- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 7, 2005

Two upcoming elections in the area have been underscored by controversy as much as issues — including charges of misappropriations of funds and candidates snubbing public forums.

Forest Heights, a small town in Prince George’s County with a population of about 2,600, will hold its mayoral election Wednesday. Incumbent Paula R. Noble is being challenged by Ward 2 council member Joyce A. Beck,who said she decided to run because of her dissatisfaction with Miss Noble’s performance and following years of clamoring from residents.

“I have no doubt that I will be elected,” Miss Beck said. “The incumbent raised taxes last year, saying we need the money to repair streets. Now we have a $1.8 million budget — the highest we’ve ever had — and she has not begun to repair the streets, or explain what happened to that money.”

Miss Beck said she supported appointing Miss Noble as mayor when Sue McGinnis resigned from the position in October 2003, but became dismayed with what she sees as Miss Noble’s misleading the residents.

“What is most important to the voters is an honest official,” Miss Beck said. “You can’t get a vote to raise taxes to repair the streets, then five minutes later say, ‘I’m going to use the money for something else.’ ”

Miss Noble was unavailable for comment.

Council seats also are up for grabs. In Ward 1, incumbent C. Lynn Smith-Barnes will face Alice E. Hoskins.

Tommy Lee Davis and Myles Spires are battling for Miss Beck’s vacated seat in Ward 2, while Worthington S. Ross is running unopposed in Ward 3.

Friendship Heights, an affluent Northwest neighborhood north of Tenleytown, will hold its elections tomorrow.

The seven incumbents on the town council face challenges from three candidates and possible voter backlash for refusing to take part in a public forum.

Mel Krupin, Anne White and Gene Gessert are challenging incumbents Melanie Rose White, Francis R. Valeo, Maurice J. Trebach, Elizabeth Demetra Harris, Alvan M. Morris, Robert M. Schwarzbart and Leonard E. Mudd.

Barbara G. Tauben, president of the Friendship Heights Village Civic Association, cancelled a May 2 candidates forum after all seven incumbents chose not to participate.

Mayor Melanie Rose White declined on behalf of the council, calling the forum potentially “divisive” to the community and counterproductive to “the affirmative action atmosphere” of the council meetings. Council members serve two-year terms and pick their own officers, including the mayor.

On Tuesday, three other elections will be held in area municipalities — Landover Hills in Prince George’s County and Brookville and Chevy Chase Section 3 in Montgomery County.

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