Longtime activist to fill vacancy on Town Council

Panel votes 4-1 to give approval to mayor's choice of Rychwalski

August 13, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Mark Rychwalski, a longtime community activist and town volunteer, will fill a vacancy on the six-member Sykesville Town Council.

Sykesville Mayor Jonathan S. Herman appointed Rychwalski, who was then approved on a 4-1 vote by the Town Council last night. Rychwalski, who has served as chairman of the Sykesville Historic District Commission since 1995, will replace Michael Burgoyne, who resigned last month.

"I chose Mark for all his dedication to the town," said Herman. "He knows what the town is doing and where it is going. He has worked for Sykesville for years on various committees and with various groups."

Rychwalski was not available for comment yesterday.

He will serve the remaining nine months of Burgoyne's second four-year term. If he wishes to continue in office, he will have to run for the seat during the municipal election in May.

Rychwalski has long been interested in historic preservation and has worked to ensure the town maintains its century-old storefronts along Main Street. He did not alter his stance, even at the threat of lawsuits from business owners who wanted less-costly renovations.

"I am not worried about the lawsuits," said Rychwalski at the time of the controversy. "I am confident we are doing the right thing."

He also is a member of a task force of volunteers working with the state to develop a revitalization plan for Main Street. A mortgage loan company manager, he frequently has helped write town budgets and has worked on the capital improvements committee.

For many years, Rychwalski was co-owner of a Main Street framing business. A graduate of Towson University, he is employed by American Ideal Mortgage in Ellicott City.

He was one of two applicants for the vacancy created when Burgoyne, council president, resigned after nearly eight years on the council. Members have named Russ Vreeland to serve as council president.

The appointment solves one problem for the town and creates another.

"Mark has done a wonderful job chairing the historic commission," said Herman. "He will be difficult to replace there, and I have asked him to stay on the commission, until we can find a replacement."

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