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Incumbents take Sharpsburg

November 22, 2000

Incumbents take Sharpsburg



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


SHARPSBURG - The town's incumbent mayor and two council members retained their seats in balloting in Tuesday's town election.

Mayor Sidney Gale received 129 votes, defeating challengers Debbie Getridge, who received 36 votes and Earl "Gene" Benner who had 14 votes, according to Anna Louise Jamison, election board director.

Incumbent Councilmen Hal Spielman was the top votegetter with 136 and Councilman Ralph Hammond drew 121 votes. Challengers Jeffrey Irvin Sheffler received 42 votes and Joel Wayne Thomas, 34 votes, Jamison said.

Willis Baker received one write-in vote for Town Council.

In all, 179 people cast ballots. The town's attorney was present during the count and the votes were tallied and then rechecked to ensure accuracy, said Jamison.

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Gale, 52, of 109 W. Main St., is director of physician practices for Antietam Health Services.

He became mayor on Sept. 11 after George Kesler resigned the post. Before that he served as vice mayor, a post to which he was appointed in 1997 and elected in 1998. He was first elected to Town Council in 1994.

"One thing tonight's vote says is that people are generally satisfied with the way we've been conducting business," Gale said.

Spielman, 51, of 114 E. Main St. was first elected to Town Council in 1996. He teaches agriculture at Smithsburg High School.

"I'd like to thank the voters of Sharpsburg for their support in allowing me another term on council," said Spielman.

Upon hearing of his victory, Hammond said "it feels better than losing." Hammond, 54, of 301 W. Antietam St., is a construction supervisor for Clark Realty Builders in Washington, D.C. He has served on the Town Council since 1972.

"I guess it means people like the way things are going," said Hammond.

The mayor makes $300 a year and council members earn $30 a year. Each gets an additional $1 for every special meeting they attend.

Mayoral challenger Earl "Gene" Benner Jr., 45, of 305 W. Main St., ran unsuccessfully for one of two available council seats in 1996, finishing third.

Town Council challenger Jeffrey Sheffler, 37, of 106 S. Mechanic St., is the night manager at Battleview Market in Sharpsburg.

Council candidate Joel Thomas, 41, of 106 S. Mechanic St., is a maintenance mechanic at the True Value Distribution Center.

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