Letters: Endorsements for candidates, opinions on Westminster election | READER COMMENTARY

Editor’s Note: The Times stops publishing letters regarding municipal elections one week ahead of election day. To be considered for publication, letters regarding the May 11 Hampstead, New Windsor, Union Bridge or Westminster elections must be received by May 2.

Endorsement of Dillon for Westminster mayor

It is an honor and a pleasure that I submit to you this letter of high recommendation for, and a testament to the character and integrity of, Dennis Dillon, a candidate for the mayor of Westminster.


I have had the pleasure of knowing Dillon for over 15 years. During this time, his quiet and unselfish leadership style, high determination, and goal-oriented personality sets him apart from others. He is a man of unimpeachable moral character and impeccable integrity. His quiet determination and ambition to help others continues to have a positive influence and impact on the lives of so many people.

Dillon has committed himself to serving his community through various organizations and non-profit endeavors. For example, for approximately 8 years, he was an integral part of the Ridge Seals Swim Team where he unselfishly volunteered to serve in several capacities to ensure the success of this youth swim team. Though his efforts were not widely known, it was through Dillon’s “behind the scenes” labor and efforts that this organization was successful. His endless resolve and labor contributed to a positive and lasting experience for over 100 swimmers and their families.


In addition, Dillon continues to support and volunteer his time, treasure, and talent for the benefit of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Golf Tournament. He has adopted this event which raises money for MS patients to help underwrite their physician copayments, prescriptions, durable medical equipment, and transportation costs. It is without question that Dillon’s numerous contributions to this event has significantly impacted the lives of those with this debilitating disease.

Dillon’s strong interest in community involvement and trying to make a positive impact on the lives of others will serve him well as the mayor of Westminster. His skills and abilities, as well as his commitment to improve and positively impact the lives of others, are traits befitting of someone who would hold such an important public office. His humility is also quite notable.

I highly recommend Dennis Dillon’s candidacy for the mayor of Westminster. This simple statement speaks volumes to the confidence and trust I have in him. His ambitious personality accompanied by his commitment to excellence in all his endeavors will serve him well as a successful public servant. The citizens of Westminster will be well served by his successful bid to become their next mayor.

Gary G. Weishaar, Sykesville


Endorsing Becker for Westminster mayor

As a resident of the greater Westminster area since 1989 and a Main Street small business owner of the JeannieBird Baking Company for the past 7 years it is with passion and enthusiasm that I encourage our community to support Dr. Mona Becker for mayor.

Since Jeannie and I opened our bakery doors in 2014, I have always remained quiet about my political views, but my relationship with Becker has inspired me to put my public support behind someone I believe to be the best candidate to continue to move our fair city forward.

The Mona Becker I know has demonstrated experience turning thought and vision into action. I have witnessed and experienced her energy and enthusiasm as a college professor, a high school teacher, a mentor, a connector, a solution-seeking leader and a friend. She is a passionate and visible supporter of the Downtown Westminster Farmers Market, the Carroll County Arts Council, and a thought leader and proponent of events and activities that place Westminster at the top of mind as a great place to raise a family or start a business.

Becker is smart. She was an enabler of Westminster’s fiber broadband project that launched our city into an elite group of nationwide communities who are looking for ways to create opportunities for smart growth for today and tomorrow. She understands our city’s water concerns, and the short- and long-term constraints this issue brings to bear.

Leadership is about building relationships and community, two commodities that the Mona Becker I know embodies, rather than partisan agenda. She will be fair and considerate to the diverse views and perspectives that surround many of the challenges our city faces.

In closing, this letter is as much a “thank you” letter of genuine gratitude for all that Mona has already done for our community as it is a letter of support. I am grateful that Becker once again is answering the call of selfless community service. She is one of the many reasons I feel that there is no other place on the planet I would ever want to live than Westminster!

Our choice to select our leadership is one of our most precious rights, and for the sake of our community’s future, I ask you to make your voice heard and your vote count. Please consider my friend Mona Becker for mayor.

Bernie Vogel, Westminster

Supporting Becker, Chiavacci, Hoff in Westminster

The upcoming nonpartisan Westminster city elections will take place on May 11. It will mark 202 years of elections for Westminster government. The first election for an organized municipal Westminster governing body took place on the first Monday in April 1819.

Current Mayor Joe Dominick and Councilmember Ben Yingling are not running for re-election. I extend my heartfelt thanks for their hard work and service to our community. Fortunately for Westminster, former Councilmember Mona Becker is running for mayor; and Dan Hoff and Tony Chiavacci are running for council.

I am a retired farmer who was born and raised in Westminster. I currently serve as a Westminster councilmember. My family has lived in Westminster for many generations. In Westminster I previously served as mayor and have served my community in various capacities since 1978. It is with this insight that I can say without hesitation that I will look forward to working with Becker, Chiavacci, and Hoff.

