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Six candidates seek four seats on Sharpsburg Town Council

November 17, 2006|by TARA REILLY

SHARPSBURG - Candidates running for Sharpsburg Town Council said they hope to make the town a better place by boosting crime prevention, preserving Sharpsburg's history and strengthening long-term planning efforts.

Four seats are open in Tuesday's election.

Vice Mayor Ralph Hammond is being challenged for his seat by Councilman Jeffrey Saylor. Incumbent council members Patti Hammond, wife of Ralph Hammond, Marjorie Jamison and Russell Weaver are seeking re-election, with newcomer Gary Hull also running for a spot on the Town Council.

Patti Hammond, 59, is seeking a third term in office. She wants to see continued historic preservation efforts, and more police presence in light of recent vandalism and other small crime in Sharpsburg.

"I want to continue to make the town a better place to live in," said Hammond, who works for Western Maryland Public Libraries in Hagerstown.

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"We probably have the best town there is, and the council jells well together," Vice Mayor Ralph Hammond said. "The budget is good. We've got money in the bank. Everything's going well."

Hammond, 60, is seeking his second term as vice mayor. He's been on the Town Council for about 35 years. He said he's running for re-election because "I'd like to see through what we've done."

The biggest problem facing the town is vandalism, and officials are meeting with police to try to find a solution, said Hammond, who works as a construction superintendent.

Saylor, 50, was vice mayor for five years in the 1980s, and said he would like to hold that position again.

"I've been thinking about it for over a year, and I decided to go for it," said Saylor, who retired from the Washington County Board of Education after 32 years.

He said he has the time to be a dedicated vice mayor.

"The vice mayor should be the right hand of the mayor," the Sharpsburg native said.

Saylor said the town needs a stronger police presence, and would like the Town Council to aggressively seek grants to help pay for programs or projects.

"I'm very concerned about the town ..." Saylor said.

Should Saylor lose to Hammond, he would retain his council seat.

Hull, 35, is a math professor at Frederick Community College. It's his first time running for Town Council.

"I've always loved Sharpsburg," Hull said. "I felt I could help make a difference ..."

Hull said the current council is doing a good job, but he would like to see more long-term planning. Planning for road and sidewalk maintenance, for example, would make the town proactive rather than reactive when problems arise, he said.

Jamison and Weaver did not return phone calls.

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