James Rada, Jr.
Here’s your chance to get to know the three candidates (Glenn Blanchard, Elizabeth Buckman, and Frank Davis) who are vying for the two open Emmitsburg town commissioner seats during the town election on October 1, 2019.
Why are you running for commissioner?
Glenn Blanchard: I am running for commissioner to continue the good work of the board. I believe the town is moving in the right direction, and I want to continue this into the future. I like serving the citizens of Emmitsburg and taking on the challenges of this community. I have lived in Emmitsburg for 28 years, and I have raised my children in this community.
Elizabeth Buckman: I am running for reelection because the people of my town are amazing, and I believe I have the experience, skills, and energy to be on the frontline to ensure that Emmitsburg is governed not only well, but governed with empathy for the needs and concerns of all its citizens.
Frank Davis: My term as president of the fire department is up in December, but I still want to be involved in the town. I also feel that it is good to give the citizens a choice on Election Day.
What do you bring to the board that is needed?
Glenn Blanchard: I bring to the board almost 14 years of elected service. It has given me experience on the issues facing the town and its citizens. I have seen the town change over the last decades and have a good idea on where we have been and where we should be going. I think there is a value in continuity. As a teacher in Frederick County Public Schools, I have invested a good portion of my life in the children of this county. My children have attended the local schools, and my experience as a teacher helps me serve my community.
Elizabeth Buckman: I have served three years as commissioner, collaborating with my fellow commissioners and municipalities for Emmitsburg’s benefit. As a teacher; a founder of Emmitsburg Cares (that has attracted statewide attention for our town); and a participant on the Council of Churches, Seton Center, and our civic associations, I am out in the community listening to your concerns. Being a commissioner is hard work, but it is rewarding that so many citizens feel comfortable coming to me with their concerns. As the only woman and mother on the board, I have greater sensitivity of the views and concerns of women and children.
Frank Davis: I will bring a fresh set of eyes to take a look at the town as a whole. While I’m deeply involved in our community, I don’t have a specific interest or project on my agenda. I will work diligently with all parties involved to prioritize the town’s needs and get work done in a fair and favorable manner.
What are your goals as commissioners?
Glenn Blanchard: First and foremost, my major goal is to continue moving the town of Emmitsburg in a positive direction. This goes for both the citizens of this town as well as the businesses in town. To do this, I feel that we need to invest in our parks, infrastructure, and an expansion of both our business community as well as residential development. Another one of my goals as commissioner is to continue to have civil discussions at the meetings and avoid division and distrust among its members.
Elizabeth Buckman: Emmitsburg is a small town with similar problems to urban areas. We have roads and parks that need maintaining, poverty, homeless, addictions, and health issues. Solutions are often beyond the capacity of our resources to solve. I will continue to seek county, state, and federal resources. An important goal of mine is to support Mount Saint Mary’s building of an urgent care center. While Emmitsburg is a safe place to live and to raise a family, I would be more comfortable if the police coverage was expanded from two deputies to three to provide coverage seven days a week.
Frank Davis: Make the town user-friendly. Have the staff help citizens solve their problems and reach a favorable outcome for both parties. Take a hard look at the town’s infrastructure and put together a plan to correct and repair issues. Review fees that are being passed on to the citizens. It seems like the citizens that want to make repairs and keep their properties up are being punished by paying fees.
How can you achieve them on the board?
Glenn Blanchard: I feel I can achieve my goals as commissioner by doing the same things I have done in the past. One, working with the town staff and the mayor to get correct information on projects and purchases. Two, work with my fellow commissioners to get the job done. Find common ground. Division and conflict might make headlines, but the citizens and businesses of this community are not being served by that kind of behavior. Putting the Town of Emmitsburg above any personal interests is important. Remembering who I work for has been a critical part of my service to Emmitsburg.
Elizabeth Buckman: My answers above apply here, but I believe the most important contribution I can make to achieve my goals, and more broadly the goals of the mayor and entire board is to listen deeply to the concerns or our citizens and to be open to bold new solutions to meet our needs.
Frank Davis: Have a good working relationship with the other board members. Do research to see what other towns are doing and see if it is successful. Set priorities and develop short- and long-term plans that are achievable.
Why should people vote for you?
Glenn Blanchard: People should vote for me if they want someone who will continue to listen to them and help keep moving the town forward into the future. People should vote for me if they want civil discussion at meetings, and someone who is willing to compromise when necessary. After 28 years, I have roots in this community, and I believe in Emmitsburg.
Elizabeth Buckman: I will never give up being alert to our community’s needs. I will never give up seeking efficient and sound ways of governing. I will never give up seeking outside resources for our community. I will never give up Emmitsburg Cares. I will never give up promoting cooperation between our religious and civic institutions, and I will never give up on seeking ways to help the least among us. I love Emmitsburg, and I feel honored to serve my hometown. You are my friends and my neighbors, and I hope to continue pressing for our quality of life, safety, and well-being.
Frank Davis: My family and I are life-long citizens of Emmitsburg and are very proud of our town. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of Emmitsburg over the years and want to make sure we don’t repeat bad history. Being retired, I have time both day and night to attend meetings and respond to citizen concerns.