The campaign signs of one of Jim Hoover's opponents proudly
proclaim he'll be "A Full Time Mayor." While the
individual in question's willingness to dedicate his full time
to the job is admirable, Emmitsburg desperately needs an
effective Mayor more then it needs a full time Mayor, and Jim
Hoover is the only person in the current field of three who has
the skill, the knowledge, the vision, and the personality to be
an effective mayor.
Anyone who has ever sat in a town council meeting and watched
Jim handle tough, complex issues can't help but admire his
demeanor, his insights, and his willingness to find the correct
answer, even if it means going against the 'old boy network.'
Jim's interest is in the well being of the town, not just a
As a supervisor of train operations for the MARC Train
Service, Jim keep the trains running and on time. This is a
highly demanding job that requires him to keep his fingers on
the pulse of a huge infrastructure, remotely manage a
significant staff, effectively delegate responsibility, and make
tough calls. I can't think of a tougher pressure cooker to hone
a person's management skills. And hone Jim it has. The town
staff will be blessed, and the town rewarded, having a manager
like him step into the shoes of Mayor.
Ever since his election to the town council, Jim has
championed opening up the town's decision processes and
meetings. "Why" asked Jim, "are citizens of the
town not provided sufficient notice of the agenda for council
meetings that are open to the public?" Why indeed we echo.
In today's information age, there is no reason in the world that
citizens of Emmitsburg don't have access to the latest schedule
or agenda for meetings. They should be available not only for
Town Council meetings, but for the Planning Commission, the
Parks Commission, and the Zoning Commission as well.
Along the same lines, Jim questions why there is no process
to inform the citizens about the decisions made in these
meetings. Why is it that the first time the citizens of
Emmitsburg hear about a planned annexation is in the newspapers?
Shouldn't the citizens expect that they should hear about it
first from their elected representatives?
For Jim Hoover, an informed citizen body is one of the town's
greatest assets. He understands this and, as mayor, you will
know when meetings are taking place and what the agendas are.
Because of this, you will have an opportunity to raise your
voice, provide your input, and make a difference.
If Emmitsburg is to advance, to prosper, the residents outside of town who call 21727 home, must be
seen as assets, not as outsiders to be scoffed and sneered at.
If we are to attract a more affluent citizenry
upon which to build the tax base, we need a
mayor who understands the needs of new residents and who knows
how to communicate with them, a mayor who'll not treat them as
second-class citizens because they weren't born here.
Lastly, and I'm ashamed that I even have to mention it, but I
would be amiss if I failed to address the allegation, that Jim is
anti-Catholic. As a Catholic myself, I'm personally embarrassed
that one would stoop so low as to use religion to defame another
individual. It's slander, pure and simple. Lets not mince any
words. Those who are spreading this rumor are clearly
communicating to all Emmitsburg residents they think them naive,
gullible, self-centered bigots.
It's bad enough that today, one's value to the community
seems to be based upon whether you were born in Emmitsburg or
not. If we reward the type of religious slander now being hurled
at Jim Hoover, is it not unreasonable to expect that access to
the town offices and services will be reserved not simply for
those born here, but those born here of a given faith?
Emmitsburg needs a mayor with an open mind, new ideas, the
ability to communicate, to manage, to delegate, to follow
through. We need a mayor who will not judge the value of an
individual, or the importance of their needs, based upon where
they were born or what church they attend.
Being born in Emmitsburg, living all
your life and wanting to die here is nice, as is the willingness
to give one's right arm for the town, but neither is sufficient
qualification for being mayor. Many complex issues are on the
horizon for Emmitsburg, and to successfully face and meet
these challenges will require some out-of-the-box thinking,
the type of thinking one only picks up by living and working
in other communities at one time or another in one's
needs an effective mayor more then it needs a
full time mayor. And for our money, there is only one candidate
who fits this bill -