Taneytown mayor candidate profile: James L. McCarron

Taneytown Mayor James L. McCarron Jr., photographed in front of Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel in May 2016, is running for re-election in 2019.
Taneytown Mayor James L. McCarron Jr., photographed in front of Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel in May 2016, is running for re-election in 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Ahead of this spring’s municipal elections, the Carroll County Times has asked candidates to provide information on themselves and their priorities. Their responses are listed here in full.

Taneytown Mayor James L. McCarron is running for re-election to a fourth term, against current Councilmen Bradley Wantz and Donald Frazier and former Councilman Paul Chamberlain. Here are McCarron’s responses.


Biographical information

I am a Branch Manager, and Reverse Mortgage Banker for Retirement Funding Solutions (RFS), a division of Mutual of Omaha Bank, I have been in the business for 16 years, Retired District Manager for Southern States Co-op.

Education: Graduate of the University of MD, College Park, College of Agriculture, Agri Business, Certificate Virginia Tech Ag. Lending School, Graduate of U of MD Academy of Excellence in Government


Community groups involved in: *Active member of St Joseph’s Church, Taneytown, *Director/catechist of the adult catechumenate (RCIA), *Lector, *Chair- Liturgy Committee, *Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, *Vice Chairman of the Commission on Aging & Disabilities, Carroll County Gov’t, *Chair, Aging in Place (AIP) sub – committee, *former member of the Carroll CO solid waste review board, *Member of the Knights of Columbus, *Member Mother Seton School Board of Trustees

Past political experience: *I have been Mayor of Taneytown for 12 years in May. *I have served on the City Council and served as Mayor Pro-tem. I was first elected to council in 1985 (34 yrs) * Past President of the Maryland Municipal League (MML), Past Legislative Committee Chair, current L/C member, *past Chair of MML Communication Committee, current Vice President of the Carroll Co Chapter of the MML * past Carroll Co Chapter president. Past Maryland Retailer’s Association (MRA) Legislative Committee Chairman, past Board & Executive committee member of the MRA. *Past member of the Governor’s committee for smart growth. *Member Governors Intergovernmental Committee of Agriculture (GICA) *

McCarron has lived in Taneytown for 36 years.

Why do you want to serve in this role?

The municipal elections in Taneytown will be contested this year, with four candidates running for mayor, according to information provided by the city clerk.

For half my life I have served the people of Taneytown as an elected official. During this time, my only interest has been the welfare and advancement of our town and her citizens. My experience, leadership, state wide contacts and knowledge make me the best candidate for the office of Mayor. I have led with integrity, and vision and will continue to do so. I love this town and her people.


How do you plan to represent your municipality’s interests in the county government?

I am currently active in county committees and have been active throughout my career as a public official. I have developed relationships over my many years of service that keeps Taneytown in the forefront of county activities. I meet regularly with other Mayors and county & state officials. I am committed and involved in all areas for the benefit of Taneytown.

Name something you would begin working to accomplish as soon as your first week on the job

Taneytown is at a crossroads because of the recent death of our long-time city manager and the resignation of our Chief of Police. The Mayor’s role is one of leadership and vison. The day to day operations of the City are left to key personnel. Currently we have an Acting City Manager and an Acting Police Chief. These two critical positions need to be filled as soon as possible. Council elected to wait until after the May election to make the final selections. The highest priority I will assume with my new term is to fill these positions. The City can ill afford the consequences of having an Acting City Manager, Acting Police Chief and a New Mayor, even for the short term.

What skills do you have to offer constituents that other candidates might not?

My qualifications are far beyond any of my challengers. My lifetime of service, years of visionary and managerial leadership in both the business world and the political world, prove my qualifications. I am an involved and active member of my community separate and apart for my role as Mayor. My (personal) business office is located next door to City Hall. My home is around the corner. My position with RFS allows me the flexibility needed to be available to the citizens and staff 24/7. Unlike my challengers, I do not work out of town. My campaign by-line is Integrity, Balance & Vision. I bring this to the office without question….. I could and availability.

What one thing would you most like to see changed?

James McCarron moved to Taneytown from the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1983 with his wife and three children. His fourth was born in Taneytown, where McCarron

During the past four years the Mayor & Council has struggled with costly, disruptive and frivolous lawsuits, promotion of dangerous economic policies and addressing imaginary “violations” by a certain councilmember, that have cost the citizens many tax dollars. Despite these disruptions the Mayor & City Council has been able to accomplish county leading economic growth, improved facilities and citizen services. I expect that this disruptive councilmember may soon be out of office. With a council committed to civility and ready to work jointly for the people we will be able to accomplish even more.

What are your campaign priorities?

  1. Hire a City Manager, and Police Chief
  2. Continue our economic development leadership by attracting new, quality business and industry to our city (restaurants (family, pub, fast food etc.), hardware store, boutique shops, service retailers (i.e.: dry cleaner etc.)
  3. Add additional parks and recreation (Work with the Lion’s Club to develop indoor youth sports facility, Open phase One of Bollinger (Eco) Park, expand athletic fields at Memorial Park (addition)

What is your position on the currently vacant Taneytown police chief position?

Well, certainly the police chief vacancy (as well as the city manager vacancy) needs to be addressed immediately. Whether or not the acting chief (or City Manager) will be selected for the position is up to Council, after a recommendation by the Mayor. When issues of senior management replacements have arisen in the past, we have solicited candidate applications for the positions and the applications were reviewed. The best candidates selected, the highest qualifiers were interviewed and based on those evaluations the Mayor will make a recommendation to Council and upon their approval, the most qualified candidate will be hired. I would expect this procedure will be followed for the current vacancies. This of course could change, depending on the (new) Council’s determinations. Ongoing and current investigations and evaluations will help us reach that decision.

What is your position on the Civil War memorial proposed for Taneytown?

There is no current discussion regarding the Civil War memorial. It is not a priority and is a device (in my opinion) invented by some to divide the town at election time, not a priority.

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