Candidates file to run in Bel Air election

Candidates file to run in Bel Air election
Members of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners are, from left, Brendan Hopkins, Patrick Richards, Mayor Susan Burdette, Robert Preston and Philip Einhorn. Richards and Preston are up for re-election in November, but Preston says he is stepping down after 15 years.

The first two candidates have filed for the two seats on the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners slated to be filled in the Nov. 7 town election.

Incumbent commissioner Patrick Richards is seeking a second term, while the other candidate to file, Michael Kutcher, is a first-time candidate for town office.


Commissioner Robert Preston, the other incumbent whose seat is up this year, said earlier this summer he is not planning to run again.

In his 15th year, Preston is the longest serving member on the town board. He has served as board chairman, or mayor, and is the board vice chairman. He also served on the planning commission before joining the town board.

Preston has been instrumental in Main Street revitalization efforts, the town's financial backing for the auditorium at Bel Air High School and the Armory Marketplace, among many of the projects he has supported.

He and Richards were elected without opposition in 2013.

Prospective candidates must have resided in the town for at least six months immediately preceding the election and shall be a registered Maryland voter.

Candidates must file in person at Town Hall, 39 N. Hickory Ave., and complete a written certificate of candidacy and code of ethics financial disclosure statement with the town clerk by 7 p.m. on Oct. 6. The filing fee is $25.

The commissioners serve staggered four-year terms, with elections every odd year. Members of the board are paid $4,800 annually; the chairman — who has the honorary title of mayor — receives $6,000. The board members whose terms aren't up until 2019 are Brendan Hopkins, Philip Einhorn and Mayor Susan Burdette.

About 7,300 residents were eligible to vote in the last election in 2015, when Burdette was re-elected to a second term and Einhorn and Hopkins were elected to their first terms.

Voting will be at town hall on Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At the most recent town meeting on Sept. 5, the Town Board approved the reappointment of three election judges: Priscilla Jindra, Thomas Mitchell and Wendy Ribbans and alternate judge Bual Holbrook for terms of four years.

Harford County’s “Choose Civility” campaign kicked off with a breakfast event at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp on Wednesday.