Ryan hopes to continue as Perryville town commissioner
— Should Ray Ryan win his third term as a town commissioner in the May 10 election, he will be busy.
“There’s a series of things that make me keep going,” Ryan, 54, said of his desire for re-election.
Ryan is one of three names in the race for commissioner, which also includes involved citizen Anthony “Tony” Gerst and Robert Ashby, a current member of the town planning commission. Also in the upcoming election, Mayor Jim Eberhardt is
running unopposed for a seventh term.
Ryan grew up in town, graduating from Perryville High School in 1980. First on Ryan’s to-do list as commissioner is continuing to build a reserve in the water and sewer fund.
“We’ve been raising the rates 4 percent each year for the past few years,” Ryan said, adding the rates have been stabilized.
Ryan also wants to see the town hall complex to completion. Bids for construction of the first phase — the new Perryville Police Department — will be opened soon.
“And I still haven’t accom- plished as much as I’d like with getting new businesses and residents in town,” Ryan said.
To do that, he said the town needs to do a better job of promoting itself.
“We have to start looking outside the box. What are we missing in what we offer?” he said. “And we have to find businesses that will attract people in spite of the tolls.”
To get to Perryville from points south using either Route 40 or Interstate 95, drivers have to pay an $8 toll.
While the town needs promotion help, what Perryville does best is manage its money, Ryan said. That includes the check the town gets each month from Hollywood Casino.
“And we do have great parks and recreation facilities for the kids,” he said, adding that Lower Ferry Park will be the next location to get a playground.
“It will be a mix of equipment,” Ryan said, noting there will be something for toddlers up to older kids.
A lifetime member and current fire chief of the Community Fire Company of Perryville, and a professional trainer and exercise planner for Harford County Emergency Services, Ryan is among those concerned about the changes proposed for Harford Memorial Hospital. He is especially concerned with how the emergency department will operate at its new Bulle Rock location, set to open in about five years.
“This is going to be a lot more difficult for our ambulance crews,” he said of wait and travel times, in spite of assurances to the contrary from Upper Chesapeake and Union Hospital officials.
As he finishes his second term, Ryan said he has no regrets from those first four years.
“I work to do the best I can for the town,” he said. “I have the experience and caring for this town I grew up in.”