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Four running for Funkstown seats

April 25, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

FUNKSTOWN - Mayor Robert L. Kline is running unopposed in Funkstown's May 1 election.

Two town councilmen and one newcomer will vie for two open spots on the council.

All candidates would serve four-year terms if elected.

- Kline served on the council first as a councilman and was elected mayor in 1980.

Since he is running unopposed, he will be re-elected to a four-year term.

Kline said he chose to run again because he has some issues around town that he would like to see finished.

"I have some things that aren't finished yet that I want to get done for the people of Funkstown," he said.

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One of those is the completion of the town's new sewage treatment plant. Work began about two years ago.

"I just love to do work for the people," Kline said.

- Councilman Richard M. Nigh, 78, has served on the council for 16 years and said he would like to "make it an even 20" years serving the people of Funkstown.

Nigh said he would like to see the town finish applying for grant money and complete its new sewage treatment plant.

"I enjoy working for the town," he said. "People come to us with stuff that is wrong, and we try to straighten it out. I do what I can for the town."

Nigh is a 1947 graduate of Hagerstown High School, and served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953. He worked at M.P. Moller Inc. for nearly 18 years and with the prison system for about 29 years before retiring.

- Councilman Kim A. Ramer has served on the council for 20 years.

"It doesn't seem so long," he said. "I enjoy working for the people. It's good to be part of the community and work hard for them."

Ramer said he enjoys working with residents to help them with tough issues.

Replacing the sewage treatment plant has been burdensome for residents, he said, with increased rates. The town has been working to secure federal and state grant money, he said.

Ramer said the town has money, but smaller communities will struggle when taking on a large-scale project such as the sewage treatment plant.

"If our people in higher government don't start looking out for smaller communities, the counties are going to eat them up," Ramer said. "But annexation is not the answer."

Ramer said he would like to see the size of the town remain the same. Growth is an issue for the town that is causing problems, such as increased traffic.

"We're trying to get relief for all of the citizens," Ramer said. "I hope there's some relief soon."

- Jerry Walker, 37, has lived in Funkstown for six years and is making his first bid for public office.

"I've always been interested in politics," he said. "My wife and I are looking to stay in Funkstown and thought it would be a good idea to get involved."

Walker is a teacher at Urbana High School in Frederick County, Md., where he teaches math and pre-engineering.

Walker said he plans to go door to door through town before the election asking residents what changes they would like to see in the town.

"I want to keep the small-town character that made my wife and I stay here," he said.

Creating incentives for small businesses along Funkstown's main street, continuing to improve the park and solving traffic issues are just a few of the ideas that he has, Walker said.

Walker has worked as an engineer and said he enjoys analyzing issues and exploring details to solve problems.

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