SYKESVILLE — Citing business and personal concerns, Councilman Wiley Purkey Thursday resigned from the Town Council, effective after tomorrow's 7 p.m.meeting.
"The main reason is my business," he said. "In the past two months it's just accelerated and I'm hardly home, especially in the evenings, and I miss my wife. I need to spend more time at home."
Purkey and a partner own and operate the Craftsman Art Co. on Main Street. The firm does picture framing and deals in rare prints and documents.
"It's not the kind of business you can hire people for -- it's very specialized," Purkey noted.
Purkey said he's been working about 65 hours a week and has been barely hanging onto the council position for several months.
"I don't have the time to read things over in detail and prepare for the meetings like I should," he said."
Purkey, 38, was first appointed to the council in mid-1987 toreplace Councilman Jim McCauley, who resigned due to a job conflict.Purkey ran on his own and was elected in 1989.
Among the issues he has worked on are the Historic District ordinance, the restoration of the train station and improvement in the town's police force.
Upon learning of Purkey's resignation Friday, Council President Kenneth Clark called him a dedicated professional who would be
Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. said he, too, would miss Purkey and wasn't sure what the council would do about a replacement.
The town charter, which is undergoing a major revision, calls for vacancies to be filled by the council, but Purkey said he has suggested eliminating the seat.
"Here's a chance to go to five members," Purkey said. "I think people need to cut big government."
At a recent charter workshop, the council decided to give the mayor the vote to eliminate deadlocks on major issues. Helt said he's for keeping that, but it's up to the council to decide the number of members and to give the mayor voting or veto power.
However the council goes, Helt said he will suggest tomorrow that the council wait until the budget process is completed in June before replacing Purkey.
Council candidates must be18 years old, a registered voter and town resident for at least one year, Helt said. Those interested in the position may attend tomorrow's meeting or contact the town at 795-6390.