The Havre de Grace election Tuesday provides voters with a full slate of candidates and ample choices for mayor and three City Council seats.
For mayor, three-term incumbent Gunther Hirsch is challenged by City Council president Anna Long and local businessman David Walden.
Mrs. Long, a five-term councilwoman and retired federal employee, has long been a leader in promoting the cultural/environmental renaissance of the waterfront that will define the Harford County community's growth and future.
Both on the council and on various local, county and state committees, the tireless Mrs. Long has worked effectively with others, diplomatically gaining consensus and cooperation. Her campaign is openly supported by a majority of the council, a rare occurrence in the nonpartisan, non-slate elections of Havre de Grace.
That endorsement also reflects a discontent with Dr. Hirsch, who is accused of withholding information and of managerial arrogance. This abrasive quality is increasingly noted by other residents about the retired physician. His own restlessness in office was seen in his unsuccessful primary campaign for the General Assembly last year.
With 12 years in local elected office, Dr. Hirsch has no lack of supporters. His take-charge style has earned him a certain respect, though he too often indulges in micro-management.
We believe Mrs. Long could accomplish at least as much, with greater public and council cooperation in tough decisions, as mayor of Havre de Grace. It's not just a need for change, but for change that will better serve the community.
Mr. Walden, running for the second time against the political establishment, does not offer the ability and experience of the other two candidates.
Incumbents John P. Correri Jr. and James C. Vancherie Jr. are among the eight council candidates. Rene Lambert did not seek election.
We favor local businessman Charles A. Maslin and G. Jeremiah Ryan, a Harford Community College administrator, and Mr. Correri, a six-term veteran. An insurance broker, Mr. Correri has ably served as a voice of reason. Mr. Maslin offers a younger perspective and a commitment to promoting the growth of business and industry. Mr. Ryan's service on city planning and economic development commissions will serve him well.
In Tuesday's Havre de Grace elections, The Sun endorses Anna Long for mayor, and John Correri, Charles Maslin and Jerry Ryan for City Council.