(9/20) Denise Etris had only lived in Emmitsburg about
two weeks when she attended her first town meeting.
“I thought it was great that the average citizen could talk to
the commissioners and have them listen,” Etris said. “I thought it was great
that the average citizen could be on all these commissions and do something
that makes a difference in the town.”
So Etris began to participate on those committees. She serves
on the board of appeals, the charter review committee, the streets committee
and has served as an election judge. Though this year, she can’t serve as an
election judge because she is running for election.
She and incumbent Glenn Blanchard are the only two candidates
registered to fill the two open seats on the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners.
Blanchard said he is running for re-election because, “I feel
like we, the commissioners, accomplished good work as a team and I want to keep
Some of the things Blanchard said that he was proud this board
of commissioners accomplished was to upgrade the town’s water and sewer
infrastructure, install new playground equipment and get a new traffic light at
the intersection of Silo Hill Road and Main Street.
Etris said the commissioners will have some big issues in the
future that she wants to help influence. These include the Frailey property
annexation, the Mountain View bypass and the northern bypass.
“People say we can’t get it done, but unless we try working
with Pennsylvania, we’ll never know,” Etris said.
Blanchard said he wants to continue improving the town’s
infrastructure, improving the parks and working with the Greater Emmitsburg
Area Historical Society to make the town’s history accessible to the residents.
Commissioner Bill O’Neil decided he would not run for
“With my health issues, I needed to take stock in what I
wanted,” O’Neil said. “I decided I needed to spend more time with my family and
focus on my work.”
He said he was particularly proud of the fact that he was able
to get federal money for Emmitsburg in a Senate appropriations bill that
brought funds for sewer improvements to the town.
Because changes to the town charter, O’Neil or anyone else
could still run for election as a write-in candidate.
O’Neil said, “I’m not entertaining thoughts of getting elected
again. I’m not campaigning for it and I’m not asking anyone to write in my
He said it’s time for him to step back from public office.
“I commend those who do seek public office because most people
don’t realize just how hard it is,” O’Neil said.
The town election is Sept. 25 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the
Community Deputy office at 22 East Main Street.
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