HAMPSTEAD — The town can expect few surprises Election Day, with only one candidate for each of the three seats to be decided May 14.
Barring a major write-in campaign, Councilman C. Clinton Becker can expect no opposition for the post of mayor, Councilman Arthur H. Moler can keep his seat for a third term and Councilman Gary W. Bauer will be elected to remain in the seat he was appointed to last fall.
If Becker is elected mayor, the five-member council must appoint someone to fill his vacancy, because the four-year seat is not up forelection for two years.
"Apparently, people must be satisfied with the operation of the town, or they would be out in droves complaining about
issues they had," said Bauer.
Bauer was the final candidate to formally file for the election before the April 8 deadline. He said he is surprised more people aren't running, addding he expected some candidates to emerge from the homeowner associations in town.
"I don't know whether the apathy is because they're satisfied with the way things are going, or they don't care," he said. "It's kind of disappointing not to see more people interested in what's going on."
Bauer, 44, moved from Baltimore to Hampstead in 1979 with his wife, Dena. They live on Century Street with daughter, Heidi, 13, and son, Christopher, 8.
He was first elected to the council in 1983. When his term expired in 1987, he made an unsuccessful bid for mayor,losing to Richard E. Miller. He ran in 1989 for the council, but lost in the primary.
In fall 1990, the council appointed him to fill a vacancy left by E. Ann Herget when she moved to Manchester.
While on the council, Bauer has been active in committees on police, water, parks and recreation and affordable housing. In particular, he hasbeen active in the Maryland Municipal League's legislative committeeand the Republican Central Committee.
The biggest issues facing the town have to do with growth, Bauer said. The town annexed residential property that is being developed and is expected to annex another45 acres of industrially zoned land.
He said he agrees with the county's policy of concentrating growth near the towns, but would liketo see the county and towns develop more specific growth guidelines.
"The town needs the authority to stop growth if it can't provide the services," he said. Although the county has such power, the ordinances should be strengthened, he said, and towns could also adopt such laws.
Bauer said he also wants the council to help downtown businesses continue to compete with the new shopping centers going up on the outskirts of town.
He said the council could pay attention to issues such as downtown parking and maintenance near these older businesses, especially if the state builds the bypass to Route 30. The bypass would direct shoppers away from the businesses, Bauer said.