Elkton – March 20, 2010 — Joseph Fisona filed to seek reelection as mayor of Elkton in the upcoming May contest. The deadline for filing is May 4th and as it stands now the incumbent will face off against Main Street business person Wes Walker. But there are strong rumors that others are going to enter the race.
Mayor Fisona is wrapping up his second term as the town’s leader. When he ran for the top office, he made the revitalization of the town center one of his top priorities. He also campaigned on addressing crime and other social ills. Mayor Fisona is active with the Singerly Fire Company and also is on the board of the Elkton Alliance, the revitalization authority. In the last election he was opposed by a former town police chief, Charles Jagoe, and he easily won that election.
His only opponent as it stands now is a downtown businessperson, Wes Walker. When Wes filed in December he said he too was making the revitalization of the central business district one of his campaign promises. He said to the Guardian: “In 2006-2007 Elkton officials were excited by the fact that vacant storefronts were full and that Elkton was becoming a future hotspot with growth potential. Just drive through town and look at the large amount of for rent, for sale, and going out of business signs. Elkton is failing as an area that appeals to business owners and visitors alike.”
During the past several years, the town has been involved in virtually back-to-back lawsuits with the American Civil Liberties Union and others. The track record for the municipality is to general settle the case before it goes to court and at one point the mayor told the local paper that the ACLU was picking on the town. At this time, there is one pending piece of litigation before the Circuit Court involving the waiver of major facility fees for a developer and local bank.
Beginning in 2009, there was growing tension at town meetings. Some of that came from the administration stumbling its way through a drawn out ethics complaint against Commissioner Jablonski. When the Ethics Panel finally met and delivered a decision, it said that Commissioner Jablonski should not participate in decisions that affect her employment. In addition to that, a new blight reduction policy that caused the town to waive $150,000 in fees for a downtown project resulted in a heated town meeting, that caused the mayor to say the meeting “went off track” and resulted in the implementation of stricter rules for public participation.
To help give readers some detailed information on each office-seeker, we’ll do pieces on each candidate as the election approaches and provide them with space for any press releases they want to distribute.