Sykesville Town Council candidate profile: Jane Mergler

Jane Mergler is running for one of three open Sykesville Town Council seats against incumbent Anna Carter, Mark Dyer and Jeremiah Schofield.
Jane Mergler is running for one of three open Sykesville Town Council seats against incumbent Anna Carter, Mark Dyer and Jeremiah Schofield. (Jane Mergler/Courtesy photo)

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.

Jane Mergler is running for one of three open Sykesville Town Council seats against incumbent Anna Carter, Mark Dyer and Jeremiah Schofield. Here are Mergler’s responses.


Biographical information

I spent most of my career working within the US Army Corps of Engineers from which I retired in 2010 as a civilian. In the latter years of my career, my work centered on managing construction projects on US Army installations. Among other duties, I also helped communities – just like Sykesville -- assess and cleanup “brownfields” sites. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized sites that are suspected of being contaminated and a threat to human health.

I have an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. My graduate level coursework is in public policy (George Washington University) and environmental planning (University of Virginia).


I’ve lived in Sykesville since 2013. My family’s roots run deep into Carroll County. Both my great-grandparents, Margaret Carroll & James Clark, were born in Maryland and, upon marrying, started their family in Carroll County.

I’m an avid “do-it-yourselfer” who spends time modernizing my home (circa 1938) and volunteering at Midnight’s Equine Rescue and Sanctuary in Mt. Airy.

Why do you want to serve in this role?

As members of society, we have a responsibility to participate in ways that support the greater good. That is how societies thrive. I believe that there is nothing more worthy than representing the public’s interest.

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

Small towns like Sykesville are not geographic, economic or social “islands.” We need to understand the larger contexts that Sykesville exists within, so we may be more successful in drawing on the knowledge, the talents, and the connections found within these contexts. I think that with greater awareness of issues being deliberated at the country and state levels of government we’ll be better positioned to influence outcomes that are favorable to our residents and business owners.


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

Understanding more about the Town of Sykesville’s infrastructure (e.g., roads, storm water management) vulnerabilities, and the Town’s emergency preparedness plans and procedures.

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

Sykesville is very lucky in that all of the candidates competing for a position on the Town Council have excellent skills and abilities. I offer a broad and diverse perspective. As a woman, I think making our streets safe and walkable for our children is important. As an environmentalist, I value protecting the natural environment. As someone who has worked on complex engineering and construction projects, I understand many of the nuances of getting capital projects accomplished.

What one thing would you most like to see changed?

I believe deeply that Sykesville would benefit from being known as a community where green spaces, environmental and public health, and entrepreneurial spirits are top priorities.

What are your campaign priorities?

- Helping local businesses become more resilient so they may thrive even during periods of economic downturns;

Hampstead’s municipal election will be held at town hall on May 14, and the office of mayor, as well as two council seats, will be contested this year, with incumbents and challengers in the race.

- Ensuring that our residents have access to safe and enjoyable walking routes to neighborhood schools & to Main Street businesses;

- Prioritizing emergency preparedness.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 shows a 31 percent revenue increase. How do you think that extra money should be used?

  • Increase the Town of Sykesville “rainy day” fund;
  • Make improvements to the Sykesville’s infrastructure to both make our town more walkable and to reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather events like flooding;
  • Support a Sykesville incubator that includes business owners, residents and out of the box thinkers to lead the way toward resilient economic development and toward greater environmental preservation.

What is your position on development in Sykesville, including the Warfield complex?

My bottom line is that Sykesville needs smart development that brings long-term value to the community.

With respect to the Warfield project, while key people have worked diligently on it, few of us know the nuts and bolts of the agreement.We need more daylight on the details.For example, we need to know what was sold in terms of acreage; we need to know what the sale price was and also the terms of how the sale amount will be paid; we need to know if there were any tax breaks offered to the winning bidder; we need to know how many units will be built and what the projected population increases with respect to impacts on our schools, on traffic, on air quality, etc.

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