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Six candidates run for two commission seats

Chris Patterson
The Gazette

Emmitsburg residents will be able to elect two town commissioners in the April 26 election.

About one week ago, Commissioner Dianne Walbrecker submitted her resignation, which left the second vacancy. That seat and the one currently occupied by Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel are both available.

Rosensteel is running for reelection.

Five other candidates are also seeking the seats.

Two of the candidates ­ Harold C. Craig Jr. and former town Commissioner Clifford Sweeney -- ran and lost by only a handful of votes in the 2004 town election.

Glenn E. Blanchard

Blanchard, 38, is a 13-year resident of Emmitsburg and a psychology teacher at Tuscarora High School in Frederick.

Blanchard is a member of the Emmitsburg Parks Committee and the newly designated chair of the Water and Sewer Committee.

He is also the building representative for the Frederick County Teachers Association. He is a member of Sons of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and the Emmitsburg Lions Club.

Blanchard said he believes one of his strongest assets is his listening ability, which he thinks will help to cut through some of the fighting and gridlock going on in the town between residents and leaders.

"I think the biggest reason [I want to run for commissioner] is that I'm trying to get dialogue going in Emmitsburg," Blanchard said. "What I see is a lot of gridlock, a lot of people just yelling at each other now...I want to help come up with solutions."

He lives with his wife, Margaret, and their 2-year-old daughter.

Harold C. Craig Jr.

Craig, 74, has lived in Emmitsburg for 38 years and is retired from more than 38 years with the Internal Revenue Service as a tax law specialist and attorney advisor in the Office of the Chief Counsel.

He belongs to the Emmitsburg Area Historical Society, New Forest Society, the Friends of the Library Emmitsburg Branch and Citizens Organized to Preserve Emmitsburg (COPE). He is also a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

Craig has no experience as an elected or appointed official. He ran for a seat on the Board of Commissioners in the 2004 election.

Craig said he wants to be a commissioner to support current Commissioner Art Elder and current board President Bill O'Neil.

Both men, he said, have been "outstanding in attempting to solve the problems" in Emmitsburg including sewer, water, traffic, pollution and overcrowded schools.

One of his major concerns is getting a bypass due to traffic and pollution, he said.

Catherine Forrence

Forrence, 40, has lived in Emmitsburg for about one year of her adult life, but grew up in the area.

Forrence is presently a "stay-at-home mother" and carries a bachelor of arts degree in human service from The College of Notre Dame.

She sits on the Streets and Transportation Committee in town, but has not previously held elected office.

She was a former president of Citizens Organized to Preserve Emmitsburg (COPE), as well as member of Emmitsburg Elementary PTA and Frederick Regional Action Network.

Forrence is running for office, she told The Gazette in an e-mail, because she believes "Emmitsburg is a wonderful community that can be improved with thoughtful attention to both the big picture and the details of government."

"...I have become very involved in the community and regularly attend town meetings. I believe I have a clear idea of the challenges facing the town and that I can make a positive impact on the direction of this community," she wrote.

She is married with two children.

Joyce Ann Rosensteel

Incumbent Rosensteel, 66, was elected to her first term as town commissioner during the 2002 election.

She has been a town resident for almost 50 years.

Rosensteel is an auxiliary member of VFW Post 6658, past president and auxiliary member of the American Legion Post 121, and past president of the Ladies of Brute of the Knights of Columbus 1860.

She is retired from the City of Frederick's Department of Human Resources after 19 years of service.

Rosensteel is concerned about staying available to residents and about issues facing the town. On her campaign Web site, Rosensteel emphasizes that she is particularly concerned about "water and sewer problems, resolving traffic congestion, fighting drugs, assuring the vitality of our public schools and ensuring the correctness of government spending."

She is married to Gene Rosensteel and has four children and five grandchildren.

Christopher V. Staiger

Staiger, 37, has lived in Emmitsburg for 2 1/2 years and is currently the chair of the town Planning and Zoning Commission.

Staiger is employed by EVAPCO of Taneytown in purchasing, having recently moved to that position from a company in Hanover, Pa.

The move, he said, will make it possible for him to give the job of commissioner the time it needs.

Staiger earned a bachelor of arts degree from American University in International Studies and is the acting secretary of the Emmitsburg Lions Club.

Staiger said he wants to be a town commissioner because he has recognized some difficulties with access to government by residents with some "leaders and administrators of the town government."

"I've always been told if you have ideas to step up to plate...and I have ideas how government could be more responsive to citizens who pay the tab," Staiger said.

Staiger is married to Jen Staiger.

Clifford L. Sweeney

Sweeney, 39, has lived in Emmitsburg his whole life.

Sweeney graduated from Catoctin High School and has worked for 20 years for W.F. Wilson and Sons as a construction foreman.

He was a town commissioner for eight years, until 2004.

He has also served as the town treasurer and liaison to the Planning and Zoning, Parks and Streets commissions.

Sweeney is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Emmitsburg Community Chorus and the Emmitsburg Little League.

Sweeney said he wishes to run again for office because he does not think the current commissioners are doing their jobs.

He said he also is concerned about making sure the new sewer line is put in and that things in government are done "out in the open."

He and wife Elizabeth have two children.

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