Voters retain current leaders


Facing no issue hot enough to inspire unrest, Hampstead voters yesterday re-elected three incumbents to the Town Council.

Winners Haven Shoemaker, Vincent J. Corsaro and Wayne H. Thomas all listed continued improvement of Hampstead's Main Street as the town's top priority.

"I guess it's a function of the fact that people think we're doing a good job and the town's moving in the right direction," said Shoemaker, who led the pack of five candidates with 284 votes.

"Everyone on the current council works real well together," added Corsaro, who finished second with 250 votes. "All three of the incumbents had pretty similar views."

Only 342 of Hampstead's 2,386 registered voters turned out to vote in the election, down from the 1999 and 1997 races.

"I guess that's another sign that we're doing a semigood job," said Shoemaker, munching on an unlit cigar as he waited for the results. "Turnout's always higher when there's controversy."

The incumbents helped draft a plan in 1999 that will add sidewalks and bicycle paths connecting downtown to Hampstead's outskirts and push unattractive wiring underground. All three said in interviews last week that they look forward to helping implement the plan.

"I've certainly worked hard, and we have a lot left to do," said Thomas, who finished third with 225 votes.

Much of Hampstead's planned progress hinges on the proposed Route 30 bypass, which would reduce traffic on Main Street. The State Highway Administration announced last fall that the long-delayed bypass will be a priority during the next six years.

The incumbents expressed cautious optimism that construction will start soon, but said they will continue lobbying the state to push the project.

Thomas has served eight years and Shoemaker four. Corsaro has served 18 months of an appointed term.

Challenger C. Donald Warner, who finished fifth with 66 votes, campaigned as a reform candidate.

"Things remain undone, and somebody has to accept responsibility," he said in an interview last week.

The other challenger, Myron H. Diehl, finished fourth with 71 votes. He offered no particular criticism of the incumbents, but said he could bring valuable experience to the town.

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