Efland, Herz unopposed in Chestertown’s election for 2 council seats

CHESTERTOWN — Barring an unforeseen write-in campaign, Meghan Efland and Tom Herz will retain their seats on the town council here.

They are running unopposed in Tuesday’s election for the second and fourth wards.

Unlike some other municipalities in Kent County, Chestertown’s town charter does not speak specifically to uncontested elections.

In Millington and Betterton, for example, there is no election if a race is uncontested. 

In Chestertown, Efland and Herz were first-time candidates in 2019.

Efland was unchallenged in the Fourth Ward as the successor to Marty Stetson, who decided not to seek a fourth term, while Hertz defeated incumbent Linda Kuiper by a nearly 3-to-1 margin in the Second Ward race.

Information about ward boundaries can be found online at www.townofchestertown.com or by calling the town office at 410-778-0500.

The polling place for the Tuesday, Nov. 7 election is the Chestertown firehouse, 211 Maple Ave. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In response to an email query from The Evening Enterprise asking candidates what they think the three biggest challenges are for Chestertown in the next four years, Efland listed aging infrastructure, economic development/smart growth and affordable housing.

Herz did not respond to The Evening Enterprise’s emails.

In her reply, Efland said aging infrastructure is a topic of discussion among many towns “regularly” at the Maryland Municipal League conferences.

“These projects have significant costs, which need to be planned out and budgeted. Examples are road paving, aging town owned buildings, storm water, etc.,” she wrote in the email.

As to economic development and smart growth, Efland noted that the Chestertown Planning Commission is currently updating the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

She said two key questions are: How do we attract new businesses? How do we retain the ones that have made Chestertown their home? 

On the issue of affordable housing, Efland wrote in the email: “in the past few years the property values have had significant increases, but we need to make sure there are homes (rental and ownership) available. “

Chestertown has a mayor and four council members. Their four-year terms are staggered.

Chestertown’s council meets the first and third Mondays of each month, beginning at 6 p.m.

The other sitting members of the town government are Councilmembers Tim O’Brien (First Ward) and Jose Medrano (Third Ward) and Mayor David Foster.

At their Monday, Nov. 6 meeting the mayor and council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. at town hall (118 N. Cross St.) on Resolution 06-2023 that will amend section 3(c) of the town charter: to provide that “a council member who has served at least two years of his or her term may complete his or her term of office if he or she moves from the ward from which he or she was elected.”

If the resolution is adopted during the regularly scheduled meeting that will follow, the resolution — which was introduced  Oct. 16 — will become effective Dec. 26, 2023.


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