council is inching toward approval.

"They are going to build on the site anyway," said Bret Grossnickle, 32,who is seeking a second term on the Town Council. "Why wait and haveto annex it later like we are doing now with the Bowman Springs properties?"

The council recently voted to annex that property, when 24 homeowners needed to hook into the town's water system.

Jeffery Six, 34, another incumbent running for the two available council seats, said he remains undecided and won't vote for the annexation unlessthe developers relieve the town of any major expenses.

Grossnickle and Six face a challenge from Edgar C. Wentz, who ran unsuccessfully 10 years ago. Wentz, 47, favors the annexation.

Davis said police protection also is one of the major concerns he plans to detail in a letter mailed to all town residents.

The town shares its resident trooper with neighboring New Windsor.

Davis said part-time protection is not enough.

"We had a murder on Main Street a few months ago," he said. "We have had $3,000 in vandalism at the Community Center and problems on Penrose Street."

Jones, who has worked with Trooper Phil Henry on the town's crime problems, is not as alarmed aboutrecent vandalism as his opponent.

"The insurance company told us this vandalism happens everywhere where you have young teens," he said.

"The only way to prevent it is to have round-the-clock protection everywhere."

All candidates agree on the need to attract light industry to town. Jones recently spearheaded the creation of a business association. If elected, Davis said he would direct his efforts torevitalizing Main Street.

The three council candidates all said they don't plan to campaign. The incumbents said they will stand on their records.

Jones and Davis said they both feel their campaign strategies will lead to a win.

"People say they support you, but younever really know that until the ballots are counted," said Jones.

Voters may register at the Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdaysthrough May 13. The polls at Town Hall are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 14.

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