SMITHSBURG — Only one person filed to run for three open seats on Smithsburg Town Council, but four more people were nominated Monday night to run for office during a special meeting at Town Hall.
Town council member Donnie Souders was the only person to file to run in the May 8 election by the April 2 deadline, forcing town officials to hold a special town meeting to find more candidates.
Mayor Mildred “Mickey” Myers said town officials discovered they could hold the special meeting after doing some research.
During the 7 p.m. meeting Monday, citizens who were qualified voters of the town could nominate people to run for council. A candidate had to be a town resident for at least one year immediately preceding the May 8 election and had to be a qualified town voter, according to the town’s website.
To make nominations, people at Monday’s meeting were invited to come to the front of the town council chambers before Myers, Town Manager Betsy Martin and Judith Ferro, chairperson of the town’s election board.
Shaune Abbott of 48 E. Water St. nominated her husband, Heath; Jim Planer of 79 Byron Drive nominated his friend, Victor James, of 56 Johnson Terrace; Patricia Karroll of 100 Daniel’s Court nominated her husband, John; and Sherry Fritsch of 108 Rachel’s Court nominated her husband, Jim.
As each nomination was made, Ferro checked voting records to make sure the nominees and the people being nominated met all the requirements.
Ferro said each candidate had to fill out paperwork at Monday’s meeting so town officials can have time to get the candidates’ names on the ballot.
Myers said she was excited to see the increased interest in town government and she offered the candidates a map of the town’s boundaries so they would know where to campaign. Myers also offered her business card to candidates in case they have any questions about the election process.
“I’m just glad to see this much interest in town,” Myers said.
Myers said after the meeting that she believes publicity about the town’s situation, including a newspaper story, might have inspired people to run for the council.
Abbott said he has lived in town almost seven years and is a project manager for Building Systems Inc., a general contracting business in Hagerstown.
James said he operates a mortgage business from his home and has lived in town for two years and four months.
Karroll, a contractor, said he has lived in town since 1994.
Fritsch said he runs First Financial Group, a Hagerstown business that specializes in insurance and investment services ,and has lived in town since 1990.
There also can be write-in candidates for council, although their names will not be on the ballot, Myers has said.
Anyone running as a write-in candidate must file documents at Town Hall before 4:30 p.m. May 2, Myers said.