Ruth Elliott become the first elected mayor of Aberdeen Tuesday in a spirited race.
She received 960 votes, 48 more than George J. Englesson.
Englesson had served as honorary mayor by vote of the commissioners since 1987.
Elliott, a retired civilian employee of Aberdeen Proving Ground, has been a town commissioner since 1982.
Elliott, 54, ran as a self-described "outsider" opposing the
political establishment. Three City Council candidates supported her candidacy.
"Holding the line for the property owner is a primary goal in my plans for Aberdeen," Elliott said.
Property taxes make up half the annual budget, she noted in her campaign.
"We must find additional revenues without taxing to death the property owner," while maintaining essential public services in the face of cutbacks in state and federal aid, she said in the campaign.
She pledged to have an "open-door" policy for residents in dealing with problems, and to push for more effective response from the municipal staff.
The mayor will act as liaison between the administrator and the council, hire and fire department heads and propose an annual budget.
The council will have to approve the budget and any personnel decisions of the mayor.
Meanwhile, eight candidates competed for two open City Council seats in the non-partisan election.
The winners were Chuck Boutin, a lawyer and a former Harford County school board president, with 782 votes, and G. DeWayne Curry, a Realtor, with 770 votes, according to the Aberdeen Board of Election Supervisors.
Elliott and the council members will be sworn in this week.
Under the charter change to a mayor-council government, the town will have four City Council members and a voting mayor.
Council member pay remains at $5,000 a year, and the mayor's at $6,000. Both are part-time offices.