Two commissioner seats will be open `when the town
holds elections on t April 27, and five people, including one incumbent, have
filed to ,be candidates.
Cliff Sweeney, whose eight years on the board make him
the "'town's longest serving commissioner, has filed to run for his seat again.
Joining him in the race are Harold Craig, Stanley Mazaleski, Bill O'Neil Jr.
and Dianne Walbrecker.
Commissioner Patrick Boyle, the board's president, has
said he will not seek another term in office. His seat is the other one open
The town's four commissioners and mayor normally serve
three-year terms. However, the term being decided in this election will be for
an extra few months to allow the town to move its elections to the fall,
beginning in 2007.
The deadline for candidates to file for this year's
election is March 26.
38, is a construction foreman who is an Emmitsburg native. He said he's
pursuing another term primarily because of unfinished business.
"There's a lot of stuff in Emmitsburg that's happening
now that I'd like to be part of," he said, "like bringing new businesses to
town, bringing Emmitsburg's growth under control, and trying desperately to get
at least the middle school back."
Mr. Sweeney said he'll base his campaign on improving
the town's utility infrastructure, finding ways to alleviate traffic, and
returning a school to the town. He also said he'd like to be president of the
board and serve on the board of zoning appeals and water committee, which might
make him the first board member to serve on all town committees and in every
retired lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Craig has lived in
Emmitsburg for 37 years. He said he's teaming with Mr. O'Neil to make his first
bid for town office to solve problems the town faces.
"I'm running because of the problems that we're having
here that haven't previously been addressed," said Mr. Craig, who serves as
vice president of Citizens Organized to Preserve Emmitsburg Inc. (COPE), the
grassroots citizens group focused on growth issues.
He said most of the problems, from the town's failing
infra-structure to traffic so heavy that he almost can't cross Main Street
safely, arise from virtually unfettered growth.
Controlling growth is the primary plank of Mr. Craig's
plat-form. He's also focused on infrastructure repair and replacement and
getting a bypass for the town.
70, said the town's infrastructure ailments prompted him to seek office. The
retiree said he thinks his doctor-ate in preventative medicine and public
health, and experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could be
"I want to help the people up here," said Mr. Mazaleski,
a 30-year Maryland resident who moved to Emmitsburg in December 2002. "I'm
pretty sure they have a water problem they're not aware of. A lot of kids here
are not healthy."
In addition to improving environmental health with the
possible water problem, Mr. Mazaleski said that if he were elected, he'd work
to keep residential and commercial growth to manage-able levels and promote a
southern bypass around Emmitsburg.
COPE's 44-year-old founder and president, is a Pennsylvania native who moved to
Emmitsburg almost two years ago. He said he and Mr. Craig are running together
under the slogan: "Preserve the best. Improve the rest."
"We want to preserve the best Emmitsburg has to offer
... make sure it's not overdeveloped, that resources are not strained, that
Emmitsburg's residents are not taxed in order to pay for overdevelopment," said
Mr. O'Neil, a federal affairs representative for BlueCross BlueShield of South
Carolina. "We want to keep Emmitsburg a quality community and not just
accommodate people who are passing through."
To accomplish that goal, Mr. O'Neil is promoting a
platform that includes slowing the construction of approved housing, lobbying
for a bypass, and repairing the town's sewer system.
Walbrecker, 48, has lived in Emmitsburg for almost 13 years. In her home-based
business, Getting It Write, she analyzes training needs and develops training
courses, and she also teaches classes at the National Emergency Training Center
just outside town.
Keeping Emmitsburg a unique community is the reason Ms.
Walbrecker gave for running.
"I think there's a bigger issue than being able to say,
'No residential (growth), yes commercial (growth),'" she said. "Residential
growth doesn't have to be bad. It doesn't have to look like big cookie-cutter
McMansions on one-eighth of an acre. It can be attractive."
Ms. Walbrecker said that as a town commissioner, she'd
solicit citizen input on important issues like the comprehensive plan and
promote things like subdivisions with sidewalks connecting to the downtown to
encourage people to get out in the community.
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