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Thurmont nominates four commissioner candidates

Stephanie Mlot
Frederick News-Post

(8/31) Most of the seats in Town Hall were occupied Tuesday night as four residents were nominated for two available commissioner positions to be filled in October's election.

The nominating convention put four residents on the ballot -- incumbent commissioners Glenn Muth and Bob Lookingbill along with John Kinnaird, a longtime resident, and Bill Buehrer, Thurmont Seniors Commission chairman.

"If you like what we've been doing here, I'd be honored" to be re-elected, eight-year commissioner Muth said after his nomination.

Commissioner Lookingbill echoed the sentiment, saying that he has enjoyed his four years on the board and hopes for another four.

For the two new candidates, making the decision to run has been a long process.

"I thought about it two years ago, but I didn't think I was prepared," Buehrer said after the convention.

Since then, he said he has made himself more visible in the community, becoming more involved with the Thurmont Senior Center and speaking up at town meetings.

Kinnaird has lived in Thurmont for more than 50 years. After recently earning American citizenship, he decided to put his name on this year's ballot.

"There were quite a few things" that encouraged him to run, he said.

When the board of commissioners began restricting public comment during the weekly town meetings, Kinnaird said he became concerned.

"That got the ball rolling," he said of the March 2010 changes.

The recent sparring between Thurmont commissioners and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners over the Senior Center's food program -- the senior center now directs the program once run by the county -- pushed Kinnaird into the race.

Buehrer said the town must become more proactive about its income stream and other local issues.

The candidates are preparing for the next month of campaigning.

"I'm optimistic," Buehrer said of the election.

The Thurmont Lions Club has scheduled a candidates forum for 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Town Hall to allow residents to meet the four candidates and hear their stance on local issues.

The election will be Oct. 3 at the Guardian Hose Co. Activities Building, 123 E. Main St.

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