Union Bridge, one of Carroll's smallest towns, is facing some very big problems. Main Street is pockmarked by vacant storefronts and the small but charming business district is withering. Aging streets, sewers and water systems need replacement and repair, but the meager tax base cannot generate the necessary revenue to do the job.
Compounding the dilemma is a recent state court ruling that the town and the county were improperly collecting real estate taxes from Lehigh Portland Cement Co., Union Bridge's largest property owner. Not only will the town of 900 residents lose tax revenue from Lehigh's factory silos, which were assessed at $4 million, but the town may have to reimburse Lehigh for tens of thousands of dollars in taxes already collected.
Whoever wins the three town council seats up for election next Tuesday thus faces some formidable challenges. Running are incumbents Selby Black and Bonnie M. Hyde, along with Antonia H. Eder and Vickie Lynn Greenwood.
Mr. Black and Ms. Hyde have been responsive, dedicated public servants for Union Bridge and deserve to be returned to office.
Mr. Black, who supervises the town's water and sewer system and has taken on the job of overseeing construction of the new town hall, has been on the council since the 1970s.
Ms. Hyde, meanwhile, has been a tireless worker who has been active on the Union Bridge recreational council and the planning commission.
Ms. Eder, who edits the town newsletter, has organized Union Bridge's recycling effort and has served on a number of town committees. She has offered some constructive suggestions, such as proposing that Union Bridge apply for state or federal planning grants to help revitalize its commercial core.
Ms. Greenwood has devoted much time to local affairs as well. She heads the fund-raising committee for the town hall. With more experience, she will make a fine candidate for local office.
The choice between Ms. Eder and Ms. Greenwood is difficult. Both would make solid council members, but we prefer Ms. Eder, whose assertiveness would serve her well on the council.
The Sun endorses Selby Black, Bonnie Hyde and Antonia Eder for the Union Bridge council.