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Five running for Boonsboro town offices

May 07, 2002|BY TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The assistant mayor of Boonsboro is running unopposed for re-election, and three incumbents and one newcomer will vie for three open council seats.

The town's election will be held on Monday, May 13, at the Shafer Park Community Center. Residents may cast ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voter registration is May 7 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Shafer Park Community Center. The first voter registration was held on April 7.

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Assistant Mayor Howard W. Long is running for his second four-year term. He's spent a total of 20 years on the Town Council.

The terms of the assistant mayor and the three open council seats are four-year terms.

Those running for council are:

- Incumbent Raymond D. Grove, 55, of 208 Della Lane.

- Incumbent Richard Hawkins, 58, of 101 Maple Ave.

- Ray C. Hoffman, 67, of 508 N. Main St., who is seeking a first term as a council member.

- Incumbent Gene Smith, 72, of 205 Della Lane.

Grove, who has been on the town council since 1992, said he'd like to see a pond be built as part of the Shafer Park expansion.

A pond would bring more activities to the town, he said.

"I'd like to help get the park expanded," Grove said.

He said speeding was more of a problem before construction on Main Street began, but that the town still sees it fair share of speeders.

"The deputies have done a good job of controlling it," he said. "But, unfortunately, they're not there all the time."

Grove is a member of the town's Economic Development Council.

Hawkins said he'd like another four years on the council to make sure Boonsboro keeps its small town atmosphere.

"I want to watch the rate of growth around town," Hawkins said. "We want to keep it a good, safe community."

Hawkins said he also enjoys taking part in the town's community events, such as the Fourth of July celebration, Boonsborough Days and re-enactments.

"A lot of the things in this town are community-driven," Hawkins said. "We want to keep that image and that setting here."

Hawkins has lived in Boonsboro for 26 years.

Hoffman said his top goal as a council member would be to push the Washington County Sheriff's Department to crack down on speeders in town.

Most of the drivers heading to town on Main Street ignore the 30-mile-per hour speed limit until they hit the red light at the Maple Avenue intersection, near the Boonsboro school complex, he said.

"In Sharpsburg, everybody does 30 to 35 miles per hour, but you come to Boonsboro, and they fly out here doing 40 to 45 miles per hour," Hoffman said. "If you count the cars, three out of four are doing over the speed limit."

Hoffman said he has spoken with the town's two resident deputies and higher ranking officials about the speeders, but the problem hasn't gotten any better.

Hoffman moved to Boonsboro in 1994 and was part owner of Earl W. Hoffman and Sons until 1984. He's on the town's Utility Commission and the Zoning Appeals Board. He is married and has five children and grandchildren.

"I'm no stranger to the Boonsboro area," Hoffman said. "I'm pretty familiar with what's going on."

Smith, who is a member of the town's Police and Streets Commission, said speeders are a problem on at least three other roads in addition to Main Street, including Della Lane, where he lives, Orchard Drive and David Lane.

He said he'd like to encourage the resident deputies to do more patrols using radar to catch the speeders.

"It can be curbed if they would monitor it more," Smith said.

He said many of the speeders are students, and speed traps would be effective in the morning as students are on their way to school and in the evening.

Smith, who has been on the town council for eight years, is seeking his third term.

All of the candidates said they wanted to be on the town council to see the completion of the state's Main Street renovation project and developments to the Shafer Park expansion project.

The state has been putting in sidewalks, sewer lines and other renovations on Main Street for about two years. It should be completed by the end of September.

Long said the Shafer Park project would probably expand over a four- or five-year period, and he'd like to see the project progress.

"I just generally enjoy dealing with the people and making the community of Boonsboro a better place to live," Long said.

Long said the affairs of the town are running smoothly.

"We're proud of our town of Boonsboro," he said.

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