My son, Benjamin Yingling, is currently a candidate for Westminster City Council. Ben was born and raised in Westminster. He attended school here until ninth grade. At that time, his father and I sent him to a Jesuit school in Towson. One of the many reasons we chose Loyola Blakefield is their Ignatian philosophy. St. Ignatius encouraged his followers to be "Men for others." He completed his education at McDaniel College, married and bought a house in Westminster. His life and work is in Westminster and he took the Ignatian philosophy to heart.

He is a man for others.

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Ben has been active in the McDaniel Young Alumni Association, the Loyola Alumni Association, the Westminster Rotary Club, the Westminster Boys and Girls Club and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. He has committed hundreds of volunteer hours getting to know the citizens and businesses of Westminster. Now he wants to help our community grow and prosper.

In a recent letter to the editor, Robert Wack endorsed the current mayor and two other candidates running for City Council. His endorsement cited the experience and maturity of Councilman Chiavacci and Mayor Utz. In his endorsement of Ann Thomas Gilbert he stated she would be a "good fit" for the current City Council. I agree that the work of maintaining and improving our city never ends. I disagree that maturity, experience and "good fit" is what our city needs.

I believe a fresh perspective on the City Council is badly needed. Since 1994, Greg Pecoraro, Robert Wack and Kevin Utz have combined service of over 35 years in city government. Their experience and their service should be recognized. However, a new generation will bring new ideas and a new way of thinking. The Council doesn't need a "good fit." The issues of homelessness, affordable housing, crime and infrastructure aren't going away. To move forward, we need someone to take a fresh look at our city and present it with new ideas.

Ben Yingling has been attending City Council meetings regularly since he bought a home in Westminster. He knows what's happening on the streets. He has the fresh eyes, new ideas, energy and experience working with and for others. He is committed to Westminster. I urge you to vote for Ben Yingling.

Sharon Hafner Yingling

Westminster

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