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Vaughn tries for City Council comeback

January 10, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

West End Democrat Larry A. Vaughn filed Friday for his fourth comeback attempt at a seat on the Hagerstown City Council.

Vaughn, 54, of 734 W. Franklin St., served on the council from 1973 to 1981. His three failed comeback attempts were in 1981, 1985 and 1989.

Vaughn said he wants more police protection, less money spent on the downtown area and better representation of the entire city on the council.

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More police are needed on the streets to battle prostitution and drug problems coming to Hagerstown from along Interstate 81, Vaughn said.

He continued to stress that city government should leave the real estate business to private development, referring to the city's continuing operation of buying properties downtown for either private or public renovation.

"I think the people out there have to take a long, hard look at the six people they have sitting at City Hall," Vaughn said. Council members keep pouring money into the downtown when there also are North, South, East and West ends of the city, he said.

Part of the problem is that the City Council does not represent the entire city, said Vaughn, referring to the at-large election system that went into effect in 1985.

"The ward system is the only honest system," Vaughn said Friday. "Nobody knows we exist in the West End."

Three council members live in the North End - William Breichner, Lewis Metzner and Fred Kramer. Councilman Mark Jameson lives on Fair Meadows Boulevard in the East End and Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein lives in the South End on South Prospect Street.

Vaughn said he would prefer returning to the ward system, but with seven council members. With two members elected at-large there still would be representation of the entire city, he said.

Vaughn also wants to see the method for filling a vacancy on the council change. If a vacancy occurs more than one year before the next election, the city should hold a special election so the public has a say in who fills that seat instead of having it filled by appointment, Vaughn said.

Vaughn said he supports the recent move by the City Council to increase the salaries of the mayor and members elected in the general election on May 20. Council members will be paid $8,000 a year, while the mayor will receive $28,000 a year.

He said he would return to the practice of using part of his salary to pay for activities for children and senior citizens, such as taking children to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Vaughn has volunteered for the Hagerstown Fire Department or Hagerstown Fire Police for 16 years. He is in charge of changing the air packs for the fire department.

He left Mack Trucks Inc. in 1989 on disability retirement after working there 16 years in the shop or as a shipping and receiving clerk.

The Hagerstown native is a 1961 graduate of South Hagerstown High School. He lives with his mother, Frances Vaughn, 86.

Vaughn made a failed attempt for the mayoral post against incumbent Mayor Steven T. Sager in 1993, when he ran as an independent to save the costs of running a campaign for the primary election. He also lost a bid for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education in 1982.

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