Clark to run for Sykesville mayor SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

March 03, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The Sykesville Town Council president aspires to higher office.

Kenneth W. Clark announced yesterday that he will run for mayor in May.

"I am going to take a shot at it," said Mr. Clark, a one-term councilman who has lived in Sykesville for seven years.

As mayor, he said, he would continue to push for "small-town flavor balanced with growth."

"We want to provide the most efficient and cost-effective services we can," he said.

A modification in the town charter, allowing the mayor to vote and introduce ordinances, takes effect following the election. Mr. Clark said that change influenced his decision.

"The mayor should be able to express what he believes through a vote," he said. "This should be a participatory government. I want to be active, not a figurehead."

While on the council, Mr. Clark, 37, has served as chairman of the Finance Department. He said: "The town can be run like a business."

A development manager for Bell Atlantic in Bethesda, Mr. Clark has a master's degree in business administration. He has insisted on showing what the town spends and how. The budget now identifies line items and has eliminated "miscellaneous" categories.

"If we are spending money, let's identify it and keep track of it," he said. "I am proud that we have a budget that speaks to where every dime is going, and we undergo a monthly budget review."

His campaign will not be a matter of constructing a platform, but instead it will be a "listening-to-the-community process," he said.

He can point to several successes during his council term, including renovations to the train station and the new police department headquarters. When he ran for the office in 1989, he advocated the creation of the present Historic Commission.

Because he is not employed in town, he said, he may not be as visible as Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr., who has been a force in town politics for 12 years.

"I can't spend 50 hours a week at the Town House, but we have a capable staff working there every day," he said. "I will never be more than a phone call away."

Mr. Helt is moving to Westminster this summer and will not be eligible to run again.

"Lloyd has given a lot to this town, and people should be thankful," Mr. Clark said.

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