Around 140 Cottage City residents cast their votes Monday at Town Hall, electing three first-time commissioners: Donna Hayes (Ward 2), Melaine Jones (Ward 3) and Sheila Butler (Ward 4).
Nearly twice as many residents voted in this year's election as voted in 2013, which saw only 81 votes, said town clerk Tina Pryce. Several residents exiting the polls said platform issues were not as important to them as was bringing fresh faces to the commission and Town Hall meetings, which they criticized for displays of contention and disrespect.
“We're trying to get it back to where no one is fighting and getting it back to normal,” said resident Carroll Faber. “It's always been a fight, but it's starting to get a little bizarre. Maybe new people will change that.”
Hayes defeated fellow first-time candidate Alina Maria Smith 64 to 58, while new candidate Melanie Jones defeated commission chairwoman Phyllis Robinson 110 to 20, Pryce said. Sheila Butler, who was unopposed, received 101 votes.
Resident Ronald Washington said he has lived in Cottage City for about two years and voted for Jones.
“It was mainly [because] of a meeting I had gone to and I saw the chaos and I felt like it was time for a change,” he said.
Jones said she was not surpised by the victory because during her campaigining she sensed that residents wanted a change.
“I did feel there was overwhelming support fo that change,” she said. “The community came together [Monday] and their voice was heard, and that's the way it should be.”
Cottage City resident Demetrius Givens uses an unusual method to encourage voting Monday during the town elections.
Edmonston also held an election Monday, voting in former councilwoman Tracy Gant as the town's new mayor. Gant defeated former mayor Robert Kerns 113 to 70, said Martina Alvarado, assistant town clerk.
Gant said she owes her victory to her team of supporters and loyal constituents.
“I'm excited. I'm appreciative,” she said. “I look forward to being the lead servant in Edmonston and working with the community.”
Residents also elected incumbents Sophia Bee and Selita Bennett-White for Ward 1, and incumbent Margaret Pooley and newcomer John Johnson for Ward 2. Pooley and Johnson ran unopposed.
Colmar Manor also voted in a new mayor, electing former councilwoman Sadara Barrow 131 to 61 over incumbent Michael Hale.
“I was very pleased. It was good to see people come out and vote,” Barrow said. “I worked hard to let people know what I wanted to do for the community. I look forward to serving.”