2 seek vacant seat on council

Bank executive joins police officer in vying for slot left by mayor

Deadline to apply tomorrow

Westminster

May 31, 2001|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Thomas K. Ferguson, a former Carroll County bank president and CEO, is one of two candidates seeking an appointment to the Westminster Common Council.

Ferguson, who led Carroll County Bank & Trust Co. for 18 years before its purchase by BB&T Corp., has submitted a letter expressing his interest in the seat left vacant with Kevin E. Dayhoff's election as mayor.

Baltimore Police Sgt. Frank E. Wagner Jr., who finished last in the four-person race for two council seats on May 14, also has expressed interest in filling the remaining two years of Dayhoff's term.

Dayhoff resigned from the council on May 14 after being elected mayor. The council will vote on Dayhoff's replacement at its meeting June 11. The new council member will likely be sworn in that night.

Ferguson, 59, has never held elected office. He said yesterday that his love for the city and the urging of friends led him to submit his name.

"I've always had an interest in the city," said Ferguson, who has lived on Ridge Road with his wife, Sandy, since 1975.

He said he sees economic development and public safety as major issues.

"Economic development goes hand in glove with public safety," he said. "It doesn't do much good in attracting businesses and people here if they don't feel safe."

Ferguson was president and chief executive officer of Mason-Dixon Bancshares Inc., Carroll County Bank & Trust's parent company from 1993 until 1999, when the bank was acquired by BB&T Corp. He is currently executive vice president for community development at BB&T. He also served as chairman of the Westminster Fire Department's $1.5 million capital campaign in 1997 for its new fire station on John Street.

In 1999, after Carroll County Bank & Trust Co. canceled the planned redevelopment with the city of the old Farmers Supply site because of its purchase by BB&T, Ferguson negotiated an agreement in which the bank gave the city $2.25 million to help find a new partner to develop the site.

"His experience, knowledge of the city and record of service to the community is top-notch," said Council President Damian L. Halstad.

Wagner, 41, has lived in Westminster for nine years and has worked on many presidential and statewide political campaigns. He is active in area soccer and softball organizations.

Wagner, who ran unsuccessfully for council in 1999, could not be reached for comment yesterday. In a previous interview, he expressed interest in making individual members of the council responsible for certain areas of the city and in reforming the city's police pension plan to make it more comprehensive.

"Frank is a very tenacious campaigner," Halstad said. "He is certainly very knowledgeable on public safety and has certainly shown an interest in serving on the council in the past."

The last time the council appointed a new member was in 1994, when L. Gregory Pecoraro was selected to fill the seat left vacant by Kenneth A. Yowan.

Yowan, who just stepped down after six years as mayor, moved from being council president to mayor after W. Benjamin Brown's election as county commissioner.

Council applicants must be at least 21 years old and have lived in the city for at least one year. Applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.

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