- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Rockville’s Larry Giammo, with 61 percent of the vote, won his second term as mayor last night by defeating challenger Russell E. Hamill Jr.

Mr. Giammo, 39, had championed redevelopment in an area between Hungerford Drive and Washington Street, north of the City Hall and the courthouse, now considered to be the center of town.

“An important priority is to keep the momentum on the revitalization of Rockville’s Town Center,” Mr. Giammo said. “Finally, after 40 years, we have the opportunity for our Town Center to become the heart of the Rockville community.”

Mr. Hamill had been critical of the city’s construction of a $300 million Town Center.

“I just think it’s too much government,” said Mr. Hamill. “We are losing hometown values due to excessive focus on bricks and mortar in Town Center,” he said, adding that government’s excessive use of eminent domain is destroying small businesses.

Rockville residents again were allowed to register to vote and cast ballots the same day at City Hall by presenting identification and proof of residency.

Officials said the mild weather might have helped voter turnout in municipal elections in four other cities in the Washington area yesterday — Gaithersburg, College Park, Takoma Park and Greenbelt.

Elections officials said computerized touch-screen voting machines performed flawlessly and voters had no apparent difficulty using them.

Analysts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Rice University in Houston said in July that imperfections in the machines might allow outsiders to scramble or corrupt election results. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, and Maryland election officials ordered repairs, and several cities last week displayed the machines and invited residents to attend instruction sessions and try the voting screens.

Voters at College Park, where polls remained open until 9 p.m., an hour later than the other cities, cast old-fashioned paper ballots for unopposed Mayor Stephen A. Brayman, District 2 council members Robert T. Catlin and John E. Perry, District 3 council members Andrew M. Fellows and Eric C. Olson, and District 4 council member Karen E. Hampton and Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk.

In District 1, incumbent Donald L. Byrd and candidates John M. Krouse and David L. Milligan competed for two council seats.

Those newly elected officials must deal with redevelopment of U.S. Route 1 to improve traffic flow through the city, while ensuring pedestrian safety and assisting businesses bordering the highway.

Voters in all five cities elected leaders to handle booming development, housing, traffic and tax problems.

Gaithersburg voters rejected two challengers to return three incumbents to seats on the council of Maryland’s third-largest city. Returning to council are Geraldine Edens, 52, with 1,727 unofficial votes; Stanley J. Alster, 64, with 1,681 votes; and John Schlichting, 44, with 1,640 votes.

Challenger Richard Marvin, 51, received 681 votes and challenger Austin A. Decker, 28, garnered 526.

Gaithersburg’s mayor and council members will have to address population growth and sprawl, which have increased traffic congestion and crime, and the need for new schools or additions.

Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter, 53, and City Council members Joy Austin-Lane, 37, Roland James Dawes, 75, and Marc Elrich, 45, ran unopposed. They will be joined by the winners of other council seats: Heather R. Mizeur, 30, in Ward 2; incumbent Bruce R. Williams, 54, in Ward 3; Terry Seamens, a former councilman who won as a write-in with 47 votes in Ward 4; and Doug Barry, 52, in Ward 6.

Officials in Takoma Park will be looking for ways to improve streets, fund a gymnasium at the Town Center and expand Washington Adventist Hospital.

In Greenbelt, Judith F. Davis won another term as mayor, and Rodney M. Roberts and Edward V.J. Putens were returned to their seats on the City Council.

Candidates Konrad E. Herling and Leta M. Mach won the other council seats. Challengers Richard J. Santos and James H. Inzeo Sr. failed to get more than 49 percent of the 2,073 votes cast.

Rockville held on to a 118-year-old tradition of mayoral and council elections every two years, turning down a referendum calling for four-year terms.

Council members winning re-election were Robert Dorsey, 57; John F. Hall Jr., 39; Susan R. Hoffmann, 59; and Anne M. Robbins, 62, beating out challengers Phyllis Marcuccio, 70; Travis P. Nelson, 27; Harry W. Thomas Jr., 50; and Lih Young, 62.

College Park Mayor Stephen A. Brayman, running unopposed, collected 762 votes to win a new term. Also winning City Council seats without opposition were incumbents Robert T. Catlin and John E. Perry in District 2; incumbents Andrew M. Fellows and Eric C. Olson in District 3; and incumbent Karen E. Hampton and candidate Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk in District 4. District 1 seats were won by newcomers John M. Krouse and David L. Milligan.

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