Council District 5: Blake produces decisive win

Councilwoman Angela Blake, a Sandstone Court resident who was appointed to the council last year to represent District 5, turned back a challenge from Shawn Jester in Tuesday’s balloting.

Angela Blake.

Blake received 444 votes to 263 votes for Jester.

Blake, a social worker, was appointed to the council in February to replace R. Hardy Rudasill who resigned and departed town in January.

Originally from Galena in Kent County, Blake studied at Salisbury University and stayed in the city. She has worked for the county schools system, as well as a children’s therapist at Balanced Life Counseling Services.

“The city of Salisbury told us clearly what they wanted,” she said during an election night party at Brew River.

District 5 includes numerous apartment complexes as well as areas of the city where development is slated along Beaglin Park Drive and at the former Salisbury Mall site. All of that will shape the way Salisbury looks and functions well into the future, Blake said during the campaign.

The vacant mall property “doesn’t bring anything to the area,” and residents now seem to welcome the current plan that includes housing and commercial development, she said.

Blake has said that while a lot of focus has been on Downtown redevelopment, council members also have been concentrating on the neighborhoods where community centers have been established on Newton and Truitt streets.

“People want to live in a place that’s alive,” she said.

Jester, 31, works as a constituent liaison in Republican Congressman Andy Harris’ Salisbury office. He is a Salisbury native and Wicomico High School graduate. He also graduated from Wor-Wic Community College and Salisbury University. Three years ago he bought a house on Centenary Drive in the city.

Federal employees are generally prohibited from running for political office under the Hatch Act, but since the city election is nonpartisan, Jester was free to run. Jester has said  he hopes to use his government experience to help the city.

Jester will continue to serve on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. During the campaign, he said he would like to take a look at the city’s zoning code with an eye to allowing construction of smaller houses on smaller lots to make them more affordable.

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