HAMPSTEAD -- Already elbow-deep in civic projects, Jacqueline J. Hyatt said she's looking forward to adding new duties as the newest Town Council member.
The downtown businesswoman and former council member was selected in a unanimous vote by the council Monday to fill a vacant seat.
She will be sworn in at the Aug. 19 meeting. The vacancy was created in May when Councilman C. Clinton Becker was elected mayor with two years left in his council term.
"I was pleased that they all agreed -- that makes you feel better," Hyatt said of thevote.
Councilman William S. Pearson nominated Hyatt, and the votewas taken without any other applicants being nominated. At least twoother people had expressed written interest -- Matthew Grice, activein The Fields Homeowners Association at Roberts Field, and Gordon Craig, who conducted a last-minute write-in campaign for a council seatin May.
Hyatt is no newcomer to town government, having served previously as an appointed councilwoman. She has also run unsuccessfully twice for Town Council. She didn't run in May.
A familiar face at council meetings, Hyatt has been active in town beautification through planting flowers and trees such as at the War Memorial Park and helping to promote the summer concerts there.
A new project town officials had asked her to take on was restoration of the old train station on Gill Avenue. Hyatt said she is at the early stage of looking into paying for the project. She wants to see the station declared a historical site and transformed into a museum.
"I would have continued doing things whether I was selected (to be on the council) or not," Hyatt said of her activity in town. "It's an important part of mylife. I'm a caring person and have always been involved."
The owner of Hyatt's Animal Boutique on Main Street for the last 15 years, she was a founder of the Hampstead Business Association, which promotes local businesses and civic events.
She has lived in Hampstead for 18 years, first on a farm and now on Hillcrest Avenue behind the pet shop. She and her husband, Lewis Hyatt, a contractor, have four adult children: Liz, Denise and Michael Hyatt and Carla Hale, all of Hampstead.
In addition to town activities, Hyatt and her husband alsohave sponsored handicapped and underprivileged children who visited their farm when they lived there.
Hyatt said she will continue with the projects she has started, as well as adding her new duties as acouncilwoman. Council members divide among them certain areas, and Hyatt will take parks, recreation, historic buildings and municipal buildings and land. She also will serve as a liaison to two homeowner associations.
Hyatt said the major issues facing the town remain growth, traffic and water. However, she said, she will funnel her energy into the areas assigned to her for now.
Councilman Arthur H. Moler, in his third term, said Hyatt will "do well for the council."
"I've been aware of Jackie and her activities with the business people of the town and the town itself," he said.
At a meeting earlier this spring, former mayor Richard E. Miller publicly asked Hyatt, in the audience, to consider one of the vacancies coming up on the council and Planning and Zoning Commission.
Pearson, in nominating her,said he did not want to wait until August to fill the vacant seat because of the qualified candidates who already had responded.
At a previous meeting, Pearson had also said he would like to appoint a woman, as the rest of the council is all male. But Hyatt is not the first woman to serve on the council, following in the steps of Ann Herget and Julia Gouge, who also was mayor and now is a County Commissioner.