NEW WINDSOR — In a town where nearly everybody knows their names, the five candidates for three available council seats have said they plan little or no campaigning.
"The people here all know me," said D. Kenneth Grimes, 76, who is seeking his fifth term. "If they want me to stay in the job, they will vote for me again."
Three incumbents and two challengers filed with Election Judge Raymond C. Strine before the April 5 deadline.
While most candidateswon't be knocking on their neighbors' doors and passing out campaignliterature, they all agree that growth is the one issue any new councilman will have to address.
With two residential developers seeking final approval for plans to build here in the near future, the Town Council will be grappling with the issues of maintaining the town'scharacter and lifestyle while adding several hundred new homes.
Everett R. Ecker Sr., 66, who is seeking a second term, said if the developments are not monitored, they could bring problems to the county's smallest town.
"We still have it, but small-town quality is a difficult concept to define," said Everett R. Ecker Sr., 66, "Certainly we are not the same as we were even 10 years ago, when I could walkdown the street and tell you who lived in each home."
Ecker, who owns New Windsor Hardware, also would like to attract some light industry and its tax base to the area.
All the candidates agree the town needs management along with growth.
"We need growth, but we need controls on it," said former Police Chief Charles W. "Tooter" Fritz, 72, who won a council seat in 1985 but resigned after three months to continue his full-time police job.
Incumbent Terry Petry, 36, said the the town also should concentrate on upgrading and expanding its sewer system. The town recently applied for state grant money to fix its storm drain problems, which could cost about $180,000 to repair.
Petry said the Planning and Zoning Commission has been a "good watchdog" in the past, "making developers go our way.
"We can manage, although we might have to deal with a little more traffic," he said. "The new developments won't affect the town core."
As chairmanof the town's Recreation Committee, Petry said the town also must work to increase and improve its recreation facilities, especially the ball fields.
Although he's the new man on the ballot here, challenger Roy A. Johnson, 62, said Carroll County is familiar ground for him. He worked as the pastor of Westminster Church of the Brethren from1968 to 1976.
He said he would bring administrative and housing experience to the council.
"I am very interested in this town and will continue living here after my retirement," said Johnson, who moved here about two years ago after accepting a position in the church'sstewardship program. "I have administrative ability and experience working in housing."
If history is any guide, the non-campaigning candidates could be locked into a tight race. About 82 percent of the town's nearly 300 voters came out for the 1989 election, ousting the mayor and two councilmen.
The polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 8p.m. May 14 at the Town Hall, 211 High St.