4 contend for 3 seats on council Monday

2 incumbents seek to retain places

third standing down

April 28, 2000|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Four candidates will be vying for three council seats Monday in the Mount Airy town election.

The candidates include two incumbent council members, David W. Pyatt and William E. Wagner. Also running are Franklin M. Johnson Jr., who has served on several town commissions, and Craig Grabowsky, who has raised concerns about water availability and roads at council and commission meetings.

Votes may be cast from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company Activities Building on Twin Arch Road.

Council members serve four-year terms.

William R. Stroh, the third incumbent whose term is expiring, is serving out the term of Norman C. Hammond, who died in January 1998. Stroh has declined to seek election.

Johnson, a 38-year-old attorney and president of the Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, was named to the town's planning and zoning commission earlier this year. Previously, he had served on the town's Board of Zoning Appeals and on its parks and recreation board.

"I'm interested in working for all of the citizens of Mount Airy, whether they've been here a year or whether they've been here 50 years," he said. "One of my concerns is limiting growth, so all of us can continue to enjoy the quality of the small-town life."

Traffic, schools and water are his main concerns, he said.

Grabowsky, 43, is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in aerospace engineering. He works for SRS Technologies in Roslyn, Va., on ballistic-missile defense.

"I'm running because I don't feel the council is addressing the concerns of the community," he said, noting his suggestion last fall that a gradual response be developed to alleviate water shortages by banning car washing, then restricting lawn watering to alternate groups and finally adding a ban on watering lawns and gardens.

Although the council rejected his suggestion, Grabowsky said it was well received in town and he was asked to run for office.

"I have spent the last several weeks going door to door and talking to the residents," primarily about water availability and road problems, he said.

Wagner, 60, is co-owner of the Wagner Bros./Mount Airy Locker Co. meat business. In his third term, Wagner heads the town's streets and roads committee.

"I'd just like to continue to serve the people in town," Wagner said. "We've got a couple projects in the works that I'd like to get finished up."

These include improvements to several intersections, including adding turn lanes at Watersville Road and Route 27, he said.

He said he hopes that a town-funded project to link Center Street to Route 27 "will get some truck traffic off of Main Street, to make it easier to get in and out of downtown."

Pyatt, 57, a nuclear engineer for the Department of Energy in Germantown, is seeking a fourth term on the council.

"Mount Airy will be a role model for a city that meshes the past, today and the future, while maintaining its unique character. I believe the future will be bright," he said.

With only one hired planner, "We rely on many volunteers to chart our course, and the council plays a pivotal role," he said.

Mayor Gerald R. Johnson said 2,800 residents are eligible to vote, and voting is by paper ballots that are hand-counted.

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