They are professional, knowledgeable, and critical thinkers with a solid working knowledge of the history and traditions of Westminster — with an eye to the future. And almost as important, they have put in the work, serving in many leadership positions in the community for many years. They have a working knowledge of how Westminster government works. They have proven pragmatic approaches to solving problems, and maintain a depth of knowledge about water resources, economic development, and law enforcement.

Four of the current Westminster elected officials are self-employed successful local small business owners. Both Hoff and Chiavacci own their own business and Becker is a former professor at McDaniel College who currently teaches in Carroll County Public Schools.

We love Westminster and serving our community. We maintain a firm hand on the budget and are strong advocates for the taxpayer, the business community, and public safety. We have the common sense, financial knowledge, courage, vision, and organizational skills needed to make tough decisions. We sure as heck do not always agree — but we are always able to put aside our personal beliefs for the greater good, articulate our views with clarity and respect, and work well together.


Tony Chiavacci, Dan Hoff, and Mona Becker will provide much needed stability and continuity in Westminster government. They are balanced, energetic, straightforward, and honest. I encourage the voters of Westminster to vote for Becker, Chiavacci, and Hoff on May 11.


Kevin Dayhoff, Westminster

The author is a former mayor and current councilmember for Westminster.

Nonpartisan elections result in low voter turnout

Over the past week or so, we have seen multiple letters to the editor in the Carroll County Times complaining the Carroll County Republican Central Committee should not be getting involved in the Westminster mayoral election. They say no one on the CCRCC lives in Westminster so we shouldn’t tell anyone who to vote for and should just stay out of it. The writers have openly criticized both Committee Member Chris Tomlinson and Del. Haven Shoemaker for voicing their opinion and support of Dennis Dillon for mayor. Both of which have been elected to represent the citizens of Carroll County, which includes the city of Westminster.

Too many times in the past, these so-called “nonpartisan” elections are run quietly and result in minimal campaigns and low voter turnout. Most of the registered voters who live within the Westminster City limits may not even know an election is taking place. It is concerning that Republicans Tony Chiavacci, Dan Hoff and Dennis Frazier are openly supporting Democrat Mona Becker but also chastising their own party’s central committee for informing the residents of the city of Westminster that they have a choice in the election and that choice is Dennis Dillon. I would think they would want the residents of Westminster electing the next mayor based on knowing who the candidates are and what they stand for. What are they afraid of? Let the citizens decide who the next mayor will by educating them on each candidate’s core beliefs and values.

As a businessman, husband, father, and conservative, Dillon believes in supporting the men and women of law enforcement, supporting small businesses, making sure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and wisely, keeping government transparent, and making sure that the City operates within its means while also providing essential services. The CCRCC is proud to support Dennis Dillon and encourages all Westminster voters to vote for him on May 11.

David Brauning Jr., Finksburg

The author is the chairman of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.

Party involvement in nonpartisan election unwelcome

In 30 plus years I have lived in Westminster, I have voted in every municipal election. Not once have I known or cared about a candidate’s party affiliation, if they had one. I vote based on candidates’ knowledge of the city and specific ideas they had to address important civic issues.

In 2021, enter the Maryland GOP, throwing money and resources behind Dennis D. Dillon, a 4-year-resident of the city. In announcing his candidacy, Mr. Dillon declared he was never interested in politics, but “Every man is sociable until a cow invades his garden.”

For residents of the Westminster garden, that invading “cow” is the state GOP, spending money and importing canvassers —people who don’t know Westminster, probably don’t know the candidate, don’t care about Westminster, and still won’t after May 11 — all to get Dillon elected. Their mission is to carve a notch on the state political party’s election bedpost, not benefit Westminster.

Why does he need a 1,000-pound party gorilla to win a previously nonpartisan contest? Dillon says he is within his rights to engage the state GOP machine, and he is. But because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Our municipal elections worked just fine before this corporate executive and his GOP allies arrived.

Since Westminster’s first mayor, Francis Shriver, and the 42 men who came after, our elections have been nonpartisan. In today’s hyperpolarized political environment how and who does party meddling in a small city’s elections benefit? Not our city and its residents.

Patricia A. Rouzer, Westminster

Westminster mayor weighs in on election

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the City of Westminster, our residents, our businesses, and those who visit. My four-year term has flown by, but I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot. Crime is at a 30-year low. A key property at the center of the City is ripe for a redevelopment effort that will fuel existing and new downtown businesses. Our Pure Water reclamation initiative is on the way to becoming a reality, which will fuel our local economy like nothing that has come before it. The cost of the fiber project was cut from $21 million to $15.5 million without lessening the service or availability. We renovated one of the City’s largest buildings to house the City staff in a fiscally sound move that will save the City millions of dollars over the building’s lifetime. We did this and much more, all without raising taxes a single penny.

But there’s still so much that needs to be done. Crime is never low enough. The local economy is never strong enough. New needs will have to be addressed. Smart, forward-thinking leaders will be needed to represent our residents and businesses in doing that work. Look at track records, not repetitive talking points when choosing your next public servants. Stating water rates are high and that they need to be lowered without doing any of the necessary research is a dangerous idea. Flint Michigan tried it that way.

