(12/10) In a reversal of an announcement earlier this year that he would likely end his time in office, Thurmont Mayor Martin A. Burns said Wednesday he will run again for mayor in 2009.
Burns said in June that he planned not to run for a third four-year term. He said he viewed that early announcement as a challenge for the town of 6,000 to produce another candidate willing to put in the amount of hours that he puts in to his job.
"You can get burnt out doing this, and I was working a lot," he said Wednesday, adding that he thought seriously about leaving town business to someone else in 2009. "Then I had a ton of people come up after they heard and they asked me to run again."
Burns said it hasn't just been supporters or friends who have asked him to reconsider: "These are residents that come up and see me in Food Lion."
Burns took office as mayor in 2001, when he campaigned as a two-year commissioner pledging slow, steady growth, low taxes and aggressive grant-seeking. He took 589 votes, or 60 percent of the total, to two-year incumbent Eileen R. Waesche's 261 and Robert E. Wagerman's 130.
Burns comfortably retained his office in 2005, taking 510 votes, or 70 percent of the total, to Wagerman's 209.
He said Wednesday he hopes to resolve Thurmont's ongoing sewer lawsuits and sewer repair issues.
Burns said no one else has announced a run for mayor. He believes he stands alone on the field of candidates, but said he would campaign actively if another candidate announced.
Or, he said, he could reverse his decision before October 2009.
"I reserve the right to change my mind again," Burns said. "I don't claim any right to this position, I only want to do it if the people want me here."