Aberdeen Election Endorsements

April 26, 1993

Aberdeen's city council election on May 4, the second election since the adoption of a city charter last year, presents voters with a difficult choice to fill two open seats.

Two candidates, council president Ronald Kupferman and former state legislator Barbara O. Kreamer, represent opposite poles of thought on the respective authority of the mayor and council. Mr. Kupferman has led the council opposition to Mayor Ruth Elliott. Mrs. Kreamer fully supports the mayor and would bolster the mayor's position.

Macon L. Tucker Jr., a high school teacher, seeks re-election as a neutral in this political tug of war, which centers on personnel appointments.

A charter review committee is holding public hearings to clarify ambiguities in the document over separation of powers and responsibilities. Personality clashes between the mayor and council members have accentuated the divisiveness of the charter interpretations.

Aberdeen's image has suffered. The police chief and city attorney have been caught in the middle of the tussle. Charges of parking ticket fixing and misappropriation of police funds have emerged from the fray. Mrs. Elliott has charged Councilman DeWayne Curry with assault.

It is not a pretty scene. But the fact is that the council and mayor have agreed on most non-personnel issues. All recognize the importance of economic development and continued annexation to expand the city's tax base.

A vote for Mr. Tucker would provide a common-sense, nonpartisan voice on the four-member council, which is sorely needed. For the other seat, voters will choose between a voice for a strong council and a voice for a strong mayor. In either case, the mayor won't gain an assured council majority (or a guaranteed tie vote she could break.)

We prefer the municipal experience of Mr. Kupferman, whose 14 years on the council are a counterweight to Mrs. Elliott's 11 years in Aberdeen government. Mrs. Kreamer is an active political veteran, but she has jumped from one race to the next since 1978, without showing prior interest in holding municipal office.

Aberdeen's best hope is for the charter review committee to clearly define city office powers and to have those interpretations adopted as a consensus for resolving future disagreements, regardless of personalities.

For next Tuesday's election, however, we urge a vote for Macon Tucker and Ronald Kupferman.

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