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Boonsboro Council seat up for grabs

April 30, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

BOONSBORO - Boonsboro voters will have to choose from two incumbents and one newcomer to fill two council seats open during the town's May 8 election.

Town Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman Jr. will also be running for re-election. Boonsboro's mayor for the past 12 years, Kauffman will be running unopposed.

In the council race, incumbents Kevin M. Chambers and Richard E. Gross will face challenger Robert L. Hutzell, who is in his second bid for public office.

Residents can cast their ballots at the Eugene C. Smith Community Center at Shafer Park from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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A Martinsburg, W.Va. native, Chambers, 39, has lived in Boonsboro for the past 15 years.

An eight-year member of Town Council, he said he entered the political arena because of his interest in his adopted hometown.

Chambers, of 101 David Drive, said he wanted to maintain Boonsboro's small-town atmosphere by advocating "controlled growth."

Maintaining public safety and the town's water, sewer and streets are at the top of his priority list, he said.

He is married to Kris, 39, and they have a son, Adam, 9.

As a public servant, Chambers said he strives to be accessible and provide answers to questions about town issues promptly.

"They may not always like the answer," said Chambers, a corporate safety manager for JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa.

As a longtime member of the town's utility commission, Chambers said he has worked to improve the town's water quality and capacity.

He also takes some credit for the Shafer Park addition.

Incumbent Richard Gross, 66, has been a council member more than 20 years and has lived in the town for 39 years. During that time he has come to love living in Boonsboro and appreciates the support residents gave him when his wife, Rosalie, died in 1997, he said.

"I believe the people in Boonsboro are the best around," he said.

The semi-retired resident of 27 Young Ave. said he has the time to devote to being a council member, and his experience is an asset to the town.

"Every person in this small municipality has a voice in government and that voice deserves to be heard," he said.

Like other candidates, he is concerned with making the best of the town's recent $600,000 purchase of 45 acres to add to Shafer Park.

Planning for the most effective use of the park and overseeing the growth of the community are among the most important issues facing the Boonsboro Council, said Gross, who serves on the town's planning commission.

Gross said he would also like to initiate a program to help Boonsboro's elderly and infirm with such simple tasks as shoveling sidewalks and cutting grass.

Boonsboro's town election on May 8 will be challenger Robert Hutzell's second try for office. Hutzell, of 311 Lanafield Circle, blames his 1996 defeat on his inaccessibility at the time.

Hutzell, an Air National Guard technical sergeant, was sent to work in Germany and Bosnia that year and was not available to campaign, he said. Hutzell is an aerospace ground equipment technician.

He decided to run this year at the request of some residents and members of the town's utility commission, of which he is a member.

"I'll give them a little competition and see what happens." he said.

Hutzell, who has lived in Boonsboro since 1987, said he would work to make the best use of town property for recreation.

He is married to Cathy, 44 and they have two daughters, Kristin, 18, and Kara, 15, who are both involved in softball. The town's shortage of softball fields is something he would like to address if elected, he said.

Adding more park concerts and other recreation for residents would be another goal, he said.

Hutzell said he would be a benefit to the town as a councilman because he would have a new perspective and "bring some fresh ideas."

During his years as mayor, Kauffman said he worked to improve the town's water system, which is now abundant, filtered and fluoridated.

"Our water system went from one of the worst to one of the best," said Kauffman, comptroller for Brook Lane Health Services in Leitersburg.

Kauffman, of 416 N. Main St., takes credit for the town's solid financial footing and ability to maintain a low tax rate.

His future concerns include the Streetscape renovation project and deciding the best use of the land to be added to Shafer Park.

In addition to his years as mayor, Kauffman, 50, has served on Town Council for four years and was a member of the planning commission, he said.

He is married to Cindy, 47 and has lived in Boonsboro since 1968.

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