Advertisement

Three mayoral and nine council candidates running for seats in Hancock

'No matter what happens Jan. 28 ... the town is a winner because people are starting to get involved'

January 17, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Dardar
Dardar

Two years ago, Hancock Mayor Daniel Murphy and two council members ran for re-election without opposition.

On Monday, Jan. 28, voters will choose between three mayoral candidates and nine people vying for two council seats.

About 100 people gathered in the town hall Wednesday to hear the candidates, each of whom was allowed time to make a short stump speech.

“No matter what happens Jan. 28 ... the town is a winner because people are starting to get involved,” council candidate Michael Faith said.

Murphy, the mayor for 16 years, is being challenged by Nigel Dardar and Tim Smith, both of whom resigned their council seats last year to run against him.

“I’m running ... on my proven record of accomplishments,” said Murphy, who listed school zone speed cameras that have made streets safer; a recycling program that has saved the town $7,000 in landfill fees; and a solar electric facility at the wastewater treatment plant.

Advertisement

Murphy also said he wants a new War Memorial Library on town-owned land in Widmeyer Park.

“We need to insist that our government get tuned in to organizations such as International City/County Management Association, which stresses ethics beyond reproach,” said Dardar, who served almost four years on the council.

“I really want to see our Chamber (of Commerce) and our town government ... be more open working together,” Dardar said.

“People have brought to me various concerns about the workings of our town government and our departments,” said Smith, who resigned halfway through his second term. “I will see that each department chief or superintendent would have more control in running their departments.”

Smith said he has brought tourism to town through Hancock In Motion and Soap Box Derby events.

Council incumbents Dennis Hudson and January Souders, appointed to fill Dardar’s seat, are running. Both touted their private sector experience and support building the new library in Widmeyer Park.

The challengers are former councilman and fire chief Greg Yost; store manager Stephen Van Meter; orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ralph Salvagno; retired contractor Homer Schetrompf; Charles Wilkinson, who moved to Hancock a year ago; contractor David Kerns; and Faith, a marketing director for a sporting goods business.

Hancock should annex land near Exit 5 of Interstate 70 for commercial development and convince the state to build 3.4 miles of road to improve access to the site, Wilkinson said.

“With your ideas and mine, we can make this town grow for future generations,” said Schetrompf, who advocated for “an activities center for public functions and youth activities.”

“A councilman has to be able to analyze and review a town’s budget,” Salvagno said. He noted his experience managing a medical practice and serving on boards of directors for several organizations.

For more people to move to Hancock, the town needs to work with its schools “to show that our schools are better than anyone else’s in the county,” Kerns said. Senior housing would encourage older residents not to move away, he said.

“I will listen to your concerns,” Van Meter said. While he has an opinion where a new library should be built, the decision is ultimately up to residents, he said.

“Our infrastructure is going downhill” and police department equipment is aging,” Yost said. His previous council and fire service experience will be valuable to managing a budget, he said.

“This town has a phenomenal brand,” Faith said of its parks and proximity to the C&O Canal, Potomac River and Western Maryland Rail Trail. “As citizens ... we can all promote that brand,” he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|