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Three incumbents expected to return to Funkstown Town Council

May 04, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN, Md. — With only five people running for the Funkstown Town Council, at least three incumbents are expected to return to their seats after Monday’s town election.

Four people are running for three town council seats.

Assistant Mayor Sharon Chirgott, also a council member, is running unopposed to retain the post of assistant mayor.

Incumbents council members Kim Ramer, John Phillips III and Robert D. Rodgers, and political newcomer Luke Barnette are running for the three remaining council seats up for election.

Barnette, 31, said no particular issue is driving his run for office, but he would like town officials to push the Washington County Board of Commissioners to get the Funkstown bypass built, a project that has been delayed.

Southern Boulevard is the planned Funkstown bypass from U.S. 40 to East Oak Ridge Drive, according to previous reports.

Registered as an independent, Barnette said he’d also like to see more focus on Funkstown Community Park, making sure it’s well maintained and possibly starting a volunteer program not just for the town, but to help at the park.

Barnette, who lives at 6 S. Antietam St., is an aviation insurance underwriter for Avemco in Frederick, Md. A Boonsboro High graduate, he has lived in town for 2 1/2 years.

Ramer, 60, said his biggest concern is small communities in Maryland losing revenue, referring to state cuts in highway user revenue that have “hurt us bad.”

“(If) state legislators and delegates don’t get their heads out of their asses, they’re not going to have little historical towns to brag about,” Ramer said.

Funkstown doesn’t have a large tax base from which to draw revenue and can’t annex land the way Hagerstown or Boonsboro does, he said.

Ramer, who served on the council for 20 years until 2006 and was re-elected in 2008, said he was running on his record.

Ramer, a Democrat, lives at 102 E. Green St., and works in regional maintenance at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown.

Rodgers, 51, said: “I just want to continue serving the community.”

Rodgers, a Republican, was appointed to the council in May 2010 to fill a vacancy. He also served on the council from 2000 to 2008.

He works out of his 36 W. Cemetery St. home as a service technician for Municipal Emergency Services, repairing firefighter-breathing packs.

Phillips, 48, said he has enjoyed serving on the council and helping the community, including his involvement with Day in the Park, the Battle of Funkstown re-enactment and the Halloween parade.

Although there is no particular issue prompting him to run for re-election, Phillips said he wants to continue to try to decrease the town’s water and sewer debt.

Phillips, a Democrat, was first elected to the council in 1996 and is seeking a fifth term. He is a supervisor for the Washington County Highway Department. He lives at 19 E. Green St.

Chirgott, 65, of 208 S. Westside Ave., said she is running for re-election because she enjoys giving to the community and views it as productive.

Chirgott, a Democrat, has served on the council since 1986 when she was appointed to the position. She was appointed assistant mayor in May 2010 when then Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. was elected mayor.

She is a career technology-education and student service-learning resource teacher based at the Washington County Board of Education’s Central Office in Hagerstown.

All four positions are for four-year terms.

The only pay or benefit the assistant mayor and council members receive is the minimum water amount, currently $41.23, off their quarterly water and sewer bills.

The newly elected council members will be sworn in at the start of the 7 p.m. council meeting at Town Hall on May 14, Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Haynes said.

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If you go ...
What: Funkstown town election
When: Monday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Funkstown Town Hall, 30 E. Baltimore St.

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