Incumbents returned to Betterton council
BETTERTON — Donny Sutton won a second four- year term as mayor and incumbents Wayne Gilchrest, Harry Marcy and Bob Pyfer held on to their council seats in Saturday’s municipal election.
Sutton received 72 votes in a two- man race with Kenneth Traynor, who received 16 votes.
“I’m grateful. I’m humbled,” Sutton said when contacted by phone on Sunday.
Gilchrest ( 86) was the top vote- getter in the council race. Marcy received 71 votes, followed by Pyfer with 70 votes and first- time candidate Brandon Onheiser with 27.
Gilchrest and Marcy were elected to four- year terms.
Pyfer will serve out the remaining two years on the term of Ed Zellers, who resigned in July.
Gilchrest, a former nineterm congressman for Maryland’s 1st District, was appointed in August as the successor to Zellers. Town charter required Gilchrest to stand for election at the next election — though Zellers’ term does not expire until 2020.
As the third- place finisher in the three- seat race, Pyfer serves out Zellers’ term, said Town ClerkTreasurer Sheila Dlugoborski, citing the town charter.
“I’m glad the election turned out the way it did,” said Sutton, “but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
A new sewer treatment plant is expected to be fully online by the end of the month. Some of the startup has begun but the plant operators still have to be trained, Sutton said.
Funding was provided by more than $ 9 million in federal grants and a lowinterest loan.
Sutton said the next big project is Wheeler Avenue, which involves replacing a water line and an aging retaining wall; improving storm drainage; and changing what is a two-way throughway to one way.
Sutton lives on Wheeler Avenue.
The incumbents campaigned as a team in flyers that were distributed throughout town and on yard signs.
Traynor and Onheiser, who are married to one another, alleged that the current office holders show favoritism to their friends.
In a pre- election interview, Traynor said if elected he would see that everyone was treated equally and he would eliminate practices that he perceived to be discriminatory.
When reached by phone on Sunday, Traynor said, “The people who were elected are a good fit for the town.”
When he was asked to elaborate, Traynor said he did not want to make any other comment.
Clerk of the Circuit Court for Kent County Mark Mumford will swear in Sutton before the end of the month. Sutton, in turn, will swear in the three councilmen at the Nov. 13 council meeting, Sutton said Sunday.
The annual salar y for mayor is $ 1,800. A council member’s yearly pay is $ 900.
Betterton has a population of about 350, according to the most recent census. According to election officials, there are 251 registered voters in the town.
By 2 p. m. Saturday, 78 voters had voted. That number included all the candidates, according to poll workers.
Voters in Betterton cast their ballots the old- fashioned way, by paper. The votes were counted one by one after the polling place at town hall closed at 8 p. m.
On- site for the count were Sutton, Traynor, Marcy and Onheiser as well as some residents, said Judy Kohl, chairman of the town’s Board of Supervisors of Elections.
A total of 90 ballots were cast Saturday. This included one provisional ballot and another that was invalidated because both boxes for mayor were checked, Kohl said.
Incumbent mayor Donny Sutton and the three sitting councilmen campaigned as a team in this year’s municipal election in Betterton.