TANEYTOWN — There may not be any "great burning issues," as one city official likes to say, in the upcoming municipal election, but two of the three mayoral candidates are voicing concerns about growth in this community.
Councilman Henry C. Heine Jr. and longtime incumbent Henry I. Reindollar have made growth an issue in their campaigns. The third mayoral candidate, George W. Dodson Sr., has concerns about recreationalfacilities.
In addition to choosing a mayor May 6, residents will also vote for candidates vying for two open seats on the five-member City Council. Incumbents Jacquelyn J. Polk and W. Robert Flickinger have no challengers for the four-year terms.
"I'm not real surprised," Polk said about the lack of competition. "I think you have good years and bad years. This kind of tells me that people aren't real upset with what we're doing."
The lack of candidates in the council race is not unusual, said City Manager Neal W. Powell, who noted that city elections are not known for "a lot of glamour."
"Council races are usually contested, but this isn't unusual," Powell said. "There are no real issues."
Powell estimated that about 250 of the city's 1,000 registered voters will show up at the polls, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at city offices, 17 E. Baltimore St.
In challenging the incumbent mayor for a four-year term, Heine, who has served on the council for two years, wants to revitalize downtown and provide forcontrolled growth, making sure public services, such as water and sewer, are available for new development in this town of about 3,500.
"We should not grow beyond the city's ability to provide services,"said Heine. "We need to have controlled growth."
Heine also has served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Appeals. He said problems that arise in the city could be better addressed by the council forming committees, something it does not do.
"We don't have a parks and recreation committee; we don't have a water and sewer committee," Heine said. "There's no way each council member can remember all the issues and problems in different areas."
Reindollar, who has served as mayor for 11 years and is a former city clerk-treasurer, said growth, which has been largely dictated by the economy, is a concern and the council has done all it can to oversee development.
"We've tried to make sure things are done in an orderly fashion," Reindollar said.
Reindollar, owner of Reindollar Hardware, wants to preserve the town's Colonial architecture and "keep Taneytown a place where people feel free to talk to a mayor who is always available and who can have confidence that he will find a reasonably satisfactory solution to their problems."
The mayor ran unopposed in the last election.
Political newcomer Dodson, pressed by friends to run for office, said he didn't have any real dispute with themayor or the coun
cil. The father of two boys said he was interested in providing recreation for youngsters.
"We should have a recreation area for young people," he said, noting that senior citizens have their own building.
Powell doesn't think the three-way mayoralcontest will galvanize voters.
The biggest turnout the former city councilman recalled occurred years ago, when he ran for mayor and garnered 367 votes.
"That was a big one," he said.
It's not thatthe council's agenda has been that slim in the past few months. The council has been wrestling with the so-called sprinkler ordinance.
Under the ordinance, recently revised by the council, sprinkler systems must be installed in all new construction, including commercial, town homes and duplexes. Single-family homes are exempt.
Council and mayoral candidates said the ordinance, which has posed some hardships for some businesses, needs further work. Reindollar said the ordinance needs to be "liberalized" so it doesn't retard business growth.
"It's something we're still working on," Polk said.