by Lisa Tome
Travis Marion is willing to swap his voting power for change.
Marion announced last week that he is running for Mayor of Rising Sun.
"When I (first) ran for office I saw a void in the Town with people not knowing what was going on in the community. There was not really transparency," said Marion.
For two years, Marion, who is the Parks and Recreation Commissioner, worked to provide that as well as activities for families, improvements in the parks, upgrades to the way the town does business, and a new not yet completed dog park.
The 26-year-old is a 2005 graduate of Rising Sun High School.
He works at a local tanning salon and is a full time college student studying Government and Public Policy at Wilmington University. He'll graduate in a year and also has an associate's degree in History from Harford Community College. He has also been involved in election campaigns on the state and national levels. "I love the campaigning side," he said. He also serves on the county Broadband Task Force and was on the Maryland Municipal League Communications Committee.
He listed his accomplishments during his two-year tenure on the town board. He said one of the first policies he instituted was video recording of town meetings. At first, they were taped by a volunteer. The town later contracted with a company which provides the service and posts the videos on youtube.com. Marion said as many as 400 people have viewed the meetings.
He also brought the Movies in the Park to the town, the first ever Halloween Spooktacular, updating of the town website, online bill pay and credit card bill pay, new town entry signs, a social media presence, and the Name the Heron contest to Rising Sun. He is working on getting new playground equipment for the town park.
He said he has also worked to establish a rapport with local businesses and the schools.
And now he is looking to take on a new role.
"I believe Rising Sun deserves to have a mayor to promote the positive. All towns have problems. The positivity will attract new residents and new businesses. No one wants to come to a community if all they hear is negative," he said.
Marion has stated many times in public forum that he was only planning to serve one term as commissioner and then move on. As a commissioner he was allowed to vote on issues. As the mayor, he will lose that right except to break a tie vote. "The job of the mayor is to work along with the elected body. The mayor does have a lot of power," said Marion. "The mayor is the person you see. I know we will have disagreements (with board members) but we've moved Rising Sun forward."
He said if elected mayor, he will support the opinions of the commissioners in charge of that department. "I support their opinions. As mayor, I will take their title and respect that," he said. "I will be as supportive as I can be."
"I want to be mayor. Rising Sun needs a voice," said Marion. He also wants to be "chief cheerleader for the town."
"We need to have a positive mayor. We're going to have our challenges. Rising Sun is strong and we're going to move forward," he said.
He has also looked at the downtown areas and wants that spruced up by property owners. "I do believe we need to have business in the old district. I think a lot of people move here for the small town feel," he said.
Don't be surprised if he shows up at your door in the coming weeks.
"I will go out in the community and go door to door to get input from people," he said. “I will also have a strong presence on social media. I firmly believe when I say something or promise something, I get it done. I don't believe in making promises and forgetting about them."