8 seek 3 seats on City Council

Taneytown issues: parks, teens, police, industry

2 incumbents, 6 others on ballot

Business, government, nonprofits represented

April 24, 2005|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Two incumbents and six other candidates are running for three seats on the City Council in Taneytown's May 2 election.

The city of about 6,100 people is in the midst of downtown revitalization, the development of two wells and hundreds of new homes. The council also is considering whether to build a community swimming pool to replace the one closed in 2003. Residents will be asked their opinions with the July water bill.

The candidates' concerns include recreation and parks, activities for teens, police and fire services, business and industrial development, which is tied by some to the revival of a bypass to serve new industry and help downtown by getting heavy traffic out of town.

Incumbent James L. McCarron, 57, is mayor pro tem and has served 20 years on the council. Now a mortgage broker, he worked for 35 years for Southern States cooperative before retiring in 2002 as a district manager.

A past president of the Maryland Municipal League, McCarron is a district vice president representing Carroll and Baltimore counties on its board of directors. He also serves on the downtown revitalization committee and the executive committee of the Maryland Retailers Association. He is a member of St. Joseph's Church and the Knights of Columbus.

He said he has been working with the county and the state to extend Antrim Boulevard - "the beginning of a bypass 25 years ago" - through an industrial area south of the city.

Councilwoman Jacquelyn J. Boisvert, 58, lives on East Baltimore Street and has served a total of 16 years on the council, with a four-year hiatus. A city native, she works as a manager-bookkeeper at Every Bloomin' Thing. She is a member of the planning and zoning commission, the Chamber of Commerce, the museum committee, the Main Street design committee and Trinity Lutheran Church.

Boisvert wants to see more parks - the development of trails and a nature park - and supports continued downtown revitalization that will "keep the small-town flavor," while opposing new annexation.

Councilman Richard L. Hess Jr. did not seek another term.

The other candidates seeking a four-year term are:

Paul E. Chamberlain Jr., 46, of White Birch Estates, a city resident for 2 1/2 years who served in the Air Force, has worked since 2001 at Beckley's Camping Center in Thurmont.

"I'm not too pleased with the way things are being run," Chamberlain said, adding that more variety is needed in the types of downtown businesses. "It's time to get some new blood in there, new ideas."

Amy Stenley Murphey, 39, of Meadowbrook has lived in town since she was 13 and works as a bookkeeper for the nonprofit Target Community and Educational Services.

She said she decided to make her first run for office when the water bills were increased in the fall of 2003, after the city had run a deficit in its operating costs for years.

Murphey heads the Main Street design committee and is secretary of the parks and recreation advisory board and of the newly formed Meadowbrook Homeowners Association. She's also a member of the local police Community Action Group.

Donna L. Sako, 54, of Green Meadows has worked to build membership and bring in business as executive director of the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce. She also runs Alpha Research Inc., a consulting business in residential and business telecommunications. She retired in 2001 from a long career with Bell Atlantic and Verizon. She also serves on the board of the Grace United Church day care center and the swimming pool committee.

She said the community should support a new pool. "I think it can be done, and I think it can be done economically - to be self-sustaining, if it's managed right."

Richard D. Wolfe, 45, who lives in Copperfield, retired in September as a corporal with the Maryland State Police at the Westminster barracks. He spent nearly all of his 18-year career in the resident trooper program that serves as Carroll's primary police force. He began his law enforcement career as a Frederick city officer and served in the Air Force. He has worked part time for 11 years providing security for the county Health and Human Services' Safe Haven shelter.

"My big thing is: I want to see the Police Department expand," Wolfe said. "I also want to see controlled development - to get services in place first."

Susan H. Reifsnider, 38, is making her second try for a council seat. At her 1921 building on West Baltimore Street, she runs Love to Learn Tutoring, for about 70 students from preschool through college.

"I think somebody needs to look after the kids in this town," she said. "Unless you play sports in this town, there's not enough for them to do."

She suggested activities for youngsters such as reading, chess and theater groups and gatherings once or twice a month to play games or make cards for soldiers and shut-ins.

Edith Baumgardner Kelso of East Baltimore Street, a former teacher of high school English and history, now works at the senior center as a receptionist and "everything else." She said giving her age promotes discrimination.

Born and raised in Taneytown, Kelso was recently appointed to the city zoning appeals board.

She heads the membership committee of Taneytown's Heritage Committee, and handled the time capsule put into the wall of City Hall during the city's 250th anniversary last year. She serves on the Main Street design committee and said she is interested in a city ordinance to deal with absentee owners of shoddy properties.


Election Day: Monday, May 2.

Voting: 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Polling place: City Office, 17 E. Baltimore St.

Deadline to register: 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Candidates: Eight candidates for three city council seats.

Forum: Taneytown Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a candidates' forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the senior center, 220 Roberts Mill Road.

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