Burgoyne to quit Sykesville council

Eight-year veteran seeks return to law, family time

July 03, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Long-planned major projects in Sykesville appear well on their way to fruition. The budget has been approved without issue. The council seems free of contention. So, for the council president, it is time to move on.

Michael Burgoyne, an eight-year veteran of municipal politics, has notified the mayor and his council colleagues of his decision to resign.

"Things are running well," said Burgoyne, a 45-year-old father of three children. "I have been doing this a long time. It is time for me to step down. After eight years doing council business, I want to devote more of my time to my family and to my law practice."

His resignation takes effect Monday after the six-member council's monthly session.

Three-term Mayor Jonathan S. Herman called Burgoyne "one of the best councilmen I have ever had. I tried everything to get him to stay. It will be impossible to replace his good insight, and it was so good to have a lawyer on the council."

But, Herman said, he understands why Burgoyne is ready to leave.

"Mike likes a challenge, controversy and fixing things," Herman said. "The town is on an even keel now. So, it is really not a bad time for him to leave. I know he wants to move on, but I also know he will stay involved in the town."

Burgoyne was appointed to fill a council vacancy in 1994 and ran successfully for the seat in 1995 and 1999.

"Originally, I saw problems and needs, and I wanted to be part of what Jonathan was starting," Burgoyne said. "I have supported Jonathan on 99 percent of what he has tried to do. He deserves the council's support and loyalty."

So intent was Burgoyne to fulfill his council commitment, he interrupted a family vacation in Florida three years ago, because the town charter said council candidates had to accept nomination for the job in person. He flew back to town, accepted the nomination and rejoined his family within a 12-hour time span. He later made sure no other candidate would have to endure the same sort of turnaround.

"We amended the charter and changed that law soon after that experience," Burgoyne said.

Burgoyne has organized many town budgets, taken the lead on battles with the county, particularly those that involved land use, and worked diligently on the Warfield Complex, a former state hospital property that could become a business center and economic development boon for all of Carroll County. He plans to continue serving on the board of the Warfield Development Corporation.

Burgoyne spent nearly a year working on the Maryland Muncipal League's convention planning committee. He delayed his resignation until after the convention, held last week in Ocean City.

While he appreciates the mayor's praise, Burgoyne said, "Everyone is replaceable."

During Burgoyne's tenure, the town lost its longtime manager, James Schumacher, and its first police chief, Wallace P. Mitchell.

"Someone filled their shoes, and they are doing just as good a job," said Burgoyne.

Herman will consider applications for the council position and make a recommendation on Burgoyne's replacement, probably at the August session. The council must approve the recommendation and the newly appointed council member will have to campaign for the job in May 2003.

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