(10/1) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners has a new member - Joe Ritz, III - as the result of September’s local election.
Ritz had run against former Commissioner Patrick Joy in contending for the seat being vacated by outgoing incumbent Commissioner Christopher Staiger. Ritz garnered 118 votes to Joy’s 44.
Regarding his decision to run for the commissioner’s seat, Ritz previously stated, "My goal is to devote time and effort to on-going Emmitsburg issues, such as the unfortunate rise in drug use, especially among our youth."
"Additionally, I plan to address the flooding of development entrances/exits, particularly those with single ingress and egress. I think that other options must be considered for the safety of these residents – some who are elderly, chronically ill, and/or disabled veterans," he said.
Incumbent Mayor Donald Briggs was also re-elected to the mayoral seat in September’s election.
Regarding the renewal of his mayoral position, Briggs said he would like to "complete the estimated $30 million plus in capital improvements that are scheduled for the next three years."
He said among other objectives he would like to see Emmitsburg become "a walkable and bikeable town," continue with grant-assisted property improvements, enhance the veterans’ memorial, and continue with the Town Square revitalization.
Briggs ran on a platform of economic development in 2011, and upgrading the appearance of the town. During his tenure thus far, he has overseen the improvements of the Town Square, and has seen an increase of business interest in the community, one of the latest being proposed by Dollar General.
Staiger, who had been first elected to the board of commissioners in 2005 and had also served as the board president, had decided prior to the 2014 town election to not run for reelection. Joy, who had won a seat of the board of commissioners in 2010, was previously defeated in a bid to retain his seat on the board in 2013.
Approximately ten percent of the town’s registered voters turned out for the September election.
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