With Havre de Grace's election just around the corner, on May 7, voters will get the chance to cast ballots for one of two mayoral candidates and three of five running for city council.
Mayor Wayne Dougherty, who is seeking a fourth term, is challenged by former city councilman Jim Miller.
In the city council races, incumbent members Randy Craig and John Correri are running for re-election. Also running are former councilman Fred Cullum and to newcomers to city politics, Bob Greene and Thomas Barnes.
A third incumbent council member whose term is up this year, Barbara Wagner, decided not to run for a second term, which means at least one of the challengers among Cullum, Greene and Barnes will be elected to a council seat. The mayor and council members serve two year terms, with half the six council seats up for election annually.
A debate organized by the city's Chamber of Commerce was held earlier this week and one was held at the Bulle Rock Residents Club Thursday night.
A debate will be held by the Ontario-Otsego Positive Action Committee on May 1, at 6:30 p.m., at City Hall.
Dougherty, 65, has his signs up and says is happy with how the campaign is going.
"Things are going well, as far as that's concerned," he said about campaigning, adding that "it's great to live in a society" where residents have the chance to have a number of options.
Dougherty previously served on the city council beginning in the mid-1990s, withdrew from city politics briefly, and then won election to his first term as mayor in 2007. He was re-elected without opposition in 2009 and beat a single opponent handily in 2001.
Dougherty regards the position of mayor as a full-time job, according to the city's website.
The mayor graduated from Havre de Grace High School and has a degree in criminal justice and a banking degree from the American Institute of Banking. He served as a Harford County sheriff's deputy.
His opponent, Miller, 56, previously served on the city council until he was unseated in last year's city election.
Miller sent a written statement to The Record noting he has chaired several city committees or served on them and took actions like asking for an independent efficiency audit of the water and waste water treatment plants and looked into processes to try to lower the plants' operating costs.
He said Wednesday he has been meeting with people to discuss their concerns and has a few signs out. He was held a "meet and greet" at Coakley's Pub on Wednesday night.
"Things are going swimmingly and I am confident that things are going to work out the way I want," Miller said.
Miller said he pays close attention to the budget, questions expenses, believes in fair and equitable treatment for everyone and wants to bring transparency to city government.
"The back room deals have to stop. Open communications are essential. Secrets are not acceptable," he said.
In his statement, Miller also said he was the council representative on the city's planning commission, supports the police department and believes in tourism.