Newsmaker

June 25, 2006|By CHRIS GUY

Percy J. "PJ" Purnell Jr.

Occupation

Mayor-elect of the City of Crisfield and retired marketing manager for Lockheed-Martin.

In the news

Purnell, 65, headed a slate of candidates who ousted the longtime mayor and two incumbent council members in this Eastern Shore city of 2,700, where waterfront condominium development has become commonplace. The "Clean Sweep Team" ran on a promise to rescind a six-year contract that put a private firm in charge of redevelopment of city-owned properties.

Career highlights

Retired in 2002 after working more than 40 years as a field engineer for Western Union and in marketing with Lockheed-Martin Corp. Purnell, who currently is a member of the Crisfield City Council, also served on the council from 1978 to 82. The Air Force veteran served one term as mayor from 1982-86.

Personal

He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Sterling Purnell, a Crisfield native who retired at age 55 after a career with the Social Security Administration. The couple has two children and four grandchildren and live in the house where Purnell grew up. They bought the place 40 years ago and kept it as a second home until they retired. Purnell received a degree in business administration from Salisbury University in 1986.

Philosophy

"I'm focused totally on this town. It's my hometown, and anything we're going to accomplish is going to be done right and with the public included in the process. We have our problems to deal with, but small-town folks like small towns. We don't want to be an urban center."

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