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Three more file for Havre de Grace council, as election field is set

The fields are set in the 2015 races for mayor and three city council seats in Havre de Grace.

The deadline to sign up to run was Tuesday at 5 p.m., and the third incumbent city councilman whose seat is up this year and two newcomers to city politics filed before the deadline, making it seven candidates for three council seats.

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Monica Worrell, a former Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesperson who unsuccessfully ran for Harford County Council last year, filed for a council seat, as did Harry Jackson, another newcomer to city politics. Councilman Randy Craig became the third incumbent to file.

Craig, Jackson and Worrell join incumbent Councilmen Fred Cullum and John Correri and two other first-time candidates, Johnny Boker and David Martin, no relation to Bill Martin, in the race for three council seats.

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The mayor's race will be a two-man contest between Council President Bill Martin and Charles Hiner, a businessman who is making his first try for city office.

The two are running to succeed Mayor Wayne Dougherty, who has led the city since 2007 and decided not to seek a fifth term.

Martin, an Aberdeen Middle School U.S. history teacher, has served on the city council since 2008, winning re-election in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He will not have to give up his council seat, unless he's elected mayor, at which time he would resign from the council seat and, as mayor, appoint a successor, with the approval of the next council.

The city election is Tuesday, May 5, with voting taking place at St. Patrick Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Worrell said she will bring fiscal responsibility and a focus on water and sewer, as well as land use issues, to the council.

"Residents and business owners approached me and said, 'We would like to see you run,'" Worrell, 50, explained about her decision to seek the council seat.

"There were a lot of Havre de Gracians who wanted to see me in office," she said. "My reasons for stepping up haven't changed. I am about doing the civic good."

Worrell, who works at Advanced Eye Care, has lived in the city since 1994 and said her children went to Havre de Grace schools. She worked for the city in the 1990s and has served on the county tourism advisory board and economic development advisory board, as well as the chamber of commerce.

"Havre de Grace, being both my home and my business center, has always been very important to me, and it still is," Worrell said.

With rising costs and decreased revenues, the city "has a tough road ahead," she said.

"I am looking forward to the chance to serve but I am disappointed I won't have a chance to serve with Wayne Dougherty," Worrell said of the outgoing mayor. "I am glad Havre de Grace has many good choices," she added.

Jackson, 55, said he hopes to use his retirement years to serve the city he calls home. He moved to Havre de Grace in 2001 and has spent 21 years as a Baltimore City firefighter.

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"I am getting ready to retire from the Baltimore City Fire Department and I am looking for a way to fill out my spare time, and I thought that would be a good way to give something back to the community," Jackson said.

Jackson graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1978 and said he has been volunteering with the Susquehanna Hose Co. since moving to Havre de Grace.

"I really love this town. I would like to see things continue in the same direction they have been heading for the past several years, and I would like to see it stay that way," he said.

Jackson said he had considered running last year, but finally signed up at the 11th hour this week.

"Unfortunately, this was kind of a last-minute decision," he said. "I don't know how I would be able to say that I am a better candidate than the ones that are there."

He added, however: "I have a lot of people who already said they would vote for me."

Craig, 41, said he wants to build on his years on the council, continuing to promote public safety and pushing for the city to get its share of state highway user revenues, which he said have left Havre de Grace with major road problems as the funding from Annapolis continued to be cut.

Craig, who works for Maryland Environmental Service, an independent state government agency, said he brings "thoughtful attention to a wide variety of responsibilities."

"Public safety is always a big priority for me," he said, adding he has been able to stay in touch with current situations and obstacles.

He said also wants to keep working on new solutions for the troubled water and sewer fund, noting water use goes down each time the city raises rates.

Craig said he also plans to keep promoting the city's new Water Street park as "a tremendous opportunity." His father, former County Executive David Craig, secured county funding to buy the future park site before leaving office in December, but the city has also committed funding to the project.

Craig hinted he "certainly" had an interest in running for mayor, but he also has family responsibilities, which make running for a council role the most he wants to take on.

"I don't know that I have the time," he said about the idea of running for the mayor's slot.

This year's election winners for mayor and council will serve two-year terms starting May 16.

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