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Candidates for council cite growth as concern

April 17, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

Representing a variety of positions and backgrounds, several candidates for Boonsboro Town Council all cited one theme as their reason for running: Growth.

Nine candidates will vie for the four Boonsboro Town Council seats up for grabs May 9, according to information provided by the town. Assistant Mayor Howard W. Long is running unopposed in his bid to hold onto his seat.

The candidates for Town Council are Roni Bane, G. Jeffrey Kearns, Natalie Mose, Mervin F. Nuice and Milbert "Tom" Rose, and incumbents Kevin Chambers, Ray Grove, Richard E. Hawkins Sr. and Ray C. Hoffman.

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A barber at Pete's Barber Shop on North Main Street, Bane, 37, said she is concerned about how population growth will affect the schools her two oldest children, ages 9 and 12, attend. She said she also has a 3-year-old.

"They need to basically start on something with building a new school or adding on, or stop the growth for a little bit," Bane said.

Mose, who has lived in Boonsboro almost all of her life, said she, too, is concerned about growth. A substitute lunch aide at Boonsboro Elementary School, Mose, 64, said she supports the town's current park expansion and would support building a swimming pool. She also would like to add more police protection to help deal with traffic in town.

"Well, my biggest concern is the growth, the annexation into the town ... It needs to be curbed somewhat. We're outgrowing the town," Mose said.

Mose is a member of the Boonsboro Board of Zoning Appeals and Boonsboro Police and Public Safety Committee.

Rose, a retired Maryland State Police trooper, said he decided to run because he wanted to give back to the community where his grandchildren, Griffin, 8, and Camryn, 6, live.

He said he wants to see the town provide a sports complex for young people.

"My goal is to do whatever I can to help the town prepare to take care of the young people," Rose said.

Chambers, the chairman of the Boonsboro Municipal Utilities Commission and a member of the Boonsboro Free Library board and Boonsboro/Keedysville Regional Water Board, said he has been active on the council on and off since 1990.

Chambers, who was appointed to the council to replace Richard W. Gross in December after Gross resigned, said he believes Boonsboro must make sure that developers pay their fair share of costs for ongoing town projects.

Chambers said his priorities include completion of a new wastewater treatment plant and the creation of a collector road around town to relieve congestion downtown.

"I think the town has at this point and is continuing to work on controls to maintain growth at an acceptable level," Chambers said.

Grove also said the town must control growth. He said he wants Boonsboro to maintain its "small-town atmosphere."

A building materials salesman, Grove, 59, said he has lived in Boonsboro for 28 years.

"You've got to allow some building, so you can pay for some of the things we've got going on in town, but it can't be rampant to where you're overcrowding the schools, the roads, the infrastructure," Grove said.

Longtime councilman and Town Treasurer Hawkins, 62, said his priorities include completion of the park expansion and the collector road project. He said he wants to maintain Boonsboro's family-friendly environment, even as the town grows.

"We're trying to do what we can to make sure growth is going to provide what it's supposed to in terms of the schools and so forth," Hawkins said.

Hoffman, a recent Town Council appointee like Chambers, said he has served on the zoning appeals board for about 10 years. He joined the council in January to fill the seat of Gene W. Smith, who died in December.

As a member of the utilities commission for about nine years, Hoffman said he would like to see the completion of the wastewater treatment plant project. Considering its impact on school capacity, Boonsboro's current growth is "right on the border," Hoffman said.

"Of course, now we're in the process of putting in a wastewater treatment plant, and I'd like to stay on board to see that completed and help keep growth to a minimum," he said.

Town Council candidates Kearns and Nuice could not be reached for comment.

Long has spent more than 20 years on the council, where he is liaison to Boonsboro's public safety commission, according to the Town's Web site.

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