Toothman files for City Council

January 23, 1997


Staff Writer

Political newcomer Paul H. Toothman filed Tuesday to run for one of the five Hagerstown City Council seats up for grabs in the city's May 20 general election.

"It's not as much the issues or the council members, but my particular interest in serving city government," that drove him to run, Toothman said.

"It gives you an opportunity to stay in constant touch," he said.

Toothman, 41, of 502 Lynnehaven Drive, Apartment J, is a Republican. He said he wants to get more information before commenting on certain issues, but said the city's $9.96 million debt to the Maryland State Retirement Agency will certainly be a "hot button" during the council race.


"I think that they were probably surprised to say the least. Maybe they should have been more on top of it, but I won't make an issue about it," Toothman said.

There should be a way to pay off the state retirement agency without the "outlandish" 7.5 percent interest rate offered by the state last week that would balloon the debt to $49.2 million over 40 years, he said.

City officials need to plan carefully for the future of the Hagerstown Fairgrounds, which the city is in the process of purchasing, to avoid parking and other problems, Toothman said.

Toothman has never run for public office before, but said he has a soft spot for local government.

While taking classes at Frostburg State University for his bachelor's degree in political science, Toothman served an internship studying the Town of Smithsburg's government.

Toothman received his political science degree from FSU last May and also has a degree in social science.

For the last six months he has been an inspector with Orkin Exterminating Co. Inc.

Toothman, a Florida native, moved to Hagerstown in July 1990 for a job with JJ&W Aircraft Services until the company ran into trouble about three years ago, he said.

He served in the Air Force for 12 years as an aircraft fuel systems mechanic.

Toothman and his wife Donna have a son, Jason, 12. The couple has four grown children from previous marriages - Jeremy, 26; Doriann, 23; Barbara, 21; and Diane, 19.

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