Bowers says feud with former mayor is over

April 18, 2001

Bowers says feud with former mayor is over


SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg Mayor Tommy Bowers says his feud with former Mayor Mickey Myers is a thing of the past.

In a speech at this month's Town Council meeting, Bowers told Myers he admired her run for council last year and her resilience after a disappointing defeat.

He praised her "guts" and commitment to the town as a volunteer.

"It has opened my eyes and let me see another side of you which I have not seen before," he said.

Myers, a council member from 1986 to 1990 and mayor from 1994 to 1998, is chairwoman of the town's parks commission. She also is leading the effort to put a library branch in Veterans Park.


Bowers and Myers had been at odds ever since Myers and Town Council members fired Bowers as police chief. Bowers unseated Myers in the next election.

All that is history, Bowers said at the end of the April 3 meeting.

"Any animosity between the former mayor and myself, either personally or politically, is over," he said, drawing applause from the council and audience.

No one responded to Bowers' comments, including Myers, one of a handful of people in the audience.

Bowers said in a recent interview he wanted to clear the air with Myers.

Asked last week about Bowers' comments, Myers said, "It's always nice to hear that someone agrees with what you're doing. Maybe I had already buried the hatchet."

"I'm certainly glad to see it happen," Councilman Jerome Martin said Tuesday.

"Mickey's not a type of person who holds a grudge, and Tommy isn't either," Martin said. "Maybe time heals all wounds."

Bowers was stripped of his job as police chief in August 1997. Myers and the Town Council alleged that Bowers had filed crime reports late, failed to report a traffic accident involving a police car and inadequately investigated a complaint against the police department.

Bowers defended his work and called Myers a control freak.

Town residents were divided. Bowers' supporters circulated a petition on his behalf and a few picketed outside Town Hall. Others defended the action of the Mayor and Town Council.

Bowers sued to get his job back. A U.S. District Court judge ruled against him, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision. Bowers decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Two years later, when Myers applied for a seat on the park commission, Mayor Bowers recommended her appointment.

"I thought, 'Doggone, if she wants to serve, I'll let her serve,'" Bowers said.

Myers said she stayed away from politics for two years so Bowers could work without distraction. After that, she was eager to work on plans for Veterans Park.

Myers was mayor when the town acquired park land with Program Open Space funds. Out of office, she worried the project was lagging.

"I can't let my desire to do public service for the town be bogged down ... by animosity or personal feelings," she said.

Martin said Myers is an invaluable volunteer in a town saddled with "an unbelievable amount of apathy."

"She's willing to serve," he said, "which is more than you can say for 90 percent of the people."

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