Sykesville Mayor and Town Council candidate profiles

Moltz (Carroll County Times)

Mayoral candidates

Mike Miller (incumbent)

Age: 49

Marital Status: Married

Children: Three

Profession: Information technology

Years of experience: 24 years

Current employment: Government contractor

How many years: Nine years

Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; master's degree, Johns Hopkins University

Community groups involved in: In 2006 started a grassroots community group to protest/petition the problems of increased taxation and spending with respect to the local Sykesville government

Past political experience: Mayor of Sykesville for the past four years

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. Taxation - Sykesville is one of the highest taxed municipalities in Carroll County, No. 3 [out of eight]. Burdensome municipal tax rates are very undesirable to homeowners for many reasons. As a fiscal conservative I have fought against tax rate increases while my opponent has supported them.

2. Services - Sykesville provides many services to our residents, some essential and others, conveniences. With service costs, employee pay and resource costs rising, we must maintain a balance between what can be offered within our budget constraints. I have fought to cap the services offered and make them more efficient.

3. Growth - While growth may seem desirable, keep in mind that buildings, structures and parks owned by the Town require maintenance and resources that result in added costs. The Town needs more fiscally conservative-minded folks to not allow grand visions to drain money from our budget that yield no future financial benefit to the Town.


Ian Shaw

Age: 47

Marital Status: Married 25 years

Children/Age: One daughter, age 28

Profession: Associate Broker with Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.; Owner of Allied Quick Print, Inc.

Years of Experience: 13 years with Long and Foster; 28 years with Allied Quick Print, Inc.

Current employment: Both above

How many years: 13 years and 28 years

Education: High school graduate, graduate of the Missouri Auction School, graduate of the Certified Appraisers Guild, graduate of the Realtor Institute, 40-plus hours of municipal government training through the Maryland Municipal League

Community groups involved in: Serving on Main Street Economic Development Committee

Past political experience: Currently serving on the Sykesville Town Council 2009-present, currently serving on the Sykesville Planning Commission 2009-present, President of the Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League 2011-present, served as Vice President of the Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League 2010, served on the Sykesville Budget Committee in 2007 and 2008.

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. Budgets are always a top concern. I have worked with the Town on budgets since 2007. I have extensive knowledge of the challenges our town has faced in the past, is facing now and may face in the future. I am a true fiscal conservative and I believe we should pay as we go as much as possible and avoid debt whenever possible.

2. Protection of our Town's current assets and quality of life. We have all worked too hard to allow the quality of life we have achieved to be jeopardized by poor management and lack of leadership. I will work hard to protect our assets while achieving a better tomorrow with a plan to expand our Town's commercial tax base to reduce the tax burden to our citizens.

3. Future growth of our Town both at the Warfield Cultural Center, our Main Street and South Branch Park. I will work with any future development to ensure that our Main Street is tied directly to any future plans. I will work to solidify a plan that has all of our resources working together to ensure the future success of our Town.

Town Council candidates


Anna Carter

Age: 43

Marital Status: Married

Children/Age: Daughter, 17; stepdaughter, 15; son, 9

Profession: Customer service

Years Experience: 20-plus years

Current employment: Self-employed, real estate

How many years: 7

Education: B.S. in Psychology

Community groups involved in: Sykesville Main Street

Past political experience: None

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. This first issue I will address is the development of South Branch Park by utilizing the grant funds that were approved several years ago and remain un-utilized. The use of these funds will provide opportunities to gain additional funding.

2. The second issue I will address is the economic health of Sykesville business district. I would like to see better communication between the Town officials, business owners and consumers. This will help business and encourage shoppers to come shop Main Street.

3. Finally, I would like to continue fiscal responsibility. Only by carefully monitoring where our monies go, can we hope to maintain the services Sykesville provides and ensure our citizens' quality of life.

Debby Ellis

Age: 61

Marital Status: Married

Children/Age: 3 stepsons: Joey, 32; Michael, 30; and Andy, 27

Profession: Information Technology (IT) Manager

Years Experience: 25

Current employment: Social Security Administration

How many years: 38

Education: Master of Science in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University

Community groups involved in: My community involvement during the past 15 to 18 years includes volunteer work for Sykesville's Family Fun Day, Concerts in the Park, and Sykesville's Parks and Recreation Committee. I've actively participated in Sykesville's Adopt-A-Road Program for the last eight years by "adopting" Oklahoma Road from the Town's Centennial Fountain near the Post Office and Visitor's Center to the Colored Schoolhouse. We pick up trash and recyclables along this road to help keep our neighborhood roads clean and improve the environment.

Past political experience: Previous member of the Sykesville Town Council and the Sykesville Planning Commission

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. Protect safety and improve quality of life. I'll work with the Council to explore ways to increase revenue for our essential core services -- Police, Public Works, Town Hall staff -- and the services that contribute to our quality of life -- Post Office and Visitors Center, Colored Schoolhouse, Parks and Rec, Main Street, Gate House Museum.

