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Myers wants to ensure town flourishes and grows properly

April 03, 2002|BY ANDREA ROWLAND

andreabh@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG -If elected mayor in May, Mildred "Mickey" Myers will rely on past experience to plan for Smithsburg's future, she said.

Myers, 67, will face Smithsburg Councilman Michael T. Rohrer in the May 14 town election.

She served as a member of the Town Council from 1986 to 1990 and as Smithsburg's mayor from 1994 to 1998.

"I've always had a strong desire to serve," Myers said. "And I love a challenge."

She is more relaxed now than she was during her first term as mayor, she said, but just as determined to ensure that Smithsburg "flourishes and grows properly."

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Her concern for the town, political experience, available time and involvement with town projects since leaving office make her the best person for the town's top job, Myers said.

"If you're going to do the position of mayor right, you have to put in about as many hours as a full-time job," she said.

Myers retired as a Title I teacher for the Washington County Board of Education in 1996, and has devoted much of her retirement to public service in Smithsburg.

She secured nearly $1 million in grants during her tenure as mayor, Myers said, and oversaw repairs to about 75 percent of Smithsburg's water lines, beautification of Town Square, extensive repairs to sewer lines, and major improvements to sidewalks, streets and drains.

Myers also secured $230,000 in Program Open Space funds to purchase 29 acres of land for a town park, she said.

She has overseen park development as chairwoman of the town's Park Commission during the last several years, and recently secured a $67,900 state grant to help cover further park costs, Myers said.

She also worked with the town's Library Board to clear the way for a new library on several acres in the park, she said.

As mayor, Myers initiated a program in which downtown residents paid for their sidewalk repairs and the town, in turn, paid for curbing. She negotiated payment plans with some residents to avoid financial hardships, she said, and would once again work closely with residents to complete the sidewalk-street-drainage project.

During her term as mayor, she and the town council fired Tommy Bowers as police chief. Bowers went on to defeat Myers in the next mayoral election. Last year, they said their feud was over.

If elected mayor again, Myers plans to see that Smithsburg's water pipes are cleaned and re-lined, a project that "should have already been done," she said.

Myers said she believes the town's water storage capacity should be increased due to Smithsburg's ever-growing population.

She wants to work closely with the town's police chief to set "community-oriented" goals and ensure ample protection for a growing population, Myers said.

A good mayor must anticipate such changes as population growth and plan for them, she said.

She would foster open communication with residents and town employees and committee members to keep abreast of changes, Myers said.

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