Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission member Deborah Painter took a seat at the council table at the most recent town meeting, when she was named a Hampstead councilwoman.
Two members were also named to new terms on the Planning & Zoning Commission, Sharon Callahan and Diane Barrett.
Mayor Christopher Nevin recommended the candidates and the council voted on each. The council voted “yes” unanimously for all at the March 10 meeting. (Hampstead’s April meeting is still up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions).
The need to fill roles arose when Councilman James Roark moved to a full-time job as assistant zoning administrator for the town, giving up his council seat to do so.
Painter finishes out the remainder of Roark’s term which runs until the election in 2023. She will take over his role as the council’s liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Barrett fill’s painter’s role on the Planning & Zoning Commision and will complete her term. She is an accountant by trade.
Callahan has served on the Planning & Zoning Commission more than once in the past, and bring her expertise as a realtor. She recently retired as the manager of the town’s farmer’s market, the largest market in Carroll.
The event that sparked her to get involved in her local government was the closure of North Carroll High School and the political storm that accompanied it.
She was a parent of a North Carroll student and met other like-minded and passionate folks. Through that, she got involved with canvassing for Roark and Nevin during the elections, she said, and joined the Planning & Zoning Commission.
“If you want to make your town the best town, you have to get involved,” she said.
It doesn’t do any good to complain about things happening in the community without getting involved. She noted that at the March meeting, the audience was not filled with citizens.
She looks forward to planning events downtown as the town’s Main Street Revitalization project finishes up. Her first official votes as a councilwoman included contracts for mowing services and a budget revision involving the Public Works Department.