2. Recruit and retain qualified staff. With recent and upcoming staff turnover, I'll initiate a salary review of comparable positions in surrounding municipalities to make sure we're competitive in salary and benefits. Recruitment and training is costly so we need to work towards retaining the experienced and highly-skilled staff we hire.

3. Market and expand the Warfield Complex. The economy is improving and Warfield represents one of the few long-term income streams for the Town and will eventually reduce property tax burden. The Warfield Development Corporation is a great group of smart, hard-working folks and I'll give them my full support.

John Ellis

Age: 59

Marital Status: Married

Children/Age: Joseph, 32; Michael, 30; Andrew, 27

Profession: IT Consultant

Years Experience: 36 years

Current employment: MicroPact Inc.

How many years: 12 years

Education: B.S. in Computer Science, 1975, The Ohio State University

Community groups involved in: Green and Gold Club charter member at McDaniel College

Past political experience: None

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. Vision: Since the election in 2009, the Town has worked on projects that were started years before, like the Warfield Complex, South Branch Park, and the Main Street Program. The Town needs the vision to start making plans for new projects that will bear fruit in the coming years.

2. Employee Retention: It's very important for the Town to minimize employee turnover, especially in the police force. I will contact other municipalities for salary and compensation packages information for ideas, and to make comparisons to the Town's offerings. The Town needs to find ways keep experienced and valued employees.

3. Infrastructure: The costs of major items like repairs to sidewalks, upkeep of Town properties, repairs to storm water management systems, and the constant need to keep our streets in good shape, is something that needs to be planned for. The Town needs to better prepare for these major items.

Leo Keenan (incumbent)

Age: 49

Marital Status: Married

Children/Age: Three boys, ages 27, 25 and 21

Profession: Attorney/Real Estate Broker

Years Experience: 23 years

Current employment: Self-employed with Law Office and Assist2Sell

How many years: Seven years

Education: B.A. from University of Maryland, 1985; J.D. from University of Baltimore, 1989

Community groups involved in: Sykesville Main Street Association

Past political experience: Six years on Sykesville Town Council

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. Continued revitalization of Main Street -- I have been working to bring new retail businesses back to Main Street; with the addition of Ivy Wells as a Main Street Manager, Sykesville is now a designated Maryland Main Street, which will allow us more access to grant funds for revitalization. The next year will see the addition of at least one new restaurant; new retail shops have opened in the past year.

2. Downtown parking -- The increase in businesses brings problems with parking. We've added more parking spaces and have improved our lots, but parking can be a challenge at times, especially with the limited land available. We are looking into adding parking spaces across the bridge in South Branch Park, as well as adding a playground and fishing dock in the park.

3. Maintaining the budget while addressing capital improvements -- We've managed to increase the Town reserve fund to appropriate levels, while still addressing capital projects, all in the face of decreased revenue. We will continue to monitor reserve funds and address the Town needs.


Stacy Link

Age: 38

Marital Status: Single

Children/Age: None

Profession: Occupational Therapist, Assistive Technology Professional

Years Experience: 16 years

Current employment: Advanced Medical Concepts

How many years: 11 years

Education: B.S. in occupational therapy

Community groups involved in: Chair of the Design Committee of the Main Street Organization; Historic District commissioner

Past political experience: None

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign?

In order to increase commercial revenue, which will keep personal property taxes, low my goal is to bring to completion/fruition current opportunities:

Execution of South Branch Park's master plan and appropriate use of the grant money awarded to Sykesville for its development;

Cooperation with Warfield Complex developer;

Continued efforts by Main Street Organization which will lead to continued revitalization which in turn will lend itself to state funding for improving infrastructure.

Joe Moltz

Age: 71

Marital Status: Single

Children: One, age 34

Profession: Electronic Design, Flight Instructor

Years Experience: 35 years

Current Employment: Retired

Education: High school and specialized training

Community groups: Carroll Squadron Civil Air Patrol, Sykesville Main Street Promotions Committee, Sykesville Main Street Economic Development Committee, Sykesville Business Association (Vice President), Sykesville Historic District Commission, Sykesville and Patapsco Railway Club (Vice President), Little Sykes Railway (Manager)

Past political experience: Sykesville Historic District Commission

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

1. The Post Office. I want to see the Post Office stay in Sykesville. We need to find ways to fund it. As a member of the Economic Development Committee, and as a council member, I will work to find ways to fund the Post Office so we can keep it in our town.

2. Taxes. I will work to keep taxes as low as possible. I will work to cut any fat from the town budget so that taxes won't have to be raised in the near future.

3. Town development. I will continue to work with the Sykesville Main Street Association to help stimulate economic growth in Sykesville.