Most of the seven candidates for Havre de Grace City Council see twomain issues facing the waterfront community in this year's election -- generating new revenue and encouraging a steady pace of development.
Most of the candidates, six Democrats and one independent, saidin separate interviews that Havre de Grace must develop new revenue sources to continue providing public services in lean economic times.
One way to acquire more revenue, some candidates say, is to strengthen the city's tax base by encouraging the steady pace of development under way along the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay waterfronts.
The seven candidates will compete for three open seats on the six-member council. The city's non-partisan election is May 7. Council members sit for two-year terms.
The candidates are: John P. Correri Jr., Fred H. Cullum, June Gallagher, Rene A. Lambert, Kevin Racine, Wardell V. Stansbury and James C. Vancherie Jr.
Correri and Vancherie are the only incumbents in the race. The council's third incumbent, Kay Mike, is not seeking re-election.
In addition to the council races, Havre de Grace voters also will se
lect a mayor. Incumbent Gunther Hirsch faces Jane Jacksteit in the mayoral race. The voter registration deadline is April 8.
Most of the candidates said they are pleased by the growth in the city during the last few years: condominiums are being built on the waterfront, the city's marina hasa waiting list of 125 boat owners, and many new shops and restaurants have opened.
The candidates see development as a means to strengthen the tax base while money from federal, state and county sources becomes scarce.
"I think it would be really disastrous to destroy the small-town image Havre de Grace has always had," Gallagher said.
Racine said the city government cannot forget the need for affordable housing for many longtime residents in favor of upscale condominiums along the waterfront for out-of-towners.
He added that the city officials should develop a program to allow residents in housing projects to buy their homes, instead of simply getting government subsidies for rent.
This, he said, would instill the pride of ownershipin residents as well as feed property tax dollars into city coffers.
Below is a summation of the candidates' backgrounds as well as legislative and other proposals they would pursue if elected.