Expanding municipal water capacity to support future development, seeing the proposed Northeast area high school to completion and reducing traffic along Route 30 are the issues cropping up as Manchester's May 15 municipal election approaches.
Two candidates are running for mayor, and five are vying for two council seats.
Incumbent Mayor Christopher D'Amario will face Doug Myers, a former Manchester wastewater supervisor and recent Carroll County commissioner candidate.
Incumbent councilmen Joseph Jordan and Ryan M. Warner will be challenged by Raymond W. Badders, who does promotional advertising for small businesses; David Richardson, the general manager of a horse farm; and Wendall Sisler, a retired electrician and synagogue superintendent.
A supervisor of forensic chemistry for the Baltimore County Police Department, D'Amario said he would push for a Manchester bypass of Route 30 and would cultivate new water sources for the town if he is elected for a third term.
D'Amario, 45, said he is negotiating with a land owner about a potential water resource. "It would be enough water for the next 20 years," D'Amario said.
Myers, 50, who joined the Maryland Environmental Service as a regional supervisor in mid-February, said he would also encourage a water conservation campaign. He is a civil engineer.
Curbing traffic along Route 30 is a priority for Myers. With the $83 million Hampstead Bypass slated to open late next year, more highway traffic will make its way into Manchester, Myers said.
But extending that bypass of Route 30 to include Manchester (a "Manchester Bypass") is a project that remains unfunded by the state.
If elected, Myers, who previously served as a Manchester Town Councilman for two years, said he would increase the town's presence at quarterly mayor meetings with the county commissioners.
The three newcomers who are running for two seats on the five-member town council include a former Prince George's County councilman in the Prince George's County.
Badders, 55, said he wanted to stay involved in local government when he moved to Manchester two years ago from Riverdale Park.
Because Manchester had struggled to convince the Carroll County board of education of the need for a new Northeast high school, Badders said a town council member should attend every board meeting.
"If elected, I'm going to volunteer to serve the council in that fashion," Badders said.
The small-town atmosphere lured Richardson to Manchester from Glyndon three years ago, said Richardson, 31.
He said the town's plans to increase its population by 1,400 to 5,000 total residents might be a bit much.
"We really need to tighten our belt a little bit more, at least until our infrastructure catches up to support the residents that we have now," Richardson said.
Sisler, who moved to Manchester from Pikesville four years ago, said he isn't campaigning but would enjoy representing his neighbors.
Buying land to build a back-up reservoir, similar to the one Westminster has, could improve Manchester's water situation, Sisler said.
An architectural compliance manager for an engineering firm, Jordan is running for a third term on the council. Jordan, 40, said he would bring more locally-owned businesses to Manchester and work to keep nationally-owned chains out.
Jordan said his experience would help guide Manchester through its period of transition.
First elected to the council at age 24, Warner said he has experience helping control growth by making developers obtain water for the town.
Warner, 32, who is running for a third term, said the Manchester bypass should have been funded with the Hampstead project and should be pushed within the next four years.
Commuters speeding through neighborhood roads used as makeshift bypasses of Route 30 must be deterred, Warner said.
Warner, who is an accountant, said he would bring his financial expertise to the job.
The Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club will hold a candidates' forum at the Manchester Town Hall Wednesday at 7 p.m.