SEABROOK – The beginning of May marks the start of several municipal elections throughout the county. Berwyn Heights, Colmar Manor and University Park began the cycle with their elections on May 1. Berwyn Heights In the Berwyn Heights election, Chris Rasmussen was elected mayor with 229 votes, Lynn White received 179 votes to become the […]
SEABROOK – The beginning of May marks the start of several municipal elections throughout the county. Berwyn Heights, Colmar Manor and University Park began the cycle with their elections on May 1.
In the Berwyn Heights election, Chris Rasmussen was elected mayor with 229 votes, Lynn White received 179 votes to become the mayor pro tem-elect, and Stephen Isler, Jason Papanikolas, and Ethan Sweep received 159, 136 and 128 votes, respectively, to be elected councilmembers. Incumbent Patricia Dennison, with 48 votes, and Mike Attick, with 40 votes, did not secure spots on the council.
“I’ve been on the council for four years, and I see it as an opportunity to really help lead the community,” Rasmussen said. “(Also, to) be a steward of public resources, help to guide the things the town needs to do to preserve property values, to promote a good quality of life.”
Rasmussen said he is interested in focusing on matters he heard residents raise during the campaign season. The concerns include quality of life issues, such as trash, police presence and road conditions.
White, the new mayor pro tem, returns to the municipal government after serving a partial term in 2015 to fill a vacancy. Although her priorities will depend on which department she is assigned to by the mayor, she said a “big issue is how our departments are organized and managed.”
White also mentioned she and other candidates received feedback from residents about their desires to better engage with the town government.
“I was blown away by the election results,” White said. “I really just want to put my head down and work for the town and try to do some good work. I think we have a great group, and I think I heard from a lot of residents that they’re excited about the group.”
Isler said he ran for the position to help bridge a communication gap between the council and the residents. He hopes to grow the visibility of the council and improve their communication with residents.
As a councilmember, Papanikolas aims to expand opportunities for the youth in the town and growing recreation activities for the adults.
“When I was looking at the makeup of the council, I saw that there were not a lot of families with young children represented,” Papanikolas said.
He currently works with the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and local Boys & Girls Club.
Sweep hopes his position on the council will enable him to help improve the local green spaces. The first big project he wants to tackle is building a dog park in the community.
Sadara Barrow was re-elected as mayor of Colmar Manor with 80 votes. Her opponents Michael Hale and Jason Keirn received 50 and 48 votes, respectively.
Barrow will take the oath of office on May 10. Barrow did not respond to multiple interview requests.
Lenford Carey was elected to his third term as mayor of University Park with 344 votes, compared to the 148 votes his opponent Joel Biermann received. David Brosch beat Joseph Thompson to become councilmember-elect for Ward 1 with 78 votes, to the 52 Thompson received. Laurie Morrissey, the councilmember-elect for Ward 3, and Roland Stephen, the councilmember-elect for Ward 7, both ran unopposed.
Carey said his top two priorities for his new term will be to establish the position of the town manager and to “do something” about their town hall, which he described as “very limiting.”
“What I heard back from the vote is there is a lot of support for how well the town is doing,” Carey said. “People are feeling we’re responsive to what they wanted.”
Aside from Carey, everyone else elected during the May 1 University Park election will be serving on the town council for the first time.
Morrissey decided to run because she wanted to give back to the community and she thought getting involved in the council would be the most effective way to cause meaningful change. She is interested in serving on the parks and trees committee.
Brosch said he is interested in “push(ing) the town to be a greener community.” He decided to run to ensure a local street does not close, thereby pushing the traffic to other nearby roads.
Stephen said he supports making the area more accessible.
The new council will take the oath of office on June 18. The first town meeting they will preside over will be on July 9.