Sykesville mayor to resign after taking Indiana job

September 13, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

After 16 months as mayor of Sykesville, Kenneth W. Clark will resign at the Sept. 26 council meeting.

Mayor Clark, who has accepted a job offer out of state, notified the Town Council of his intentions last night.

The 38-year-old mayor left his position in production development at Bell Atlantic, his employer for 16 years, a week ago. He will begin working for the Reuben H. Donnelly Co. in Terre Haute, Ind.

"I will be basically doing the same thing for the competition," Mr. Clark said.

Town officials expressed surprise and dismay at the announcement.

"I am really sorry to see Ken go," Town Manager James L. Schumacher said. "I have enjoyed working with him."

Carol Hall, who until recently worked on the town Recreation and Parks Committee, said she was happy for the mayor's new opportunity but sorry to see the Clark family leave Sykesville.

"Both Ken and Priscilla Clark have been a great asset to the community, and the community will have a great loss without them," she said.

Shortly after the couple and their two children moved to Sykesville nine years ago, Mr. Clark became involved in municipal government, serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council before he was elected mayor in May 1993.

"I got to meet a lot of interesting people, dedicated to the interests of the community," he said. "I have also been able to work with a professional staff who are both good at their jobs and reliable."

Although larger than Sykesville, Terre Haute has much of the small-town flavor that drew the family to the South Carroll town, he said.

"We all will really miss Sykesville," Mr. Clark said. "One of the key factors in our decision to move to Terre Haute is its similar environment and atmosphere."

Mr. Clark said the demands of the new job probably will preclude any forays into politics -- at least temporarily.

The Sykesville Town Council has 60 days after the mayor's resignation to appoint a successor, who must be approved by a majority of the six remaining members. The newly appointed mayor would have to run for office in May 1995 and, if elected, would serve the remaining two years of Mr. Clark's four-year term.

"Normal requirements for office come into play," Mr. Schumacher said. "The charter states the mayor must be a town resident for at least a year and a registered voter."

Mr. Schumacher, who reports to the full council, said the resignation will not cause any disruption in municipal business.

"The entire council would be the acting mayor," Mr. Schumacher said.

The appointee does not have to come from the council. Anyone interested in the position should contact a council member.

"The mayor's job will take up as much time as you let it," Mr. Clark said. "It can be a tough time commitment for a working person, but in its current size, the town doesn't need a full-time mayor."

Support from the town staff and each council member, who remains responsible for a specific area of government, helps the mayor manage two jobs, he said.

"I rely heavily on the town manager and the police chief," Mr. Clark said. "The mayor and council set policy and help implement it, as opposed to micro-managing."

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