Fenwick Island Residents Elect Four To Council Seats

FENWICK ISLAND – Two incumbents, a former councilman and one newcomer have secured four open seats on the Fenwick Island Town Council.

Last Saturday, hundreds of voters cast their ballots in person for this year’s election of the Fenwick Island Town Council, while 81 turned in absentee ballots.

The results, certified by the town’s Board of Elections on Monday, showed Gene Langan, Richard Mais, Bill Weistling and Mike Houser were the top four vote-getters.

Weistling – who served four terms on the council between 2006 and 2016 – received the most votes, earning 217. Langan received 207 votes, Houser received 205 votes and Mais received 200 votes.

This year, six candidates vied for four council seats held by Langan, Mais, Julie Lee and Roy Williams. Lee and Williams received 174 votes and 136 votes, respectively.

Weistling returns to a seat on the dais after a three-year hiatus. During that time, he has had an active role as chairman of the charter and ordinance committee and member of the town’s budget, dredging, finance, pedestrian safety and technology committees.

“I’m very thankful to the people who voted for me,” he said. “I think they appreciate the work I’ve been doing in the town, and I will continue to work just as hard as a council member as I have in the past.”

Houser, the only newcomer in this year’s election, has been a resident of Fenwick Island since 1978 and currently serves on the town’s charter and ordinance committee. While he had wanted to serve on the council for many years, he said he decided to run for a seat on the council after retiring.

“We are living here full-time now after retiring,” he said. “So I thought this was an opportunity to give back.”

Houser thanked the community for supporting him in the election.

“I was very excited at the start of the process and I’m now I’m even more excited after the election,” he said. “I am very gratified by the choice that the residents made.”

Both Langan and Mais will retain their seats on the council for another two years. Langan will return for his sixth consecutive term, and Mais will return for his third consecutive term.

“I was pleased with the results and for the town incumbents that weren’t reelected I want to thank them for their service …,” Langan said. “I think it was a good election, and we look forward to moving forward. We have a lot of things going on in town.”

Mais said he was happy with the results of this year’s election.

“We don’t have as many candidates as we do slots sometimes and like any small town we sometimes have a hard time finding people to run …,” he said. “I was pleased to see we had six willing and qualified candidates this year.”

Mais also welcomed Weistling and Houser to the council and recognized Lee and Williams for their years of service.

“I appreciate the contributions they’ve made …,” he said. “I wish them the best and hope they continue to stay involved.”

Lee recognized the community for allowing her an opportunity to serve.

“I am glad I had the opportunity to serve Fenwick Island property owners on the Town Council and perhaps I will serve again,” she said. “In the meantime, I hope this elected council is open and responsive to the opinions of all members of our community.”

Williams did not immediately respond to requests for comment this week.

An organizational meeting to swear in the elected leaders will be held on Aug. 12.

The four elected leaders said top priorities include the installation of sidewalks along Coastal Highway, a dredging project in the Little Assawoman Bay, sea level rise and a planning study of the town’s commercial district.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.