Heine expected to launch run for Taneytown mayor

January 07, 1999|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Taneytown Councilman Henry C. Heine Jr., who finished second in the city's past two mayoral elections, is expected to announce his bid for a third try tomorrow at a breakfast for business leaders.

Heine would be the first to announce his candidacy. In 1991, he finished second in a three-man race to Henry I. Reindollar Jr., a longtime incumbent.

Heine, 50, a Mass Transit Administration engineer, was one of four candidates in 1995 looking to succeed Reindollar. He again finished second, losing to Councilman W. Robert Flickinger.

Heine, who has served on the City Council since 1989, tipped his plans about a possible run in the May election at last month's council meeting when he asked not to be reappointed as the council's ex-officio member of the town planning and zoning commission. His council term expires in 2001.

Flickinger, 64, initially joked with Heine about a possible rematch during discussion of Heine's request to step down from the planning commission. Flickinger said he doesn't intend to seek re-election.

Heine is expected to make his announcement tomorrow during a breakfast meeting in which the mayor and council will tell business leaders their goals and objectives for the year.

Since his election to the council 10 years ago, Heine has made economic development a pillar of his political platform. In 1991, he said during the campaign that the city needed to ensure water, sewer and public services were adequate to attract development and revitalize downtown.

Two years later, he endorsed a zoning concept known as planned unit development, which juxtaposes commercial development with residential development.

"What I see out of all this is a more homogenous community -- all the conveniences at your fingertips," Heine said at the time.

He also praised the idea as ecologically sound.

"One of the biggest things we can do for the environment is eliminate [automobile] trips," he said.

Having stores within walking distance would do that, he said.

In 1997, when running unopposed for re-election to the City Council, Heine hailed the city's new page on the World Wide Web as a way to attract business and industry and support existing ones.

"We should be exploring new avenues," he said at the time. "We've never tried anything like that."

Heine cast the deciding vote against accepting a $100,000 state grant for a community health center in 1995. Heine, a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Taneytown who has served as the church's youth adviser, feared the center might offer abortion counseling.

"If 99 percent of something is good but 1 percent is so bad you can't live with it, you have to scrap the whole thing," he said at the time.

The council reversed the decision two months later after state and local officials promised not to provide abortion counseling at the center. Heine was absent when the council voted to reverse the decision.

In addition to his 10 years on the council and the planning commission, Heine has served on the city's Comprehensive Planning Commission and as chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.

He is a longtime member of American Legion Post 120 and has been president of the local Lions Club and treasurer of his homeowners' association.

Pub Date: 1/07/99

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