Newcomer joins City Council

Teacher voted onto Havre de Grace panel

2 veterans return

May 11, 2008|By Madison Park | Madison Park,Sun Reporter

Havre de Grace voters returned two experienced politicians to the City Council and selected a newcomer, all to serve two-year terms.

A self-described "new face for Havre de Grace," Bill Martin, a 34-year-old teacher at Aberdeen Middle School, was elected to the council after weeks of going door to door to about 250 houses, introducing himself to the city's voters.

After learning of the results Tuesday, Martin declared, "I love democracy."

He credited his success to old-fashioned campaigning. The history teacher also used the Internet to get out his message, created a Web site that posted his biographical information and urged residents to get involved.

"The only way to win is going door to door and putting a face to a name," Martin said. "I'm excited to get to work and to pursue a resolution to people's concerns. I have a lot to learn, but the most important aspect is that now my voice is for the people."

On Election Day, candidates, their families and supporters waited outside St. Patrick's Church, the city's lone polling station, for results.

The issues during this election centered on the development of a property at Route 155 and Interstate 95, and the city's budget in the current economic downturn.

Fred H. Cullum, a 58-year-old retired firefighter, came in third with 415 votes. Last year, Cullum left his seat on the council in a bid for mayor but finished last in a field of four candidates.

After finishing third in the seven-way race last week, Cullum will return to serve a seventh term on the council.

"My opinion is that one person doesn't do anything," he said. "It takes a team effort to do what's necessary."

Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty shook hands with the winners after the results were announced and said he looked forward to working with the new council.

"Cullum's got experience and we always work well together," he said. "The new face is Bill Martin; we met right after he filed to run. I really liked his way of thinking and he sounds like he's a team player."

Cullum and Martin will fill council vacancies left by Garrett Lyttle and Stephen Gamatoria, who did not run for re-election.

The only incumbent in the race, James P. Miller, won his second full term on the council, receiving the most votes. Miller is a physical science technician for the Army and was first elected to the council in 2006.

Miller said he looked forward to returning to the city's projects, including the construction of the pier.

With 7,479 registered voters, turnout was 14 percent, city officials said.

"There wasn't a lot of issues in this election campaign," Miller said. "That's why it was a low turnout, and it was a non-mayor race."

Election officials will wait until Friday to see if overseas absentee ballots are returned before announcing the final results.

Miller, Cullum and Martin will be sworn into office at 7 p.m. May 19 at City Hall.

Unofficial Results

Barry Anderson, 359

John P. Correri, 386

Fred H. Cullum, 415

Joseph G. Gamatoria, 333

Bill Martin, 462

James P. Miller, 497

James W. Walker, 177

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