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Crampton defeats longtime mayor in Funkstown election

May 03, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Rich Gaver
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FUNKSTOWN -- After 28 years as mayor of Funkstown, Robert L. Kline lost his re-election bid Monday to Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr., according to election results provided by Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda L. Haynes.

This was the first time Kline had faced opposition to retain his post since he became mayor in 1982, he has said.

Crampton received 86 votes and Kline received 51, Haynes said.

Asked if he would run for public office again, Kline, 80, said "I doubt it." He would not explain his decision.

Reached at Town Hall, Crampton said, "I'm very excited, and I'd like to thank all the people that turned out to vote ... especially the ones who voted for me."

Incumbent Town Councilman Richard W. Nigh and town resident Richard L. Gaver were elected to the two Town Council seats.

Nigh had 105 votes and Gaver had 93, Haynes said.

Voter turnout was higher than usual, with 137 voters, including eight absentee ballots, Haynes said. Typically, 75 to 115 people vote, she said.

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With 592 registered voters in the town, that puts voter turnout at 23 percent. The town, which is nestled against the southeast border of Hagerstown, had an estimated population of 937 as of July 1, 2008, according to the latest census data available.

Crampton, Nigh and Gaver will be sworn in at the 7 p.m. mayor and Town Council meeting in Town Hall next Monday.

Crampton was halfway through a four-year term as assistant mayor.

Town Council members will need to decide whether to appoint one of themselves or someone new to the assistant mayor post, Haynes said. If they select one of the council members, they will then have to appoint someone new to the vacant council seat.

People interested in serving on Town Council may call Town Hall at 301-791-0948 or speak to a council member, Haynes said.

Crampton said he campaigned door-to-door on Saturday and a little last week, covering the whole town. If people were out, he would talk to them, or if they appeared to be home, he'd knock on the door, he said.

"I think if you really want that office, you have to work for it, show your concern, and show people you really want it," Crampton said.

Crampton said he asked residents about their concerns. He heard a lot about the property tax rate, which the Town Council might vote this spring to increase. He also heard about the increasing water and sewer rates, the possibility of going from twice-a-week to once-a-week trash collection and the possible elimination of yard waste pickup.

"A lot of people wanted to keep yard waste (collection)," Crampton said.

Crampton, 49, is president of Paul Crampton Contractors and a local developer. He has been assistant mayor since 1992 and has served on the council since 1986.

Kline is a retired teacher who became mayor in 1982 as a write-in candidate. He served on the town council for about two years before he was mayor and was on the Washington County Board of Education from 1994 to 1998.

Asked what he thought of the election results, Kline said, "They picked the one they wanted."

About his 28 years as mayor, he said, "I've done the best I could."

Kline said he doubted he would run for public office again and he would not seek an appointment to the Town Council.

So what's he going to do now?

"Stay right here at the house," Kline said in a phone interview from home.

Haynes said there were four write-in candidates for Town Council.

Greg Sullivan, Barry Warrenfeltz and Doug Stone each received one vote and Bobby Rodgers received two, she said.

Nigh, 82, has been a council member since 1990.

"I was hoping for it. I really like to help out," said Nigh, reached at home.

For Gaver, the fourth time was the charm. He ran unsuccessfully for council in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

"I'm hoping some changes will come around. With Paul being mayor now, I look for some changes to be made. Not necessarily by me, but a group of new ideas," Gaver said.

Gaver, 49, is an inspector with Washington County Permits & Inspections and teaches electrical courses at Frederick (Md.) Community College.

The mayor and council members serve four-year terms.

Each of them gets the minimum amount, $37.06, off their quarterly water bills. The mayor also receives a $180 monthly gas allowance, Haynes has said.

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