Familiar faces could return to Sykesville council SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber


The makeup of the Sykesville Town Council will change only slightly if three incumbents are successful in their bids for re-election.

Three of the six council seats and the mayor's job are up for grabs in the May 4 election.

Two incumbent council members, Eugene E. Johnson and Julie A. Kaus, are seeking re-election. Council President Kenneth W. Clark also will run again.

This time, he said, he will "take a shot" at the mayor's job, vacated when three-term Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr.'s move to Westminster makes him ineligible for a town office.

"Things will be really different here without Lloyd," said Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Clark, 37, who has served as chairman of the Finance Committee during his first term, said a modification in the town charter will give the mayor a more active role in town government. Following the election, the amendment -- allowing the mayor to vote and introduce ordinances -- takes effect.

Mr. Clark, a Sykesville resident for seven years, plans a "listening-to-the-community" campaign. He said he will tell residents "the town can be run as a business" and offer "the most efficient and cost-effective services."

Councilman Johnson, 56 and a Sykesville resident for 30 years, said he will go door-to-door and attend as many town events as possible in an effort to win a third term.

"I want people to know I am running again," said Mr. Johnson. "I'll tell them what I have done and what plans I have."

As chairman of the Sanitation and Maintenance Department, he has been responsible for town property and roads. If elected again, he said, he will continue to work for the start of Raincliffe Industrial Park and the improvement of park lands for recreation. He also will push for more recycling.

"We have gotten recycling and a curbside program off to a good start," he said.

The town began its curbside program nearly a year ago. In November, trash haulers also started collecting bundled newspapers and cardboard.

"It's fairly new, and we need to get all citizens interested," said Ms. Kaus. "I want to begin curbside pickup for other items, including yard waste."

A Norwood Avenue resident, Ms. Kaus, 35, serves as council liaison to the Historic District Commission. She wants the town to continue programs to preserve its older buildings.

Campaigning will be a new experience for Ms. Kaus, who was appointed to her seat last year after the resignation of Councilman Wiley Purkey.

"It has been a privilege to represent constituents here," she said.

"I have enjoyed being a part of town government and making things happen."

She would like to encourage more residents to get involved in the community, she said. The council will accept incumbents' and any other nominations from the floor at its April 12 meeting.

All three council members point to the Small Town Planning Guidelines, adopted in October, as one of their terms' major successes. Town planners developed the guidelines to help Sykesville balance its "small town flavor with growth," said Mr. Clark.

"I have seen tremendous changes and growth in my time here, and there will be more changes to come," said Mr. Johnson. "We have to plan well for it."

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