Hopefuls file for Funkstown elections

April 11, 2000|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

FUNKSTOWN - Incumbent council members Sharon Chirgott and John Phillips III will face three challengers in Funkstown's election May 1, while Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. is running unopposed.

As of the April 10 filing deadline, Crampton was the only person to file for the assistant mayor post, according to Town Clerk Brenda Haynes.

Five candidates filed for the three open council seats, Haynes said.

Councilwoman Lorraine Smith did not file for re-election.

Running for the Town Council are Robert D. Rodgers Jr., Robert H. "Buddy" Nigh, and Richard Gaver.

Rodgers, 39, is making his second bid for a Town Council seat. His first was in 1998, when he ran a close third in a race with incumbent Councilmen Richard W. Nigh and Kimberly A. Ramer.

Rodgers said he has spent nearly a quarter century in the Funkstown community - 14 years on the outskirts of town before buying a home in town 10 years ago - and just wants to serve the town.


He is the store manager and meat cutter at Smithsburg Market, a life member of the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. and a youth soccer coach. For the past two years, he has coordinated the illumination of the town cemetery during the Old Tyme Christmas event.

Robert Nigh, 41, son of Funkstown Councilman Richard W. Nigh and a correctional officer at Maryland Correctional Institution, is also making a second try for a council seat.

The younger Nigh, who ran four years ago, said he didn't run in the last council race because he would have been up against his father.

Having grown up in Funkstown, moved away at age 18, then returned about 10 years ago after he married, Nigh said he wants to try to give something back to his hometown.

He said he wants to "see if I can throw in some fresh ideas."

Gaver, 39, a full-time electrical inspector for Washington County and part-time sales associate at Lowe's in Hagerstown, is running for the first time.

A self-described "people person," Gaver said he has enjoyed working with the community on the town's Old Tyme Christmas event and sees a council seat as an extension of that community involvement.

Gaver, who spent his early years on a grain farm outside Funkstown before moving downtown at age 8, is co-organizing the holiday event for a second year.

Chirgott, 53, has served on the Town Council since 1986, when she was appointed to finish an unexpired term. She was elected in 1988, and re-elected in 1992 and 1996.

A science teacher, Chirgott is now committed full time to her post as president of the Washington County Teachers Association.

Phillips, 36, was elected to the Town Council in 1996.

Phillips works for the Washington County Engineering Department as a field inspector on bridge and road construction projects.

Crampton, 39, a general contractor and developer, has served as either a council member or assistant mayor since 1988.

He is president of Paul Crampton Contractors and also operates a charter fishing boat business in Ocean City, Md.

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