Westminster lawyer makes council bid

February 14, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Westminster attorney Damian L. Halstad, the first person to file as a candidate for the city's May 10 council election, said he hopes to hit the streets in about a week to begin a door-to-door canvass.

Mr. Halstad, 31, paid the $25 filing fee Thursday.

He said he filed early because "I wanted to give myself time to knock on every door in the city and talk to people."

City Clerk John Dutterer said Friday that no other candidates had yet filed. The filing deadline is April 12.

Two at-large council seats and the mayor's chair are at stake in the May 10 election.

"I think the city is going to face some significant challenges" in the next few years, Mr. Halstad said.

He said crime, recycling, the historic district and renewal of the downtown area are among his top concerns for the city.

Mr. Halstad, a Democrat, said he would push "very aggressively" for the enactment of some of the recommendations made by a 1990 task force on economic development.

For example, he said, he believes that the city needs an economic advisory group, perhaps along the lines of Frederick's Greater Frederick Development Corp.

He said the city should consider hiring more police officers and noted that a recent murder has focused residents' concern on growing crime rates. He said hiring more officers might allow the city to put more police on foot patrol.

To give tourism a boost, he said, "I think we ought to give a second look at a possible train station for downtown."

Also, he said, "I think it's time for a permanent home for the arts in Westminster."

He said that these projects can be accomplished within current budgetary constraints and that he is not advocating tax increases.

"I don't think the recession is going to last forever," he said.

He said he has been considering a council bid for about three months. His law firm, Hoffman and Comfort, and his wife, Leigh, are supportive of his candidacy, he said.

Mr. Halstad is a member of the county's Board of Zoning Appeals.

He was appointed to the Carroll County Charter Board on Nov. 1, 1991. He was defeated for election to that board when membership became an elected position in March 1992.

He is chairman of the North Carroll branch of the American Heart Association, and he teaches business law at Carroll Community College. He is active with the Westminster Rotary Club and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

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