Incumbents Ousted After Heated Races In 2 Carroll Towns

5 News Story

January 05, 1992|By Daniel P. Clemens Jr. and Ellie Baublitz | Daniel P. Clemens Jr. and Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

The anti-incumbent twister that passed over much of Maryland in 1991elections also touched down in Sykesville and Westminster last spring.

In Westminster, a record 1,224 voters turned out for the May 13election.

When the dust settled, one-term Councilmen Samuel V. Greenholtz and Mark S. Snyder had been bounced.

A third opening was created when Council President Kenneth Hornberger chose not to run for a third term.

The three were replaced by Rebecca A. Orenstein, the first woman elected to the council; Kenneth A. Yowan, who had served previously on the council; and Stephen R. Chapin Sr.

"It's history," Orenstein said after the results were announced. "The first woman in 153 years -- it hasn't sunk in yet."

With 5,270 voters registered, thetotals were Yowan, 887; Orenstein, 713; Chapin, 634; teacher Dennis Frazier, 585; Snyder, 322; Greenholtz, 261; and developer Michael Oakes, 162.

In the 1989 election, just 472 out of 1,339 registered voters cast ballots.

The election was climax of a heated campaign during which Mayor W. Benjamin Brown pushed hard for Orenstein, Yowan and Frazier.

The influence of the new council members was immediateand far-reaching. Mayoral powers the previous council had stripped were restored; the controversial post of city manager was dismantled; and the plug was pulled on the disputed City Hall expansion project.

A similar mayor-council dispute in Sykesville ended with the same result.

Council members Charles B. Mullins, Maxine C. Wooleyhand and Charles H. "Tim" Ferguson -- dubbed "The Gang of Three" by Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. for their conservative stance and teaming up on issues -- were trounced by three of four challengers.

Mullins had declared in February that he was not running for a third term, but changed his mind on nomination night when Ferguson said he would run for re-election. Wooleyhand earlier had said she would seek a second term.

Sykesville's voter registration rolls swelled from 312 to 928, which the challengers hoped would help them oust the incumbents.

It did: A record 194 voters gave the Gang of Three a thumbs-down. The winners were William R. Hall Jr., with 108 votes; Jonathan Herman, 107; and Walter R. White, 88. A fourth challenger, Carole Norbeck, received 58 votes. Wooleyhand got 71 votes, and Mullins and Ferguson each received 69.

"We hope to make the relationship between the mayor andcouncil better," Hall said afterward.

The incumbents ended their terms on a final sour note when they refused to introduce the fiscal 1992 budget. Prepared for the move, Helt swore in the new council members a week earlier than planned and pushed the budget through.

Since the new council took office May 20, Helt has revived several of his own pet projects: The historic district ordinance passed with little fuss, volunteer committees are active in various areas and work has begun on revising the town charter.

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