Tuesday afternoon, three of the district 2 and 3 candidates stood in a lonely, empty area of the City Hall parking lot, corralled by big orange cones in the designated “electioneering” area.
Every so often, a voter would say a few words of encouragement to a favorite candidate and be off.
It was a different scene than at Davis Hall, where residents of districts 1 and 4 were voting. The candidates there convened on a grassy knoll, surrounded by several colorful campaign signs poking out of the ground.
It was different inside the building too where votes were being cast.
At Davis Hall, the line for the , stretched several voters long. At City Hall, well …
“It’s slow,” said District 3 candidate . “I guess we have a lot of people in our district working. Hopefully it’ll pick up,” he said.
Day, who has served on various boards and committees in College Park, said he is confident his involvement in the city would contribute to a win.
“I know I’ve put in the work for the city … I feel pretty confident I built a track record of being a leader and a team player,” he said.
If elected, he said he would support the construction, and take actions to improve the relationship between the university and the rest of the community.
He said communication is key in this objective. The university needs to better relay to students their role as residents in College Park, and the community and university groups need to work more closely together, he said.
“Students have something to say, and we have to listen to them, and residents, too,” he said. “[Students] are a big part of the community … A lot of times, they end up being residents,” he said.
Day and one of his opponents, both said there needs to be a real focus from the council on public safety, and they said establishing a College Park police department should be considered.
McCeney said he would like to see all the speed cameras replaced by traffic-light cameras, to catch drivers who don’t stop at red lights, and use those ticket revenues to establish a College Park police department.
McCeney also said he would like to find ways to bring together the different factions of the community, like landlords, students and other community members, who don’t always get along.
“There’s a perception that landlords are sitting on a mound of money and they’re not contributing anything to the community,” McCeney said, and added that he doesn’t believe that’s true.
Although District 3’s was not at City Hall at the time, her supporters were.
“We love Stephanie Stullich,” said Mary Anne Hakes, 70. She and her husband, Richard, 75, both voted to keep the incumbent in office.
“She has been keeping us up-to-date on everything going on,” Richard Hakes said. They both gave their second votes to Day.
For Mary Anne Hakes, it was a hunch.
“Don’t ask me why,” she said, though added she did notice a sign for Day in County Councilman Eric Olson’s yard, whom she also supports.
Her husband got to meet Day before Tuesday. “He came by the house and shook my hand, and his bio looked good,” Richard Hakes said.
Voter James Garvin, an engineer for the National Archives, said he didn’t have a reason to vote for anyone but Stullich, so he didn’t. He used only one of his two votes to support the incumbent.
“I just have some reservations,” he said of Day and McCeney.
“[Stullich] seems to have a good head on her shoulders … That seems to be rare on the council,” he said.
By 4 p.m., 151 voters turned out to cast votes in the District 3 race, compared to 235 in District 1, where there is also a three-way race. Thirty-one voters cast ballots for District 2, where the race is uncontested between incumbent and Lakeland Civic Association President .
Dennis, one of the three candidates in the electioneering “corral” Tuesday afternoon, said he was encouraged by the few who decided to come out to vote in his district.
“What it means is, there is interest in the community and there is someone for whom they want to cast their ballots,” he said.