Sager seeks fourth term as mayor

January 14, 1997


Staff Writer

Incumbent Steven T. Sager filed Monday morning to run for a fourth four-year term as Hagerstown's mayor.

Sager, a Democrat, announced his candidacy in front of dilapidated row houses at 382-396 N. Prospect St. The houses symbolize an issue Sager said he would focus on if re-elected in the May 20 general election - increasing Hagerstown's home ownership rate.

Sager, 43, of 809 Dewey Ave., wants to put "Neighborhoods First."

That platform includes issues ranging from home ownership to waging a war against drugs.

"I think the biggest problem we face is the impact of drugs on the community, especially crack," Sager said.

Solving the problem will require more than the addition of police officers, he said. The battle will require shifting resources and social programs, he said.


The main thrust of Sager's "Neighborhoods First" platform is to increase the city's home ownership rate, which at 38 percent is well below the state average. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, 60 percent of Maryland householders own their own homes.

The row houses in front of which Sager stood on Monday morning are an example of the type of cooperative effort with which the city is involved to improve the home ownership rate.

The houses are being renovated by Western Maryland Interfaith Housing Development Corp. for conversion into five homes. The city is funding most of the project, expected to be completed by spring, officials said.

While the city is helping to improve row houses on Prospect Street as well as on South Mulberry Street, officials were unable to save several row houses across South Potomac Street from Bester Elementary School.

Sager said the South Potomac Street row houses, which were demolished last summer, were damaged to the point that renovation would not have been economically feasible.

The only other candidate to file for mayor as of Monday was Republican Robert E. Bruchey II, who attended Sager's Monday press conference.

The primary election is on Tuesday, March 11.

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