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Burns not planning to run for re-election

(6/19) While the Thurmont election for mayor is still more than a year away, Mayor Martin Burns has announced that he is not planning to run again.

Burns, who was elected as mayor in 2001, said during a recent town meeting, “I think the time is right that somebody else step up and do it.”

Burns said that the job has been rewarding, challenging and demanding, but it is time for him to step down.

“I might change my mind, but I highly doubt it,” Burns said.

Burns said over his years in office he is proud that the town created the charter review committee, approved a new charter, raised impact fees, received more grants, was designated a Main Street Maryland community, built a new police building and lowered taxes.

“I think the tax rate is lower today than when I took office,” Burns said.

He said he has done what he could to engage the community in government, including writing monthly columns for newspapers and broadcasting many town meetings.

“People are engaging in government more than they ever have been,” Burns said.

His biggest disappointment as mayor has been “that we were not able to find common ground with plaintiffs in the sewer case prior to litigation.”

Burns said that whoever the next mayor is, that person should plan on sacrificing a lot of his or her free time. The position takes a lot of time if the mayor plans on being more than a figurehead.

“I have many, many shortcomings but putting forth my best effort was not one of them,” Burns said.

Burns is now looking toward a time when he can relax more, enjoy his family a little more and have more time to himself. He still wants to be involved in the town, but it won’t necessarily be in a formal capacity.

He said he has been asked to run for Frederick County Commissioner, but he legally can’t. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from running for an office that has a party designation.

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