Five candidates vie for three seats on Funkstown Council

May 02, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN -- Five candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three open seats on the Funkstown Town Council.

The council seats currently held by John Phillips III, Sharon Chirgott and Robert D. Rodgers Jr. are up for grabs. Phillips and Chirgott filed for re-election, but Rodgers did not.

Also running are Nathen Graybill and Barry Warrenfeltz, who are seeking council seats for the first time. Kim Ramer, who previously served 20 years on the council, is hoping to regain a seat, having lost in the 2006 town election.

The vice mayor's post currently held by Paul N. Crampton Jr. is also open but only he filed for the position, according to Town Clerk Brenda Haynes.


· Chirgott was appointed to the council in 1986 to fill a vacancy and has won election ever since.

An Allegany County, Md., native, Chirgott has an undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University and a master's degree from Morgan State University.

She is the career technical educator and student service learning resource teacher with Washington County Public Schools.

"Maintaining an infrastructure in the face of rising costs will be a challenge for the town," Chirgott said. She added that she feels it is important to have a woman on the council to maintain balance.

She and her husband, John, have two grown children.

· Graybill, 44, has lived in the Washington County area all of his life. He and his family moved to Funkstown in the fall of 2004.

A graduate of Shalom Christian Academy in 1981, Graybill attended Hagerstown Business College, Hagerstown Community College and Award Beauty School.

He is part owner of Susan's House of Hair in Funkstown, where he works with his wife, Susan, as a part-time stylist. He also drives for a company out of Frederick, Md., making local deliveries.

Graybill has three grown children and one grandson.

He is a member of the Welty Church of the Brethren in Greensburg.

· Phillips was first elected in 1996 and is seeking a fourth term.

He is employed by the Washington County Engineering Department as a field inspector of bridge and road projects.

Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

· Ramer is employed by the Maryland Division of Correction in the maintenance department that serves the state prisons south of Hagerstown.

"I am concerned about the future of small towns," Ramer said. "I've been going door to door talking with people."

Ramer said many residents have encouraged him to run for office.

If he's elected, Ramer said he would strive to keep water and sewer rates as low as possible, repair streets and work with state and federal lawmakers.

"Our community has a small tax base," he said. "We need to secure the grants for these large projects."

A graduate of South Hagerstown High School, Ramer owns and operates Ramer's Service Center in Funkstown. His is married to Patti Ramer.

· Warrenfeltz, 54, has been a resident of Funkstown for more than 15 years. During that time, he served the community for three years as a member of the planning and zoning board and is currently a member of the zoning appeals board.

"I would like to help steer the town gently into the future without losing our small town atmosphere," Warrenfeltz said via e-mail. "Progress is inevitable but our way of life is precious and should not be pushed aside in the name of progress."

A 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he served during the Vietnam and Desert Storm campaigns as a munitions systems specialist. He belongs to American Legion Post 211 and the Vietnam Last Man's Club.

Warrenfeltz has been employed in the family business, Warrenfeltz Refrigeration Inc., since 1992. He and his wife, Judith, have two children.

If you vote

What: Funkstown town election

When: Monday, May 5

Where: Funkstown Town Hall

Polls open: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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