UPDATE: During a Thursday morning count of absentee ballots, Jim Miller gained six votes to John Correri’s five additional votes – meaning Miller will retain his Havre de Grace city council seat with a narrow 5-vote victory over former mayor Correri.
Original story below:
Havre de Grace city councilmen Bill Martin and Fred Cullum were the clear victors in Tuesday’s municipal election, but the identity of the third candidate who will join them in office remains in limbo.
By just four votes, city councilman Jim Miller is clinging to re-election, but former mayor John Correri is hoping to make up the difference and return to elected office by moving ahead of Miller once the 15 possible remaining ballots are counted.
Of the 8,094 registered voters in Havre de Grace, only 1,165 (14.39 percent) voted, according to the Harford County Board of Elections.
Here are the unofficial vote totals from Tuesday’s election:
Martin, who was a newcomer to politics when first elected two years ago, won re-election to his second term by a landslide – garnering nearly 250 votes more than the second-highest vote-getter and bringing in 26.39 percent of the total vote. Martin said he was running for re-election for one reason: “To help maintain our quality of life.”
“I believe there are certain standards and expectations of services that any good tax payer should come to expect for a return on their money,” Martin said in an interview prior to the elction.
After 14 prior years on the city council, Cullum was easily re-elected to his 8th term by roughly a 50-vote margin. Cullum said before the election he wanted to return to office because he thought his experience was needed.
“Having been there and done that for so many years I can prevent repeating some past mistakes,” he said.
Miller sought re-election to his third term on the city council and said he plans to stay involved in city goings-on, regardless of whether he can hold onto his seat.
“Win or lose I’ll still plan to attend the council meetings. I can still add my comments and suggestions during the citizens comment periods,” Miller said Wednesday morning.
Two years ago, Miller was top vote getter with 499 votes. This time he picked up five more votes, yet he may lose his seat.
“Every time you make a tough decision it upsets group of people. I chose what I thought was better for the tax payers, the group I represent. Every little group that you make mad is less votes. One just has to hope that the citizens that benefit are not apathetic and will come out and support you. By the total votes cast, unfortunately, a larger percentage are apathetic. Over the last two years I have heard a lot of complaints and grumbling. Many of whom don’t come out to vote,” he added.
Among the tough decisions Miller said had to be made just before the election was the proposed budget, which calls for 2-percent city employee cost of living adjustment, a 4-percent step increase, and a one-cent tax rate reduction.
“I went on record that I did not support either a COLA or Step increase for employees, and I know we can reduce the tax burden on our citizens more than a penny. I along with Councilman [Mitch] Shank think we can go deeper and get closer to a four-cent tax cut,” Miller said.
Correri, a longtime city councilman who has been out of office for several years, was looking to get back into city politics. Correri ascended to mayor when David Craig left after his own appointment to Harford County Executive. In the election to hold onto the position, Correri lost to current mayor Wayne Dougherty.
The question before the electorate was to determine whether or not a parcel of real property owned by the city should be sold to Harford County government. Voters voiced approval of the sale in a 985 to 157 vote.
The Harford County Board of Elections confirmed there are 9 absentee ballots; 7 have been returned and 1 is outstanding. The Board doesn’t expect the extra vote to come in and must wait for the 1 outstanding ballot for up to 10 days before counting, but will count as soon as it comes in. There were also 6 provisional ballots
Miller said he had heard the absentee ballots will be counted at 10 a.m. on Thursday. One of the absentee ballots had been sent to Texas and elections officials were waiting for it to be returned, Miller added.
Jim Ringsaker says
It will be interesting to see the final vote count.
The landslide is a clear sign that Councilman Martin is doing a great job representing his constituents.
Still, it saddens me to see less than a 15% voter turn-out. Remember, all politics is local.
The part that concerns me is that Sharon “Foreclosure Queen” duncan was even allowed to run. With judgements for over a million dollars against her and multiple properties in foreclosure for Not paying the mortage(s). I wonder if she was planning 5to do to the city (if elected) what she has done to the Banks she has barrowed from?
I agree. Was Sharon Duncan running or was it really Frank Ducan who a lot of people cant stand and would put his wife in the seat as a puppet. I will say this to the Duncans, thank you so much for taking down all of your guady signs that so littered Havre de Grace for the last month. I am tired of looking at them.
Former Resident of HDG says
HDG – could be and should be a lot better. Why are the vast majority of candidates for any office in this town retreads? By that, I mean folks who held office before and were mediocre at best. Time for new candidates to run who have fresh ideas and no baggage.
HDG needs to transform from a super-low budget Annapolis to the next level. The big problem there is way too many renters & section 8 housing in proportion to homeowners. Zoning is far too lax and landlords aren’t held accountable when their properties look like crap. The downtown area is not exactly friendly at night, with drug users and dealers walking around freely in the shopping area. The police do a good job but this is more than a law enforcement matter.
