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Miller wins, police levy loses in Charles Town

May 27, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Retired Charles Town businessman Russell C. Miller Jr. won a three-way race for a Third Ward council seat and a proposed police levy failed in Thursday's municipal election.

Miller picked up 118 votes in the election, followed by Kate DiServio with 75 votes and Donald C. Boyer with 70 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from the city.

Miller, who owned and operated Miller Printing Co. for 30 years, said he is thankful for the people who supported him.

"I'll do my best," he said.

The city council proposed a levy that would add another officer to the police department for three years.

The levy, which would have generated about $117,000, would have raised tax bills by an average of about $16 a year.

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The police levy needed 60 percent of the vote but only received about 43 percent, according to results. Votes for the levy totalled 114 while votes against it were 148.

Mayor Randy Hilton said he was disappointed with the levy failure but the city will work to find ways to help the police department.

Due to budget cuts, the police department was forced this year to eliminate three of its 12 officer positions and a secretary's job. Police chief Mike Aldridge said the cuts hurt his department's ability to offer special services such as bike and foot patrols and community policing programs.

At the same time, domestic violence calls have increased and drug trafficking continues to persist, said Aldridge and Hilton.

"We have some challenges here and we'll just do the best we can," Hilton said.

Miller, DiServio and Boyer were running for a two-year unexpired term of council member Mary Via, who stepped down.

In four uncontested council races, incumbent Randy Breeden was re-elected to his First Ward seat, John Ward won the Second Ward seat, Matt Ward won a second Third Ward seat and incumbent William F. Jordan was returned to his Fourth Ward seat.

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