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Hilton unopposed for Charles Town mayor

April 24, 2001

Hilton unopposed for Charles Town mayor



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


Charles Town Mayor Randy Hilton is running unopposed for a third four-year term in the city's May 24 municipal election.

Hilton said he wants to serve another term to continue the progress that has been started in town.

In the only contested race in the election, Ward III incumbent Russell C. Miller will face challengers Stephen A. DiServio and Doug Vaira.

Miller, who was elected to fill a two-year unexpired term on council, said he wants to retain his council seat because he thinks he has gained the experience necessary in the last two years to serve the city.

Miller said he wants to retain his seat in order to oversee major projects, such as the downtown revitalization.

DiServio said he is running for a Ward III council seat because he is concerned about the development pressures that threaten Charles Town.

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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.

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