Let’s hope new candidates can clean it up.
Jim Ringsaker says
The problem with your assessment is that most HDG citizens don’t want to become Annapolis. You speak of crime in the “shopping area” at night…..try walking around unmolested in Annapolis after dark.
It’s annoying when people move to an area because it’s so nice, then all they want to do is change it into the place they moved away from.
Amen. I was born and raised in HdeG and I lament the loss of the old city I grew up in… what used to be called the “City by the Bay” is now the city by the hideous townhouses blocking the view we once had of the bay… If the lighthouse didn’t bring tourists they’d vote to topple it into the river and put up more townhouses.
Havre de Grace has been an eyesore for years. I doubt anyone expects it to become Annapolis, but it has to get better than what its current condition is. How many so-called antique and junk shops can it sustain? How many vacant store fronts are there? There are way too many rundown rental properties that detract from the beauty of the city. The substance abusers who roam the downtown area at night are intimidating. Whether or not Annapolis has night crime is not the point.
calm down, and don’t take it personally. There is a great amount of truth in that person’s statements. The city’s downtown area looks sad, those junk shops and that new pawn shop really have got to go. I agree that there are way too many rental properties that detract from the city’s potential. Remember Craig had suggested a Landlord Registration? That was a great idea but his rivals fought it. I moved from downtown to Bulle Rock b/c I couldn’t stand the status quo and decay. I’d move back but not at this time. HDG can look scary at night to visitors.
Final results after Absentee and Provisional ballots:
Jim Ringsaker says
No offense to Jim, but I was really pulling for John Correri
Correri I thought he had finally gotten tired of Craigs hand up his dupa with Davids hand moving Correri lips. I even hear Johnnie was able to use the bathroom for two years without asking Craigs permission. Set yourself free Johnnie quit being a lackey
Rock Hudson says
Honest John sounds a bit on the funny side. All he talks about is hands in dupas and mens lips etc….time to come out of the closet honestjohn.
Well Rock , honestjohn has been around here almost 60 years and knows quite a bit of the BS pulled by david craig and his puppets.If you cannot see the puppet master for who he his ask Hellen Keller to exsplain it to you.The only one worse would be Art Helton moving in on HdeG
“The landslide is a clear sign that Councilman Martin is doing a great job representing his constituents.”
Name one thing Bill has done besides suck up to the local fire company and get his ass kicked at Coakley’s with Craig/
Jim Ringsaker says
Well, he was key to keeping the council seats at 2 years and lowering our taxes.
As for Coakley’s, I don’t think there was any ass kicking on either end and it really has nothing to do with the topic.
He is refeering to the night when Randy (glassjaw)Craig and he (martin) got their asses kicked after leaving (or being ask) Coakleys pub. So what? They got ruffed up a bit….maybe they deserved it but, what the hey…..No stiches No foul. Now Sharon Duncan collecting the rent on rental property and NOT paying the mortage on said property is a whole other story. And what about the MILLION Dollar PLUS judgement against her for money missing from a trust….the plot thickens
Noone.. its seems like you are one of those people that have not lived here your whole life. Bill Martin is just not here for the local fire department, he is here for the people of Havre de Grace. You sound like an “out of towner” that likes to stir the pot instead of helping the city out. Care to volunteer some of your time?? Yes Bill does what he can for the fire department. Care to take a guess on what it would cost the tax payers for a paid fire department?? I would suggest you do one of the following:
1. volunteer with your local fire department
2. stop complaining when someone does something good.
3. or get he hell out of our town
Councilman Miller Rocks!
All right. Will the new political boss in HDG finally do something to clean up the city? Let’s hope he has the fortitude to do something about crappy zoning laws and landlords who are sloppy and irresponsible. Oh wait, does the new political boss have friends that own rental properties and are sucking up the Section 8 $? What will the new boss do about the substance abusers who roam the streets at night like something out of a sci-fi movie? What about the vacant stores, the excess # of junk/antique stores and that ridiculous pawn shop in town(G-spot)? Visitors to HDG notice this crap and believe me, it does look bad. If these things get cleaned up, I will take your side and become a true believer.
Debra Telsing says
I take offense to the comment about the crappy new pawn shop in town needing to go. In the last year and a half our business has brought 100’s of folks into HdG that would never have set foot in our town. Hunters and collectors come from 4 different states to frequent our business, then they bring their families and wives back for dining and fun. The “crappy” pawn shop gets compliments Everday from visitors who love how interesting, beautiful and eclectic our store is. I believe your comments are unfounded and that you have never set foot in our store and that you are just narrow-minded in the area of business. Perhaps just largely mis- informed and ready to believe what you read rather than make an educated and fair judgement for yourself. I invite you to come in on a friday or saturday and watch how many out of town folks come into town to see us specifically.
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