12 applicants seek position on council

Republicans contest to succeed Roop as District 5 member

Interviews set today

Candidates offer cooperation with Democratic majority

January 28, 2000|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

A teacher, a lawyer, a former volunteer firefighter and nine other Severna Park and Broadneck area residents applied by yesterday's deadline to fill the vacancy left when County Councilman Cliff Roop died of a heart attack Jan 3.

Most of the 12 candidates have little political experience but are active in their communities -- attributes that some council members said could be more of an asset than a detriment. The candidates are a professionally diverse group, but all are Republicans. Roop was a Republican, and his replacement must be from the same party.

The candidates were careful to note to the five Democrats and one Republican who will fill the District 5 vacancy how "cooperative" and "problem solving" they can be when working with others.

Candidate Frank Bradlyn McClanahan, a furniture renovator, former firefighter and publisher of a newsletter called "Jesus Times," granted that "both parties have -- and assert -- strong positive arguments on many of the current issues," in his five-page cover letter.

Melanie P. Gness of Annapolis on the Broadneck Peninsula, former lobbyist and president of Annapolis-based T. Alexander and Associates Strategic Communication, wrote, "I am a team player and consensus builder."

Robert J. Hannon of Arnold, a county public works employee who ran against Roop in the primary in 1998, noted his "problem solving capabilities."

Cathleen M. Vitale of Severna Park, a lawyer and chairwoman of the Republican Central Committee, wanted the council to know that she "encourages a team approach." Vitale ran against Roop in the 1998 Republican primary.

The candidates seem to be on the same track as the council. County Council Chairman Daniel E. Klosterman Jr. said yesterday that the councilmen are looking for someone they can work with, despite the party difference.

"What we don't want is someone grandstanding for the next three years because they really want to run for state office," Klosterman said. "With the small-area planning reports and zoning changes and other important issues coming up, we need someone who will bring something to the table, who will work with us."

The other candidates are:

R. Scott Gregory of Severna Park, president of R. Scott Gregory Inc., an actuarial and consulting firm, who was retained by the council in 1996 and last year to advise it on pension issues.

Joseph P. DiPaola of Broadneck, a Naval Academy graduate and managing consultant for USinternetworking in Annapolis.

Perry L. Weed of Broadneck, an attorney and former special assistant to U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican, who has represented Gilchrest at community meetings in recent years.

Wade Purcell Thomas of Severna Park, owner of Thomas and Thomas Contractors and WPT Property Management companies.

Nancy W. Almgren, who lives north of Annapolis, associate vice president of investments for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and a former instructor of investment planning for women at Anne Arundel Community College.

Larry E. Masterson of Severna Park, a former National Security Administration executive and former president of the Greater Severna Park Council who makes frequent appearances before the council on local issues.

Theodore Janssen of Severna Park, Roop's campaign manager and a member of the Severna Park Small Area Planning Committee who owns a private consulting practice.

April J. Carpenter of Broadneck, a teacher at Book of Life Academy in Annapolis and a volunteer at her church.

Each candidate will be interviewed today by a pair of Democratic councilmen.

Councilman John J. Klocko III from South County, the lone Republican on the council, is holding separate interviews. Councilman Bill D. Burlison chose not to interview the candidates. He could not be reached for comment.

All 12 candidates will appear before the council Tuesday for about 15 minutes each. The council will choose the new council member by majority vote after the hearing, and the winner will be sworn in at the Feb. 7 council meeting.

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