After an uncontested election last year, four Emmitsburg residents are running for two commissioner seats next month.
T.J. Burns and Frank Davis, two longtime residents of the county’s northernmost town, will face incumbents Elizabeth Buckman and Glenn Blanchard on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Residents can vote from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 22 E. Main St.
Commissioners are elected to three-year terms and make $4,000 annually, Emmitsburg Town Clerk Madeline Shaw said in an email. According to town records, the last time a contested election was held in Emmitsburg was in September 2017, when Commissioner Joe Ritz faced Jennifer Joy, and won by a tally of 89 to 29 votes.
Burns, 38, who works in medical sales, said he is running to create a better future for the town, especially for its children and younger residents.
He is the former strength and conditioning coach at Mount St. Mary’s University, and said the town needs to maintain its strong relationship with that institution and other local partners.
Improving the town’s infrastructure is important, he said, and the town’s parks and outdoor space are also vital.
“It’s trying to work on the parks we have in town and create more space for the residents of Emmitsburg,” Burns said. “Whether it be through bike paths, new playgrounds or a ball field, I think there’s a lot of space in Emmitsburg that can be utilized for a lot of younger members in our community.”
Davis, 60, has been president of Vigilant Hose Co. for about six years. Before that, he served as fire chief of that company for about 16 years.
A lifelong Emmitsburg resident, Davis mentioned revitalizing youth sports, business growth and improving service between town staff and the town’s residents as key issues.
He commended the town staff for beautifying much of the downtown, but emphasized there are other infrastructure needs, such as water and sewer improvements.
“Some of the things we kind of let go is the infrastructure,” Davis said. “We’ve kind of done a great job of making the town look good above ground, but forgot about the stuff underground.”
Buckman, 50, is seeking her second term as commissioner.
She has taught special education since 2002, and just started this month at Springfleld Middle School in Williamsport.
Buckman said some of her best accomplishments include getting citizens more involved in numerous issues, and lessening the stigma of the opioid epidemic.
She noted some issues around town include the high percentage of residents who live below the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed — or ALICE — line, along with making more parking available for downtown businesses.
Utilizing the town’s current partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County, SHIP of Frederick County and others should help solve some of those issues, Buckman said.
“I love Emmitsburg, and I love the people and they’re my friends and my neighbors and I just have a passion to serve people,” Buckman said of why she’s running for re-election. “I’ve lived all over the world, and I’ve never found a place quite as special.”
Blanchard, 53, has been a social studies teacher in Frederick County Public Schools for the last 19 years. He currently teaches at Tuscarora High School.
He is seeking his fifth term as commissioner, and pointed to the town pool, improvements to town parks and the ability to work with two different mayors as some of his key accomplishments on the town board.
Blanchard added, however, that work was done in a team effort, with fellow commissioners, the mayor and town staff.
He identified infrastructure maintenance and smart development opportunities as issues facing Emmitsburg.
“As a history teacher, I like the past, and paying respect to those things. ... [But] the town needs to face the future, and we really need to face the future, whether it’s residential and commercial development,” Blanchard said. “I think to a great extent, it’s looking for opportunities more than anything else.”