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Etris and Blanchard filed to run
 for town commissioners

James Rada
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(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 that going.”

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 re-election.

“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 name.”

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.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government