Former councilwoman offers to fill vacant Sykesville mayoral post

September 29, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

One candidate has come forward offering to lead Sykesville, the town without a mayor for the past three days.

Maxine C. Wooleyhand, a former councilwoman, has offered to serve until the municipal election in May.

"I have always worked hard and have the time and energy the job requires," said Ms. Wooleyhand, 51, and a town resident for 26 years.

Former Mayor Kenneth W. Clark, elected in May 1993, resigned Monday, coincidentally at the end of the longest meeting in town memory.

After six hours of wrestling with an as-yet unresolved rezoning petition, the council had little time or energy to devote to finding a successor for Mr. Clark, who is leaving to take a job in Terre Haute, Ind.

The council hopes to vote on the petition, after a brief discussion, at 7 tonight at the Town House.

Several members have said they would have time after the vote to deliberate on who should fill the empty seat at the council table. The appointee does not have to come from the council.

"We will try to look over all the candidates and discuss a successor," said Council President Eugene E. Johnson.

The "look-over" may be brief. The council has only one candidate to discuss, Ms. Wooleyhand.

Former Mayor Lloyd R. Helt said "nothing stops anyone," who is a registered voter and a town resident for a year, from applying for the job.

"We would give everyone equal consideration," Councilman Garth Adams said.

Mr. Adams has said he would be willing to serve as interim mayor, but would not run for the job in May. After 16 months as a councilman, Mr. Adams said, he still is learning the job.

Mr. Helt said he was on the council 15 months when he became mayor and subsequently served three terms.

"You learn from experience," said Mr. Helt, who has moved to Westminster. "The staff now makes the job easier. The job is a full-time responsibility, but you don't have to be there all the time."

Other council members say they don't have the time the position requires.

"If I had more time, I would really enjoy the job," said Jonathan Herman, a two-term councilman, who also chairs the town Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Town Council has 60 days to appoint a successor, who is subject to the approval of a majority of the six remaining members.

Ms. Wooleyhand lost to Mr. Clark in the 1993 mayoral race 177-130. She served one term on the council, from 1987 to 1991, and was council liaison and secretary-treasurer of the county chapter of the Maryland Municipal League.

In the recent primary, she was elected to the Democratic Central Committee.

She informed Mr. Johnson of her candidacy by letter Monday. hTC Mr. Johnson said he had not had time to discuss the letter with other council members and declined to comment until the meeting tonight.

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