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34 turn out for sharpsburg elections

November 18, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Thirty-four people voted in Tuesday's Sharpsburg election, more than enough to make winners of all four Town Council candidates who ran uncontested.

Election Director Anna Louise Jamison said voter turnout was 7 percent, the lowest in the 20 years she has been working the polls.

Jamison said she believed only 34 of 478 registered voters cast a ballot because the races were uncontested.

Vice Mayor Sidney Gale, who received 33 votes, said low voter turnout is usually related to a constituency satisfied with how elected officials are doing their jobs.

Gale, 50, of 108 W. Main St., is director of physician practices for Antietam Health Services at Robinwood Medical Center near Hagerstown. He was appointed vice mayor in January 1997 to fill a vacancy left when George Kesler took over as mayor.

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Councilwoman Denise Troxell also received 33 votes. Troxell was appointed to the council in January 1997 to fill Gale's seat when he was appointed to vice mayor.

"I feel great. I feel honored. I hope my health stays well so I can do it," said Troxell, 44, of 114 S. Mechanic St.

Troxell, a disabled teacher, had a double lung transplant in May 1997, keeping her away from the council for about four months. In recent weeks, she has been fighting a bacterial infection in her heart as a result of the transplant.

She said she will return to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on Thursday for a test to determine whether she will need open heart surgery.

Incumbent Russ Weaver, 53, of 234 W. Main St., received 31 votes to win his fourth term on the council. Weaver works for IBM Corp.

Patti Hammond, 51, of 301 W. Antietam St., received 27 votes to win her first term on the council, Jamison said. Her husband, Ralph, has been a council member for 26 years.

Hammond is Planning Commission chairwoman and an associate librarian for the Washington County Free Library and the Western Maryland Public Library.

Incumbent Matt Ryan chose not to run for a second term because his job as a paid firefighter in Fairfax County, Va., has caused him to miss many meetings.

The council members-elect will be sworn in on Jan. 4.

Council members, including the vice mayor, make $2.50 per meeting they attend and $1 for each special meeting, said Treasurer Tom McCall.

Troxell and Gale do not accept pay for their elected positions, he said.

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