Divided council must deal with vacancies Four interested in Manchester seats NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

September 29, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The polarized Manchester Town Council soon will consider potential appointees to one -- and likely two -- town council vacancies.

All three unsuccessful candidates in May's Manchester Town Council election, plus one other resident, have expressed interest in the positions.

Manchester Mayor Earl A.J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. declared the council seat of John A. Riley vacant at the Sept. 22 council meeting, after an opinion from the state attorney general's office said that Mr. Riley cannot hold paid public offices in both Hampstead and Manchester. Mr. Riley is Hampstead's town manager.

Councilman Robert Kolodziejski also has announced his resignation. However, it is unclear when it will take effect.

It is also unclear if any one candidate can muster a majority among the remaining council members, who must appoint a replacement by majority vote. The mayor has no vote.

Robin Yingling, Christopher D'Amario and Ray Unger, who were defeated in the May election, have expressed interest in the openings.

Donald K. Becker Sr. of Crown Circle also has indicated he would be interested in serving on the council.

In the May council election, Mr. D'Amario received 80 votes; Mr. Yingling, 71; and Mr. Unger, 49.

Mr. D'Amario, 32, is a forensic chemist with the state police crime laboratory. He works part time at the Carroll County General Hospital laboratory.

He said this week that he doubts he would be appointed after having engaged in a heated argument with council members over a charter amendment at a recent council meeting.

After yelling at Kathryn Riley and Doug Myers like I did, he said, "I doubt they would even consider it."

Mr. Unger, 53, is a mortgage consultant for Loyola Federal Savings Bank in Manchester.

"Wounds have to be healed in Manchester before we can step out and properly govern," he said.

Mr. Unger said he is neutral on issues that have divided the council, and said he enjoys being a mediator.

"It looks like that's what the town needs," he said.

Mr. Yingling, 41, said, "I think I have an awful lot of experience and the background to help."

Mr. Yingling said he put together the Hanover Pike Task Force, which he called "the meeting of all meetings," and has extensive experience with county planning procedures.

Roads had been part of Mr. Riley's council responsibilities, he said.

Mr. Yingling is a senior financial analyst at the Maryland Department of Transportation and teaches microcomputing at Carroll Community College.

Mr. Becker, 34, is a Westminster housing inspector.

"I watched the last council meeting on TV," he said. "It was ridiculous. . . . It just seems like everybody's fighting against each other, and you're not going to get anything done.

"If you don't like the guy sitting next to you, ask to have your seat moved," Mr. Becker said. "Don't play a game."

Mr. Becker has had a long-running complaint with town officials over drainage that, he says, causes erosion in his driveway. The town government has refused to fix the problem and contends that the issue is between Mr. Becker and the developer of his property.

Mr. Becker said he opposes the recent charter amendment that would allow the council to fire the town manager by a simple majority vote, without input from the mayor.

Mr. Becker said he could work with Mayor Warehime and Town Manager Terry L. Short if he is appointed to the council.

But he said he thinks Mr. Short has been running the town and that Mayor Warehime has become a "figurehead."

"That's not true," Mr. Warehime responded.

The mayor said Mr. Short takes care of many regular business functions, such as paying bills. But Mr. Warehime said he, as mayor, is always contacted on policy questions.

"As I recall, it's my job to run the town," Mr. Short said yesterday, "implementing the policies of the mayor and council."

"It would seem that he [Mr. Becker] is accusing me of doing my job."

Mr. D'Amario said he is "proud of the mayor, because I think he's really starting to turn into a leader."

Mr. Warehime's decision to declare Mr. Riley's council seat vacant "took some guts and some leadership qualities," Mr. D'Amario said. "I think he was genuinely looking out for Manchester."

Mr. Becker said the Manchester charter sets no time limit for the filling of midterm council vacancies.

"That seat can stay vacant forever," Mr. Becker said. "Until the next election."

Mr. D'Amario said he is not sure anyone can be appointed, given the rift among the remaining council members.

The coming weeks, he said, "probably should be interesting -- if not humorous."

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