Familiar faces on council

Villages re-elect all five incumbents to Columbia Council

April 22, 2007|By Phillip McGowan | Phillip McGowan,sun reporter

All five incumbents recaptured their seats yesterday on the Columbia Council, including those in four contested village races.

Board Chairman Tom O'Connor, a three-term member from Dorsey's Search, and Barbara L. Russell of Oakland Mills, who faced her first challenge in six years and sought her eighth term, prevailed, as did Miles Coffman, a seven-year incumbent representing Hickory Ridge.

Philip W. Kirsch of Wilde Lake defeated his opponent in a rematch from last year, and Henry F. Dagenais, the Long Reach incumbent, ran unopposed.

In a contested race for the open seat in Kings Contrivance, Evan Coren, a federal employee, defeated Jason Ridgell, an attorney and village board member, 202-181. Board Vice Chairman Phil Marcus did not seek re-election.

In River Hill, Michael Cornell won unopposed. Incumbent Patrick von Schlag did not seek re-election.

The Columbia Council is the advisory board for the Columbia Association, which provides recreational services for the community's nearly 100,000 residents, manages more than 3,400 acres of open space and oversees an annual budget of about $50 million. Each of the 10 villages elects a council member, and they function as the Columbia Association's board of directors and appoint its president.

O'Connor beat Lester Straw, 87-55. Coffman defeated Marvin Lawson, 144-118. Kirsch, who won by 39 votes last year over William Santos, beat Santos yesterday, 226-158. Russell defeated Ian Kennedy, the president of the advocacy group Save Merriweather, 302-193.

Elections were not held this year in three of Columbia's 10 villages: Harper's Choice, Owen Brown and Town Center.


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