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Ed Houck's 1961 announcement of his bid for Burgess of Emmitsburg

Originally published in the Emmitsburg Chronicle April 21, 1961

An Open Letter To The 'People of Emmitsburg'

Emmitsburg this week I was asked; "What did I think my qualifications were to ran for Burgess of Emmitsburg?" I answered this person and now I would like to tell you.

Our town charter calls for the candidate for Burgess to be a legal resident of Emmitsburg for at least 2 years immediately preceding the election and must be a qualified voter in the town: These are the written and must qualifications and to these I wish to add what I feel are my personal qualifications.

I was born in Emmitsburg a little over 30 years ago and with the exception of my two years in the service have lived here all of my life. I plan to keep on living here and seeing the community grow. When I was nineteen years old and just completed my fresh-man year of college my parents died and from that day forward I was in a business world where I had to learn to move with the changing times. In the past year I have purchased my sisters' share of the business and of the property and how know what it means to carry the full burden of the property owner. I purchased this business as a share in the future. I want my business to thrive but it can only do this if the community where we live also thrives.

Doris, my wife, and I will soon celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary and we have four fine children that we want to raise in Emmitsburg. I want them to have all the advantages that are due them. while they grow up. I feel that, planning now to insure these different things will keep many of our younger set from leaving our town.

My answer to the question of "Am I interested in the community or just my own personal gains?" is this. From the time I became old enough to belong, I have worked in community organizations. In the Vigilant Hose Co., I have been art active member for better than a dozen years and I am proud that I have served as an officer in the company for most of those years. I became active in our local Scouting program in the spring of 1954 and have served as Asst. Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster of Troop 284 and now serve as Advisor for Explorer Post 265. I was a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce in Emmitsburg and was active in that for many years.

I am a charter member of the 'Junior Chamber of Commerce and served for the past year as chair-man of the Community Development Committee. I have attended community development meetings on the state level in the Jaycee program. I received the Emmitsburg Jaycees' first Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to my community. Our committee of the Jaycees ran the recent survey as part of our program to find out what Emmitsburg needs and wants. Other organizations which I have taken an active part in during the past years were the Alumni Asso. of St. Joseph's High School, the American Legion and the Junior Citizens Committee of Emmitsburg. I spent almost two years on the road as a traveling sales-man and used much of the time in finding out the problems of the other towns. I have talked with the leading businessmen of many towns on their problems and have learned much from the conversations.

I have worked on problems in our town and have offered my services on many special occasions. I know that the problems of the town need to be discussed and the best result for the citizens is expected. This planning for our future will need young men who are also planning their future and the energy which is needed for the end result can only come from those willing to meet these problems and work, for their solution.

If elected I will work together with the other elected officials for the good of the community. I will not be in favor of putting aside issues which may mean more work for us or will I be a "Yes Man" to every suggestion which is made without serious discussion and finding out of the details. It is true that I am for the youth of the community 1,00% too. I am for a well informed public in' civic matters and for everyone to be treated fairly and for the citizen to have, a right to voice- his opinion at an open meeting. I am for HARMONY in our local government and with the people of our town. know that if we work together we can make Emmitsburg a place to be proud to live in and raise our families. If you have thought enough to register for the local election then I can only ask that you think of the future of Emmitsburg before you vote.

J. E. Houck

Ed Houck is the author of the following Historical articles in our archives ...

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