DiServio said he does not think the current City Council understands the effect the planned Hunt Field development will have on downtown. Hunt Field, which would involve the construction of 3,300 homes on 1,000 acres south of Charles Town, has raised concerns among some local officials who believe the county may be hard-pressed to offer all of the services that would be required for the development.
DiServio said he is concerned that if Hunt Field is built, large-scale retail businesses will grow up around it and threaten businesses downtown.
DiServio, who works as an air-conditioning contractor, said he also thinks the downtown revitalization project is moving too slowly and that the council does not place enough value on citizen input.
Vaira could not be reached for comment.
Hilton said that in his last five years as mayor, drug trafficking in Charles Town has decreased, the city has been able to balance its budget, city hall has been renovated, a new police station has been established and city streets have been paved.
"A lot of good things are going on now. There's a lot of encouraging signs," said Hilton.
Hilton said he wants to stay on as mayor to help oversee other major initiatives in town, including a planned revitalization of the downtown business district.
The city has received at least $600,000 to construct sidewalks, plant trees, install street lights and relocate overhead power lines.
The city also is considering a plan to redevelop sections of the town that have a lot of vacant commercial buildings and other vacant properties.
The city has applied for a $250,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency that would be used to fund a redevelopment plan for the areas.
There are two council seats from each of the four council wards in town. One seat from each ward is up for re-election next month and the remaining seats will be up for grabs in 2003.
Running unopposed next month are council members Violet Lowery, Ward 1; Timothy Robinson, Ward 2; and Geraldine Willingham, Ward 4.