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Giving back to the community

Assistant mayor ready to take more active role in Funkstown's government

Assistant mayor ready to take more active role in Funkstown's government

December 10, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. has had to put politics and fishing on the back burner since fire destroyed his family's home in January, he said.

"It's been rough," said Crampton, 42, president of Paul Crampton Contractors in Hagerstown.

Now, Crampton is ready to put one of his "worst years" behind him and move his family into their nearly completed new home, resume a more active role in town government, move forward with new subdivision plans - and squeeze in a few fishing trips on his charter boat, he said.

Rebuilding his family's home has taken top priority since an electrical fire burned the $1 million home to the ground on Jan. 4, Crampton said.

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He was "amazed" by the community's outpouring of support for him, his wife, Pam, and their two children following the fire, he said.

In addition to emotional support, dozens of friends, family members and business associates helped the Cramptons clean up the burned remnants of their more than 6,000-square-foot brick house at 334 E. Oak Ridge Drive, and carefully sift through the ashes for salvageable items.

"I never would have dreamt we'd get that kind of support," he said. "It makes me want to do even more for my town."

Crampton was re-elected to his third term in office in May 2000.

The Funkstown native in 1988 decided to carve enough time for public service out of his busy work schedule at the company his late father, Paul Crampton Sr., founded in 1967.

"I felt I needed to have something to give back to the community, and I thought that was the best way I could do it," Crampton said.

He has directed much of his energy as a councilman into improving the land that the town purchased for a community park about one year after he took office.

"That's something everyone can enjoy for their tax dollars," Crampton said.

Funkstown Community Park now boasts new restrooms, three pavilions, a ball field and playground equipment.

Construction of a new street leading from Beaver Creek Road on the park's north side to the far rim of the baseball diamond will allow easier access for people with disabilities and park patrons from the eastern part of the county, Crampton said.

The new road will make it feasible to add athletic fields to the more than 23 acres of vacant land on the park's eastern edge. The road will also provide easy access to the area where Civil War military re-enactors stage the annual Battle of Funkstown re-enactment, Crampton said.

"That road's going to allow us to really open up that section of the park," he said. "I'm ready to get it done. It's been drawn out for so long."

Construction is slated for spring 2003.

Crampton credits Town Clerk Brenda Haynes with securing the funds for park improvements by successfully completing state Program Open Space grant requests.

"She makes everyone look good," he said.

In addition to improving the town's park, Crampton said, he and other Funkstown officials must be prepared to deal with increased traffic and other issues stemming from growth in surrounding areas.

A Funkstown bypass - which would go from Oak Ridge Drive west of Funkstown to Edgewood Drive north of Funkstown - would help solve traffic problems, but funding for the long overdue project is unlikely in the near future, Crampton said.

"It should have started 15 years ago," he said. "I think it's still a long way off, but we're hopeful."

In business, Crampton anticipates moving forward with his company's proposed Emerald Pointe subdivision plans, which include 88 townhouses, 85 single-family homes and 92 duplexes on about 97 acres just north of the intersection of Leitersburg and Marsh pikes, he said.

Commercial development is proposed for just over nine acres.

Crampton also hopes to spend a little more time deep sea fishing - an activity for which he and his father shared a passion - on the charter boat he bought about five years ago, he said. The boat's captain runs the charter business out of Ocean City, Md., said Crampton, who enjoys competing in the annual White Marlin Open and several other large tournaments.

He plans to run for re-election in May 2004, he said.

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