Barbara Wagner Will Not Seek Re-Election To Council
Wagner has served as a Havre de Grace City Council member since 2011.
Barbara Wagner will not seek re-election to Havre de Grace City Council.
Wagner, who is finishing up her first term on the council, told Patch in a phone call with less than two hours to go in the filing period that she would not be submitting paperwork to run in the May 7 election.
"I really sat down and looked at what my priorities were, what goals I was trying to accomplish, and where my time is spent. And I don't think that's the best spot for me," she said. "I'm sorry if I'm disappointing anyone. I'm sure whoever gets elected is going to do a wonderful job."
Wagner's seat, and those held by Randy Craig and John Correri, will be on the ballot, as will the Mayor's seat, currently held by Wayne Dougherty.
Craig and Correri will seek re-election, and will be challenged by former Councilman Fred Cullum and political newcomers Robert Greene and Tom Barnes. Greene filed Tuesday.
Dougherty will be challenged by former Councilman Jim Miller.
The deadline to file was 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Wagner grew frustrated with divisiveness on council and amongst the community during her tenure.
"It was interesting. As all things, there were good things and not as good things. Every experience you learn from," she said. "It was nice to have the opportunity to serve. I think most citizens were very appreciative. Most citizens were very respectful and that was nice. The few that aren't, you don't put much energy in their direction."
Wagner said communication amongst council members wasn't always with the greatest intent at heart.
"Some people are more comfortable discussing issues off of the dais, and there are other people that prefer to hold it back and criticize from the dais," she said. "I prefer to work with the ones who will talk and share whatever they're uncomfortable with ahead of time, so you have the opportunity to develop your own background information to support your own stance. I did not care for that. I felt like there was a lot of that. That held me back from pursuing other things I might have otherwise pursued."
Among those things she would have liked to pursue further while in office: green initiatives, which will get more of her attention once her term is up.
She was also frustrated by her colleagues' lack of support for the city's department of economic development. Wagner said she tried to support the department by pushing for the promotion of a part-time employee to full-time, while other council members voted against that issue in the budget process last summer. The employee eventually departed the city staff after the council declined to expand the position.
Wagner said she'll focus more of her time on the Havre de Grace Green Team, which is pursuing non-profit status, and her business, Bahoukas, after her term ends in May.
This story has been updated from the initial version, to include more comments from Councilwoman Wagner.