From The Daily Times;
Two newcomers to city politics are vying for the District 2 council seat, marking the first time in 24 years voters won't see an incumbent's name on the ballot.
Diane Downing and Duane Bias have filed to run for the position, held for nearly a quarter of a century by departing councilman Honiss Cane. Both candidates promise to bring new ideas to the town. And while this is each candidate's first run at elected office, both say they are familiar with how governments operate.
Downing, a Pocomoke City native, has worked for Worcester County government for 31 years. She was set to serve her second term on Pocomoke City's Board of Super-visors of Elect-ions, an appointed position, when the District 1 seat came up for election.
"It's available, so I thought, 'why not me?'" Downing said of running for office. "I love this city and I know about government."
"You have to have a love for people, patience, a love for helping people in different situations and go that extra mile to do everything you can to get some satisfaction for the citizens," she added. "That's what I've always loved and why I do what I do."
From her vantage point as a nearly life-long resident, Downing said one of the town's challenges is local crime.
"I look at the crime, and people breaking into houses, and that concerns me," she said. "We need to bring about some type of a deterrent -- neighborhood watches and get people watching out for others when they aren't around."
Downing also supports the creation of facilities and programs to keep kids busy. As a parent of two boys, that's a problem she knows all too well, she added.
"Because of the economy, there isn't a lot for young people to do," she said. "There are some things, but people may not have the money to do them. So we have to do something to keep these kids out of trouble."
Creating more opportunities for youth is something Bias, Downing's challenger, said he also supports.
"We need to try to find some activities for the kids in the summertime," Bias said. "Try to keep them busy and out of trouble and to give them a better education and life."
Bias, a Baltimore native, has spent 21 years in Pocomoke City.
"Pocomoke City is a nice quiet town," he said, adding that he originally moved here for a job. "It's friendly, it's a nice place to bring kids up. I love this town."
Married with one daughter -- a graduate of Pocomoke City's schools -- Bias worked for Worcester County Public Works before just recently taking a job as a correctional officer at the county jail.
He plans to reach out to community groups and churches to garner ideas on what needs changing in Pocomoke City. In particular, he said he will focus his efforts on cleaning up neighborhoods to make them safer for children and the elderly.
"I'm going to try and make it a nicer, better place for the whole town of Pocomoke so we can all come together as one," Bias said. "There are absolutely a lot of things I want to bring to the table."