Emmitsburg Gets Two New Commissioners

Two newcomers were voted on to the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners on October 1. Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs swore in Frank Davis and T.J. Burns as town commissioners during the October 7 town meeting. Davis and Briggs defeated incumbents Glenn Blanchard and Elizabeth Buckman.

During the town election on October 1, 371 residents voted. Davis received 278 votes and Burns received 170 votes. They defeated Buckman who received 140 votes and Blanchard who received 117 votes.

Briggs told the new commissioners and audience, “We’re enthusiastic about the attitude you’re going to bring here.”

Davis will service as liaison to the Parks and Recreation Committee, and Burns will service as the liaison to the Citizens Advisory Committee.

Briggs praised the service of the two outgoing commissioners.

Blanchard served on the commission for 12 years. Briggs called him a quiet commissioner who always listened, processed, and was engaged with the work of the board.

Briggs encouraged Buckman to run for her first term as a commissioner and encouraged her to run again.

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell told Buckman, “You gave a voice to those who otherwise might not be heard.”

Buckman said she had enjoyed her service on the board and would continue to volunteer.

“As I transition from my official position as commissioner, I pledge to continue to wake up each day with a vision of possibility to stand with the people of Emmitsburg to problem-solve through networking and advocacy,” Buckman said. “I personally pledge to work collaboratively with the Town of Emmitsburg, mayor, and all the board, Mount St. Mary’s, our civic associations, our churches, our health department, our fire department, our cooperating municipal officials, housing, the Seton Center, the SHIP of Frederick, mentoring service, and many more, as we find creative solutions to the problems we face day in and day out.”

She called the new commissioners “two very innovative commissioners with fresh perspectives” and shared some of the insights she had learned during her term as a town commissioner.

Blanchard was unable to attend the meeting.

Thurmont’s Hamrick and Buehrer Win Re-election

Incumbent Thurmont Commissioners Wes Hamrick and Bill Buehrer were re-elected to the board of commissioners by large margins on October 29.

Thurmont’s voter turnout for its municipal election was 11 percent with 531 people casting 1,022 ballots. These numbers include 14 absentee votes.

Election results were:
• Wes Hamrick – 379 votes
• Bill Buehrer – 212 votes
• Sabrina Massett – 179 votes
• Elliot Jones – 126 votes
• Kenneth Oland – 121 votes
• Write-in Candidates – 5 votes

“I am thankful to the five candidates who had enough concern about the community to step up and run for office,” said Mayor John Kinnaird after the election.

Hamrick, 57, will serve his second full term as a commissioner. He was first elected to fill Kinnaird’s unexpired term in 2013 when Kinnaird was elected mayor. Hamrick is a manager with AT&T, where he has worked for 40 years. He has lived in Thurmont on and off for 50 years, including the last 23 years.

“I look forward to serving the town that I love so much,” Hamrick said.

He said his time as a commissioner has “flown by” so far, and he is proud of the things the board has accomplished during his time as a member. This includes improving Thurmont’s streetscape with building facades, new sidewalks, and improvements to the Thurmont Trolley Trail. He also said the board has kept the town’s budget healthy.

He feels the town will face some challenges, including the unpredictable cost of healthcare for town employees and the possibility of town revenues stagnating while costs continue to rise. He is ready to face those questions and make the best decisions he can for the town.

Buehrer, 74, is retired from Stauffer Funeral Homes, where he was a funeral director. First elected in 2011, this will be his third term as a commissioner. He said recently in The Catoctin Banner that his goal as a commissioner is to continue improving the town’s infrastructure, bring businesses to Thurmont, and improve housing development in a conservative manner.

“I was first elected in 2011, vying to preserve our past and save the future of Thurmont,” Buehrer said in the Banner. “This board has demonstrated such through infrastructure improvement. We have vigorously looked for and received state grants, thus bringing our tax dollars back to Thurmont. I want to continue these efforts.”

The election was held at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building on East Main Street in Thurmont. The commissioners serve four year terms and earn $8,000 a year.

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