Manchester council selects ex-member to fill vacancy

Joe Jordan joked that the town of Manchester has saved $4 by choosing him to fill a vacancy on the Town Council: He still has his nameplate from his previous term.

The Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have Jordan, 36, fill the term of Councilwoman Mary E. Minderlein, who was re-elected in May but stepped down in November because she moved out of town. There were five applicants to finish her four-year term, although one withdrew.


After taking the oath of office, Jordan was seated with the mayor and council, and clipped on his microphone. Jordan served on the council from 1997 to 2001, when he chose not to run again.

Jordan was a logical choice because he had worked with most of the elected officials and town staff, as he pointed out at a candidates' forum last month. He is familiar with issues in the town of 3,300 residents: schools, traffic, the search for water, Main Street improvements and growth.


"I'm going to carry on the community projects," Jordan said after the meeting. He applied to fill the vacancy to keep Minderlein's work going, especially her efforts with the Manchester Area Merchants Association.

"That was my platform," he said of when he was elected in 1997. "Then Mary came in two years behind me, and she kind of took that over, and she did a great job. I just want to maintain what is there and continue the organization's growth. Several years ago, there was no communication between the businesses and the town."

Jordan said he was satisfied with the mayor and council, so he saw no reason to challenge the incumbents in last year's election. He said he felt the need to offer to fill the vacancy, not knowing there would be so many applicants.

But he said he won't judge the holiday lights contest in town, as Minderlein did.

Jordan works with his father at Emergency Training Associates Inc., a 25-year-old business that provides apparel and training materials for fire departments. The business moved to Taneytown from Union Bridge two years ago.

Jordan lives in the Whispering Valley development and has a daughter and a son at North Carroll Middle School.

His mentor in Manchester was Charlotte Collett, a retired teacher, former town councilwoman and tireless volunteer who died in 2001.

At the candidates' forum, he said Minderlein carried on this tradition. "Miss Charlotte's world -- the little touchy-feely things, the quality of life things -- need tending to."