Scant turnout re-elects Westminster council trio

May 15, 2007|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,sun reporter

Three incumbents who helped Westminster weather a six-month building moratorium caused by a water deficit easily won new terms yesterday in a municipal election seemingly ignored by the voters.

Just 411 of Westminster's 8,468 registered voters - about 5 percent - cast ballots in the election that returned Robert P. Wack, Suzanne P. Albert and L. Gregory Pecoraro to office.

They received nearly three times the votes of the nearest three challengers, Charles W. Cull, William Gill and Kenneth Warren, for the three seats up for election on the five-member council.

The development freeze and calls for greater water and energy conservation have been the focus of city politics but apparently did not excite the voters.

"This is terrible," Mayor Thomas K. Ferguson said of the turnout. "People just don't feel connected if they live here but work somewhere else."

Still, given the city's complex water issues, Ferguson said he was glad the current council would remain intact.

Some stalled residential developments are moving forward, but Westminster's new growth and water allocation policies are still evolving. Wack, director of pediatrics at Carroll Hospital Center, and Pecoraro are particularly focused on those issues, heading up a growth and annexation task force to help chart plans for the city.

The election results were announced at the end of a City Council meeting last night that focused on the need for more Main Street revitalization.

Pecoraro, vice president of regional affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the former chief of staff to the Baltimore County executive, said he has focused on those downtown issues since he first joined the council in 1994. Pecoraro said redeveloping city-owned parking lots with shops along the Route 27 corridor could create a gateway to make Main Street more of a commercial and residential district.

Albert, a retired registered nurse on the council since 1995, will remain its only female member. She pushed for accounting software now being implemented to perform monthly city audits.

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

RESULTS

City Council Votes *Robert P. Wack (I) 319 *Suzanne P. Albert (I) 287 *L. Gregory Pecoraro (I) 284 William Gill 105 Charles W. Cull 104 Kenneth Warren 52 (I) denotes incumbent * denotes winning candidates.

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