As the sitting Mayor, it was my intention to stay neutral in the coming election. But I took an oath, and I will do everything in my power to keep our city safe. I urge all Westminster City residents to take the time on May 11th to vote for Dr. Mona Becker for Mayor, and both Tony Chiavacci and Dan Hoff for Common Council.

Joe Dominick, Westminster

The author is the mayor of Westminster. He is not seeking reelection.

Supporting Hoff for Westminster council

I have known Dan Hoff for about five years. I have worked with him as a contractor, maintaining the properties he manages. While reviewing a project a couple months ago, he mentioned that he was going to run for the Westminster Common Council. My first thought was “If Dan serves Westminster the same way he serves his tenants, he will be a blessing to the city, and all those who cast their vote for him.”

My relationship with Hoff stretches much further than just a contract or an invoice. I have come to know him as a man who is good in a crisis, attentive to detail, truly compassionate, and someone who wants to do the right thing in every situation.


Hoff is extraordinary when dealing with a crisis. On any given week, we deal with situations ranging from septic back-ups and water damage to choosing the perfect paint color for a tenant. If a crisis calls for the “cavalry,” Hoff never hesitates to call in knowledgeable people to resolve things in a timely manner and make things right for the tenant. He goes above and beyond in every situation and he will do the same when serving Westminster.

He is compassionate. During the pandemic, Hoff not only worked with tenants that were struggling, but also made sure that me and my family were taken care of, too. I primarily contract with Hoff and he assured me that whatever would come to pass that he would make sure that I had what I needed. I know the same concern Hoff shows for his tenants and for me and my family will extend to every decision he makes for the citizens of Westminster.

Attention to detail is also an important quality in a councilmember. Beyond choosing the right crown molding for a room, or the perfect shade of gray for a tenant, I know Hoff’s detailed nature extends to all circumstances of his professional and personal life. I’m confident he will be organized, to the point, and professional while serving the people of Westminster.

And in a world overwhelmed with negativity and self-centeredness, he cares about others. Isn’t that what we are called to do? To care about others’ feelings and well-being? Leaders need compassion, need to hear those with concerns, and meet people where they are. Dan Hoff is a leader who will care.

Jesse Willet, Westminster

Supporting Chiavacci for Westminster council

The City of Westminster continues to be a better place because of the continuing work done by Councilmember Anthony Chiavacci. Tony is a downtown business owner, where he provides work for a number of residents, but his work doesn’t end there. His participation on the Westminster Common Council and his leadership on numerous local committees, boards and involvement in nonprofit charities, showcase his focus and passion for improving the lives of the people of Westminster.

I reflect upon an action that Councilmember Chiavacci undertook several years ago when Knorr Brake was considering leaving Carroll County. His tenacious pursuit of keeping that growing company here in the community and, further, moving it inside the city limits, has paid huge dividends over time. More recently, he played a lead role in the negotiation and acquisition of the former Wakefield Valley Golf Course property, at no expense to the citizens of Westminster. His work and forward thinking vision will ensure that the best piece of greenspace in the city will be an asset to the community to be enjoyed by its residents now, and for generations to come.

Knorr-Bremse, and the Wakefield property are just two of many examples of Chiavacci’s work. His leadership position with the city police force has provided safety and security on city streets. is work in establishing athletic programs at Carroll Community College has expanded the higher educational opportunity and experience for the citizens of Carroll County. His involvement in the city government moving to a newly renovated building at 45 W. Main Street has been invaluable.

I feel certain that the citizens of the city of Westminster will recognize the accomplishments and value of Councilmember Chiavacci by going to the polls and giving him their vote, thereby assuring his re-election.

Marcus L. Primm, Westminster

Endorsing Becker, Hoff, Chiavacci in Westminster

Many other writers have pointed out the positive attributes of the candidate for mayor of Westminster, Dr. Mona Becker, and council candidates, Dan Hoff and Tony Chiavacci. Their diverse experiences as community leaders make them uniquely qualified to manage and lead the city of Westminster.

Becker and Chiavacci have served on the council and received nothing but positive marks. Hoff has deep ties to both the business and overall community of Westminster; his record of civic involvement speaks for itself. Serving the citizens of Westminster has nothing to do with partisan politics. I’m not sure why outside busybodies such as Del. Haven Shoemaker feel compelled to tell us what to do. Those of us who live in Westminster know what these candidates bring to the table.

Henry Reiff, Westminster

Supporting Becker for Westminster mayor

We’ve known Mona Becker for almost fifteen years.

How do we know her? As a resident of Westminster, a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, a teacher, and a public servant.

Where do we see her? At farmers markets, parades, city festivals, community events, public forums, and council meetings.

What do we know about her? She is smart, dedicated, passionate about this city, and a true leader.

Why are we going to vote for her as our next mayor? For all the reasons listed above and because she is clearly the best person for the job.

She has our vote. We hope she your vote as well.

Jim and Maggie Kunz, Westminster

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