- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Bruce Wahl will serve his second term as mayor of Chesapeake Beach, as no one filed to run against him in the upcoming election by the Sept. 11 deadline.
“I’m very pleased that obviously the citizens of the town like what I’m doing and appreciate my leadership,” said Wahl, who has served as an elected official for the town for 24 years. “The fact that nobody challenged me speaks that the people are satisfied with what I’m doing. That’s very gratifying. It’s a lot of work, and I’m up for it and ready to go on for another four years.”
Wahl said he has six main platforms he plans to put into action in the next four years to “keep the town going in the right direction.” The first platform, he said, is to recognize that the town is a “great and unique place” and to reinforce the “special small-town atmosphere” the residents value. He said an example of this is his continuous encouragement of citizen participation in community events and activities.
The second platform, Wahl said, is to provide the municipal services expected by town residents in an efficient, responsive and cost-effective manner, and to do so in an open and transparent way. Wahl said he has been adamant that the town provide municipal services appropriately and efficiently during the previous six terms he’s served as an elected official.
“Living in this environmentally sensitive area that we do … the potential for ecological disaster looms large, especially when you have the population density that we do,” Wahl said. “But we’re up to that challenge.”
Wahl said the town has made “huge improvements” regarding the town’s municipal services, especially with the wastewater treatment plant, in the last few years. He said he implemented a preventative maintenance program within the Department of Public Works and since he’s done that, the town has not had to replace a pump and there has not been “a single spill or failure.” He said the town has saved more than $100,000 in operational efficiency costs after the town took over operations of the wastewater treatment plant.
Wahl said his other platforms include plans to control the cost of government to keep town property tax rates “as low as possible;” encourage citizen participation in programs, activities and events that “foster pride” in the town; maintain and improve the town’s infrastructure; and seek to recruit and retain dedicated town employees who understand the important roles of government.
“We’re doing things a lot more efficiently than we were four years ago and we want to continue to go in the right direction, and with the help of a good town council, we should be able to do that,” he said.
One goal Wahl said he was proud of accomplishing during his first term as mayor was getting the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail built. He said he’s been working on getting the trail “up and running” since 1989. The trail has been well received by everyone in the town, he said, including students who take field trips to the trail.
“Getting that built and having it done in such a wonderful fashion has just been very gratifying,” Wahl said.
After the new council takes its seats in December, Wahl said he plans to work with the new members to create a vision plan for the town.
“We’re going to work together to create a vision plan for the town that will charter a path into the future,” he said, adding that it will involve three different constituencies, including the citizenry, the town council and the town staff.
Wahl said he is looking forward to the council elections and hopes that all of the candidates that share a similar vision for the future of the town will be elected.
Twelve people filed for candidacy to serve as one of the six town council members, including incumbents Julie L. Spano, Valerie L. Beaudin, Stewart Cumbo, Robert E. Carpenter and Patrick Mahoney. Jeff Krahling, David Hendry, Jeffrey LaBar, Eric Reinhardt, Gail C. Harris, Frank W. Purdy and Wes Donovan also filed for candidacy for town council.
The first six people to receive the highest number of votes will be elected as council members.
There will not be a primary election. Town elections will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Northeast Community Center, 4075 G. Stinnett Blvd. To vote, a person must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, a town resident and registered to vote in the town.