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Responses of Glenn Blanchard

Biography of Commissioner Candidate Glenn Blanchard

To questions submitted to candidates by the Emmitsburg News-Journal

Questions1: What community organizations in Emmitsburg have you served in? During your tenure with each group, please articulate what you consider your most significant contribution and why.

I have been a member of the Sons of the American Legion for 12 years. I am very proud to have been a part of the flag day ceremony, that takes place every June. Flag day is the day for the correct disposal of worn and damaged flags. The ceremony that takes place every year is important and I am proud to have helped fellow Emmitsburg residents attain new American flags for their worn out ones.

I am also a member of the Knights of Columbus. I have had the opportunity to participate in the Sea Services Mass at the Seton Shrine every October. As a former member of the USNR, I feel it is important to recognize the service of St. Elizabeth Anne Seton's sons along with all the members of the past, and current members of the United States Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.

I participated with the Emmitsburg food bank for a number of years. The food bank in town is a critical part of helping those in need in our community. Working in the food bank gave me a chance to meet those individuals in our community that needed help, and what kind of assistance they needed.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Emmitsburg Lions club for a number of years. My favorite memories of the Lions Club deal with the annual food drive that occurred every Christmas.

In the summer of 2011, I had the chance to travel to Africa, and work as a member of the Emmitsburg Council of Churches in the nation of Kenya. I worked as a teacher and helped the team makes glasses for individuals in need.

Question 2: What do you consider the top two most pressing issue facing the town? If elected, what will you try to do to address these issues?

I consider the two most important issues facing the town are inter-connected; encouraging business development, and preparing for any future residential development. Encouraging business development would help bring jobs to town and bring economic development to the town. Preparing for any future residential development is necessary. The town needs to always be thinking about how to handle additional population and providing services for these new residents.

Question 3: The town is currently suffering a teen drug abuse situation. Do you see a role for local government - other then law enforcement - to help tackle the issue? If not, why not? If yes, what actions would you undertake if elected?

I think the role of the town government in this situation is that of support for local law enforcement and support for town organizations that help provide activities for our young people. I commend all the local churches for their efforts in youth groups and the fire and ambulance companies in their youth activities.

Question 4: Through traffic on Main Street - most notably 18 wheel commercial trucks and trailers - continues to be a headache for residents, business, and visitors. If elected, what actions would you support to reduce this constant annoyance?

Traffic on Main Street has been a town problem for many years. The easy answer is a bypass, but not really the best solution. I think the town needs to focus on main street development and attracting more businesses to town. The law enforcement efforts to slow down the traffic in the past need to be encouraged and increased if possible.

Question 5: Many commercial buildings on Main Street are vacant. Do you believe the town government has a role in fostering a business friendly environment? If no, why not? If yes, what steps would you take if elected to improve the present business environment?

I do think the town government has a role in fostering a business friendly environment. I think that some of this can be done through participation in the Maryland Municipal League. The MML does a good job of having different vendors at conferences. This is a good opportunity to find businesses that might work well in a small town such as Emmitsburg. I think the role of a town commissioner is that of cheerleader/booster when it comes to business.

Question 6: The poor physical condition of some rental properties in town have been called into question. Do you believe it is in the long-term best interest of the town to establish standards for dwellings? If not, why not. If so, what actions would you undertake if elected to achieve this end?

I think the town needs to support the Fire Marshall in enforcing County and State laws. The town needs to encourage property owners to make repairs to their properties and help them make connections for all existing grant programs.

Question 7: Many residents feel the town has a parking problem for residents, businesses, and guests on the main streets - specifically on overzealous ticking policy. It not uncommon to see a lone car in a sea of empty parking spots - sporting a parking ticket. Do you think the current parking meter enforcement policy is beneficial to the Town? If so, why? If not, if elected what will you try to do to correct the situation?

I think the town needs to pursue the possible establishment of a municipal parking lot near the downtown area. A possible review of the number of meters in the downtown area could be under evaluation by the board. Consulting with the EBPA would be necessary for any change in the parking situation downtown.

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