Sharpsburg voters go to polls Tuesday

November 18, 1996


Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg residents will go to the polls on Tuesday to choose their next mayor and two Town Council members.

Town residents who are registered to vote can cast their ballots at Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Vice Mayor George Kesler is running unopposed for the mayoral post. Kesler said he's got at least two votes - his and that of his wife, Emmy.


Kesler's election would create a vacancy in the vice mayor position, which Town Council members would have to fill with an appointment.

Kesler, 71, of 208 S. Church St., served six years each as a council member and as vice mayor prior to his decision in 1994 not to run for re-election. He became vice mayor again earlier this year when he was appointed to replace Ron Milburn. Milburn became mayor when Chris Yeager resigned the post on June 29.

He said he wants to make sure the routine administration of the town's business is attended to properly, something he thinks hasn't been handled well in recent years.

Kesler and his wife own the Sharpsburg General Store.

There are four candidates for Town Council, including the two incumbents whose seats are up for election. The candidates are Ralph Hammond, Donald Kable, Hal Spielman and Earl Benner Jr.

Hammond, and incumbent, said he wants to finish what the council has started, including seeing through the renovation of Main Street.

He also hasn't given up on finding ways to reduce water and sewer rates and pay off Washington County's huge water and sewer debt.

Hammond, 50, of 301 W. Antietam St., is a construction superintendent and part owner of Pete's Tavern in town. He has served on the council since he was first elected in 1972.

The other incumbent running for election is Donald Kable, who has been a council member since being elected in 1988.

Kable has said he missed several regular monthly meetings in the last two years because he often worked late for Allegheny Power, where he is now a coordinator.

When asked if his attendance at town meetings would improve if he was re-elected, Kable said "who knows." Kable's attendance at regular monthly meetings has improved in the last five months. Since July, he has only missed September's meeting.

Kable, 53, of 122 E. Main St., said he would like to see the Main Street project through to its completion.

If elected, Hal Spielman said he wants to make sure Sharpsburg stays a small town without major development as well as seeing that the Main Street renovation is completed.

Spielman, 47, of 114 E. Main St. is an agriculture teacher at Smithsburg High School. He ran for mayor in 1992.

Earl "Gene" Benner Jr. is the political newcomer this election. Benner served as commander at American Legion Post No. 236 from 1994-95.

If elected, Benner said he would work to bring the County Commuter to Sharpsburg twice a week so senior citizens and others without transportation can get to a grocery store and other services.

Benner, 43, of 305 W. Main St., is an in-home private nurse.

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