Mount Airy to hold election in early May

Mount Airy will hold an election for three council seats May 6.

Only one incumbent, Jason Poirier, is running for re-election. Council President Peter Helt and Councilman Bob King chose to vacate their seats after their terms end.

Mount Airy residents will have the opportunity to vote from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. May 6 at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Co. Reception Hall.

This is the first year that provisional ballots will also be used. Board of Elections Chairman Bruce Walz asked the Mount Airy Town Council to approve an ordinance that would allow the use of the ballots. Since Mount Airy is a town that straddles two counties, with surrounding area in other counties, some people can get confused as to whether they should vote in town during elections.

The provisional ballots allow those who are not registered or if town residency is in question to cast a vote, which can then be verified by the Board of Elections and the counties.

In addition to Poirier, three other candidates are running for the three open seats. Returning candidate Karl Munder ran once before in 2017. He is joined by Pamela Reed, the current Mount Airy Main Street Association president, and John Stuehmeier. Poirier and Stuehmeier did not respond to requests for comment.

Munder has lived in the southern Carroll County/Howard County area for 40 years. He is the father of a 9-year-old daughter, and one of the reasons he is running is to make the town a better place for her.

Munder is a familiar face at council and commission meetings, as he is often in attendance and often speaks during public comment. He goes to the meetings to learn, he said. His attendance is one reason people should vote for him, he said, because he has a good understanding of how the council and commissions operate.

One of his big areas of focus is the downtown vision plan, which was recently presented to residents. Munder said he wants to make sure the plan is done in a fiscally responsible way. Under the plan, he wants to help preserve the town’s historic areas. He would also like to see the town become more walkable, something that was discussed in the vision plan.

He also wants to make sure Mount Airy retains its small-town charm as more developments come to the area. While Munder said he wants to help regulate growth downtown, he does want to make the area more accessible.

Reed has lived in Mount Airy for 20 years and raised two children here, she said. In addition to being the president of the Main Street association, she is also on the economic development commission and is a special project manager for Mayor Pat Rockinberg.

Reed said she is not running to promote her own agenda but pointed out there are some issues she would like to address with the town’s master plan. There are items that have been talked about, but it never goes beyond discussion, she said. If elected, she would be action-oriented.

Like Munder, Reed said that downtown revitalization is important. She would like to make the area more accessible. Sidewalks are not accommodating, which should be addressed, she said.

Reed said people should vote for her because she will bring “action-oriented tireless energy” and because she loves the town.

— Heather Mongilio

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

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