Vacancies filled on Sykesville Planning Commission

January 03, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

After months of working around absences, the Sykesville Planning Commission will be up to full complement when it convenes with four new members today.

The seven-member volunteer panel, which reviews development plans and makes recommendations to the Town Council, lost three commissioners in less than two months.

Another member, Christine Jenkins, requested alternate status.

After a November planning meeting at which a lack of a quorum curtailed action on agenda items, Mayor Kenneth W. Clark called for volunteers.

"I saw they needed help and I volunteered," said Leo F. Fiander, 66, a town resident for more than 30 years.

A retired civil engineer, Mr. Fiander brings a lifetime of experience in the construction field to the commission.

"Somebody has to help the town make decisions on what to build, what not to build and how to do it," he said. "My engineering background will come in handy."

Mr. Fiander calls development inevitable, but stresses the need for thoughtful management.

"It is important to plan properly, rather than haphazardly," he said.

Joel Sokol, 40, said he welcomes the challenge of helping Sykesville grow within the confines of its Small Town Planning Guidelines.

"Everything the town has been doing lately is new and different from what it has done for 20 years," Mr. Sokol said.

"It is a quaint, old town with lots of opportunities, but we can't build like there is no tomorrow in less and less space."

Mr. Sokol, a father of four, said all of Sykesville's residents would benefit from slower growth.

He said he is looking forward to the monthly meetings as a "night off" from his 60 hours a week as a warehousing director for a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Like Mr. Sokol, Carolynne Adams and Katherine A. Anderson moved to town within the past two years and call themselves newcomers to Sykesville.

"We were attracted to the small-town atmosphere and wanted to settle here for a lifetime," said Ms. Adams, 32, who moved with her husband and two children from Howard County.

To maintain that atmosphere, "We all need to contribute," said Ms. Adams, wife of Councilman Garth Adams.

Ms. Adams, vice president of the nursing center at Church Hospital in Baltimore, called planning and program development her strengths.

"This volunteer experience can enhance my work," she said. "The jobs will complement each other."

Ms. Anderson, a 28-year-old electrical engineer and a new mother, said the location, small-town character and businesses attracted her to Sykesville.

Ms. Anderson said she hopes to establish a "good working relationship with developers."

"It benefits both the town and development if we can work well together," she said.

"We have to plan where we are going together."

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