Election time is nearing in 10 incorporated towns and villages of Montgomery County, where voters will pick mayors, council members, commissioners and managers in the coming weeks.
Stretching from the affluent, inner-Capital Beltway neighborhoods of Chevy Chase north to the rural communities of Barnesville and Laytonsville, the 10 towns are among the smallest of Montgomery's 20 incorporated jurisdictions.
Yet, while similar in size, they differ from each other in budgets, populations and services they control. Some jurisdictions require that residents be registered to vote in the town elections, while others require only that residents be registered county or state voters.
Here's a breakdown of the races:
The three town commissioners of Barnesville -- Elizabeth Tolbert, L. Jerome Offutt and Peter Menke -- are all seeking reelection to two-year terms. Voters can write in the name of any town resident, however. No other candidates had declared by early this week.
The election will be held May 6, between 6 and 8 p.m., in the garage of Robert Lillard, 18111 Barnesville Rd.
Residents age 18 and older who have lived in Barnesville for at least six months are eligible to vote and can register at the time of the election. There is no filing deadline for candidates.
Chevy Chase, Section 3
Voters of Chevy Chase, Section 3 will elect three Town Council members between 5 and 8:30 p.m. May 14 at the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church, 7100 Connecticut Ave.
Incumbent members Fredric A. Press, Philip F. Eckert, Susan Elwell and challenger Michael Thiede are seeking two-year terms on the five-member council.
Section 3 of Chevy Chase is roughly bounded by Connecticut Avenue on the west, Brookeville Road on the east, Bradley Lane on the south and the dead-end of Taylor Street on the north. Section 3 residents who are registered to vote in Montgomery County are eligible to vote.
Chevy Chase Village
The terms of office of two of the five members of Chevy Chase Village's Board of Managers expire this spring. Incumbent member Carol Blum and newcomer Carey Rivers are vying for two-year terms.
The election will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. May 7 at the National 4-H Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave. The annual town meeting will follow, in the Ohio Room of the center. Election results will be announced and a board chairman will be selected by the council.
Registered Maryland voters who live in Chevy Chase Village are eligible to vote. New residents can call the town office at 654-7144 to find out if they are on the state's voter registration rolls.
Friendship Heights Village
Seven Friendship Heights Village Council seats are up for election, and incumbents Alfred Muller, Jessie Gertman and Charlotte Kenton are seeking reelection to two-year terms.
Also running are newcomers Dennis Melby, Karel deUbl, William Stern, Joshua Rafner and Milton A. Barlow Jr.
Friendship Heights residents who are registered to vote in Montgomnery County are eligible to vote in the village election, which will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 13 at the Friendship Park.
Residents of Garrett Park will elect three Town Council members from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 6 at the Penn Place Lobby (Post Office), 4600 Waverly Ave. Incumbents Allen Dittman and George Payne, and challengers Barbara Frost and Frank Obrinski are vying for two-year terms on the five-member council.
Residents must be registered to vote in town elections in order to vote in this year's contest.
Voters in Glen Echo will elect a mayor and two Town Council members for two-year terms from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 6 at the town hall, 6106 Harvard Ave. Mayor Frederick Kuster is seeking a second consecutive term; incumbent council members Harry Odell and Deborah Beers also are seeking reelection. The filing deadline for candidates is 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Kensington residents on June 4 will elect two Town Council members to two-year terms and one council member to a one-year term. The deadline for candidates to file for office is May 17.
May 25 is the deadline for residents to register to vote in the election. Residents who haven't voted in town elections within five years must re-register. A special registration drive will be held Monday before the regular town meeting, which starts at 8 p.m. at the town hall, 3710 Mitchell St.
Laytonsville voters will elect a mayor and two Town Council members for two-year terms between 3 and 7 p.m. May 6 at the Laytonsville Fire Department, Laytonsville Road. Mayor Charles T. White is seeking a second consecutive term and is being challenged by council member Larry L. Barker. Incumbent council member Maude Burke is seeking reelection; newcomer Jane Griffith Evans is vying for the remaining council seat.
The newly elected Town Council will grapple with a controversial offer from a developer to donate a house to the town if it is willing to pay to have it moved.
The developer, Albert Ceccone, wants to build a shopping center where the house now stands.
He has offered to donate the house, a three-bedroom Cape Cod, to the town or any church or charity group as long as the obtainer is willing to pay moving expenses, estimated between $21,000 and $24,000.
Some council members, including mayoral candidate Larry L. Barker, would like to have the house so that they can convert it into a town hall. But Mayor Charles T. White and some council members fear that acquiring it would lead to mounting operating and maintenance expenses for the town government, which has an annnual budget this year of $25,000.
Somerset voters will elect three Town Council members on May 6 at the town hall, 4510 Cumberland Ave., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Incumbents Stanley Baleinger and Charles Lerner and newcomers Doug Besharov, Jack Frankel and Joseph Leiter are seeking two-year terms on the five-member council. Residents must be registered to vote in town elections.
The deadline for residents to acquire absentee ballots for this election is May 2 at 4 p.m.
Voters will elect a mayor and three Town Council members for the 550-resident Washington Grove community from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 8 at the town hall, Center and Chestnut roads.
Council member Charles Challstrom is vying for the one-year mayoral position; Mayor Barbara S. Hawk is not seeking reelection.
Among council candidates, Donald Gallagher is seeking a one-year term on the six-member council.
Incumbent Carol Uhlendorf and newcomers Doug Callan, Don Henninger and Richard Haskett are vying for three-year terms on the remaining council seats.
Residents must be registered to vote, and can do so throughout next month by calling Doris Gordon, chairman of the town's board of elections, at 926-8603.
In one of the toughest issues Washington Grove officials have ever faced, the new council will have to take over the preparations for a multimillion-dollar showdown with one of the nation's largest retailing chains in Montgomery County Circuit Court July 8.
The Southland Corp., owners of the 7-Eleven chain, is suing the town for $6.8 million over local zoning ordinances adopted two years ago that will force one of its stores out of the community.
The town adopted the ordinances as a way to control the littering and loitering of high-volume businesses.
It limits the operations in the commercial zone to government offices such as a post office, beauty and barber shops, and retail meat markets and professional offices.