Elk­ton elects in­cum­bents

Piner, Givens top new­com­ers Gor­man, Zeauskas

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Town vot­ers sup­ported in­cum­bents Charles Givens and Earl Piner in Tues­day’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, re­turn­ing the long­time com­mis­sion­ers to the town board amidst a heated race.

ELK­TON

Piner and Givens sur­vived a vo­cal op­po­si­tion from new­com­ers Bob Gor­man and Chris Zeauskas, who chal­lenged the in­cum­bents on a va­ri­ety of is­sues through­out the months-long cam­paign. Givens re­ceived 651 votes and Piner re­ceived 634, se­cur­ing their re- elec­tions. Gor­man came in third with 476 votes while Zeauskas fin­ished fourth with 460 votes.

Piner will now serve his fourth term as com­mis­sioner while Givens will ser ve his fifth.

This year’s race fea­tured tones closer to 2014’ s may­oral race as Piner and Givens were forced to counter a grass­roots cam­paign by Zeauskas and Gor­man with en­dorse­ments from Mayor Rob Alt, the Elk­ton Fra­ter­nal Order of Po­lice Lodge No. 124 and much of the busi­ness com­mu­nity. Sup­ported by sit­ting Com­mis­sioner DJ VanRee­nen, who has been a fre­quent critic of Alt’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, Gor­man and Zeauskas promised to bring change to Elk­ton by form­ing a new po­ten­tial vot­ing bloc. Ul­ti­mately, how­ever, the in­cum­bents won over more of the public.

This elec­tion, marked by beau­ti­ful weather in an oth­er­wise rainy May and a sched­ule prior to the Me­mo­rial Day week­end, saw an in­crease of vot­ers com­pared to the last com­mis­sion­ers elected in 2012, where there were five can­di­dates vy­ing for the two open seats, which in­cluded Piner and Givens. In 2012, 639 out of 7,419 reg­is­tered vot­ers casted votes dur­ing the com­mis­sioner elec­tion.

Givens said he would like to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween elected of­fi­cials and cit­i­zens, in­crease the num­ber of busi­nesses down­town and also build a town com­mu­nity cen­ter.

“I’m happy,” he said Tues­day night about the re­sults. “The peo­ple have spo­ken.”

He said he will con­tinue to sup­port the “We Are Elk­ton” slo­gan and work with the board to con­tinue to do “pos­i­tive things for ev­ery­one.”

“I will be a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence,” he said.

Givens said he and Piner “fought through a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity” dur­ing the cam­paign, but stayed pos­i­tive in their own mes­sage.

With a new term, Piner has said he would like to see the eight needed po­si­tions within the Elk­ton Po­lice De­part­ment filled, get the com­mu­nity more in­formed on town is­sues and fi­nally see his dream of a town com­mu­nity cen­ter re­al­ized.

“I’m happy with the re­sults,” he said Tues­day.

Piner said he has learned a lot through dur­ing the cam­paign af­ter speak­ing with dif­fer­ent parts of the com­mu­nity, such as the var­i­ous home­owner’s as­so­ci­a­tions, and hear­ing their view­points on the is­sues. Piner said he has also learned about the dif­fer­ent frus­tra­tions that neigh­bor­hoods are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

“I will try to work closer with the as­so­ci­a­tions and dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties to ad­dress their needs as a com­mis­sioner,” he said.

On Tues­day night, Gor­man said he was dis­ap­pointed that town vot­ers chose to sup­port the sta­tus quo in­stead of seek­ing change.

“They’re dis­ap­point­ing,” said of the re­sults.

He said he will move on and con­tinue to serve the com­mu­nity as the Grand Knight of the lo­cal Knights of Colum­bus coun­cil.

“By los­ing this elec­tion, I won that elec­tion,” he said.

Zeauskas also said that upon com­ing up short that he would fo­cus on other ef­forts.

“I’m also a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed,” he said about the re­sults.

He said he will “go back to be­ing an av­er­age cit­i­zen” and con­tinue to man­age his busi­ness, Premier Colors. Zeauskas said he will also fo­cus on his fam­ily.

“I have two lit­tle girls I need to raise,” he said.

The elec­tion comes a day be­fore the mayor’s bud­get is sched­uled for a public hear­ing. On June 1, the bud­get will be con­sid­ered by the board for a fi­nal vote.

he Com­mis­sion­ers Earl Piner and Charles Givens cam­paign out­side of the town hall on Tues­day dur­ing the town elec­tion.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Com­mis­sioner Earl Piner (right) and his col­league Charles Givens share a laugh af­ter learn­ing they won re-elec­tion in the Elk­ton elec­tion Tues­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Chal­lengers Chris Zeauskas (right) and Bob Gor­man re­act af­ter the fi­nal tal­lies of the Elk­ton elec­tion are an­nounced Tues­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Com­mis­sioner Earl Piner (right) shakes Chris Zeauskas’ hand while his col­league Charles Givens (cen­ter) shakes Bob Gor­man’s hand fol­low­ing the Elk­ton elec­tion on Tues­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Bob Gor­man and Chris Zeauskas cam­paign out­side of the Elk­ton Town Hall on Tues­day af­ter­noon dur­ing the town elec­tion.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

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