Political newcomers spurned in Havre de Grace contests


Havre de Grace voters chose incumbents over political newcomers in an election where no major issues divided candidates and the mayor ran uncontested.

John P. Correri Jr., who received 666 votes, Rene A. Lambert, with 612, and James C. Vancherie Jr., with 512, won re-election to the council, composed of the mayor and six council members. Their two-year terms are staggered.

The incumbents defeated challengers Henry J. Schreiber, with 477 votes, and Charles A. Maslin, with 465. Mayor Gunther D. Hirsch, who ran uncontested, received 702 votes to secure a third term.

"I think the outcome of the election summarizes the fact that the people of Havre de Grace are satisfied with their government," Mr. Hirsch said. "When voters are not confronted with issues, they tend to vote on the basis of whom they like, not what they like. The incumbents are well-known and have not made any major mistakes since they were elected."

Mr. Hirsch said he believes voters are satisfied because they can see where their tax dollars go.

"Public Works maintains our streets, takes care of our parks, and keeps our streets well-lit. Most people also are satisfied with the way our police department works," he said. "To a small town, that's important. It gives the citizens a sense of tranquillity."

Mr. Correri, the top vote-getter, also attributed voter satisfaction to the good working relationship among city council members. "We're a dedicated group that's willing to compromise for a common goal -- whatever is best for the city," he said.

Foremost on the agenda for the new administration is the city's budget, due June 1.

Town lawmakers also hope to expand the wastewater plant, update the city's comprehensive plan, annex land to increase the tax base and foster economic growth.

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