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Hancock mayor keeps his seat

January 30, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HANCOCK - Hancock's five-term mayor will start his 11th year in the office, after voters Monday chose incumbent Daniel A. Murphy over former Town Councilman Greg Yost.

Murphy won handily, but councilman Randy Pittman lost his seat to top vote-getter Timothy Smith, according to results provided by election supervisor Lowell Younker.

Sinclair Hamilton, 53, kept his council seat.

Murphy, 54, said Monday night that he is looking forward to beginning his sixth term as mayor. Before becoming mayor, Murphy served four years on the council.

"I've very pleased with the outcome. Obviously, I'm glad to see the voters of this little town gave me their vote of confidence, and it's a job I enjoy very much," said Murphy, a veterinarian.

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Smith, a 30-year-old Hancock businessman, said he wants to focus on economic development.

"We kind of backslid a little bit in Hancock. And now, hopefully, we can get things back on track," said Smith, a newcomer to the council.

Hamilton was appointed to the council in late 2005 to fill the seat vacated when David Smith became town manager.

Since moving to town a few years ago, Hamilton has been active in the Hancock Arts Council, and he said Monday that he wants to move forward with plans to restore the stage at the community center.

He said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the election outcome, and he said he believed part of his success was because of voters' apparent support for plans for the stage.

"So, in a way, I'm looking on it as confirmation of the idea of having a performing arts center here in Hancock," Hamilton said.

Yost, the deputy chief of the Hancock Fire Co., said he was disappointed by the election results. As a sitting councilman, he lost to Murphy in the mayoral election two years ago, The Herald-Mail reported.

"I guess the majority are satisfied. So be it, that's fine. I think they need to look at things a little differently, and maybe they will," Yost, 51, said.

Pittman could not be reached for comment Monday night.

A member of the Hancock Arts Council, Murphy said he supports plans to bring performances back to the stage.

He also wants the town to prepare for growth by creating zoning criteria.

"We have to protect the rights of the people living here," Murphy said.

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