McClure filed for council bid

February 03, 1997


Staff Writer

Republican J. Wallace "Wally" McClure is ready to dust off the Hagerstown City Council campaign signs he used four years ago, when he lost his first bid for political office by 35 votes.

"I've been thinking about it for four years," said McClure, who lost the race to Councilman Mark Jameson. Jameson has decided not to run for re-election.

The council's five seats are up for grabs in the city's May 20 general election. The newly elected council members will earn $8,000 a year.


If elected, McClure said, he will be a breath of fresh air with new ideas and new ways of approaching issues.

"My emphasis is actually going to be on citizens' involvement and recognition," said McClure, 45, of 1105 Woodland Way.

In the past, city officials have put a lot of effort into the city's buildings and have not placed enough emphasis on people, said the owner of McClure's Piano Shop and 'Round Town Movers at 63 E. Franklin St.

"I'm not running for downtown council. I'm running for all of the city," he said.

Before officials concentrate on fixing up buildings to improve tourism, they should work to instill pride in the people of Hagerstown and Washington County, McClure said.

McClure said he wants to see the first floor of City Hall remodeled to become a place that honors and recognizes citizens' accomplishments.

He also wants a citizens hotline set up in City Hall so people who call in with a problem can get in touch with the right department for proper action.

Still, McClure said he is concerned about downtown - a place most residents need without realizing it.

No resident could avoid going through Public Square for 30 days because downtown is where many of the city's attorneys, accountants, churches and entertainment facilities are located, McClure said.

While city officials shouldn't be acting as real estate developers, they should be cajoling and helping others redevelop downtown, he said.

McClure also said he wants to see a junior council position added, similar to that of the Washington County Board of Education.

The seat would give youths an opportunity to see how government works. Students could sit on the council for a month at a time and participate in discussions, but not vote, he said.

McClure has been a member of the Hagerstown Preservation Design District Commission for more than three years and recently began his second one-year term as chairman.

He said he volunteers at the cold weather shelter.

The Baltimore native received a bachelor's degree in music education from West Virginia University before moving to Hagerstown in 1979.

He graduated from the Hagerstown Citizens Police Academy last fall.

McClure and his wife, Barbara, have three children - Nathan, 19, who attends the Air Force Academy; Brian, 16, a Hagerstown Junior College student; and Melody, 14, a North Hagerstown High School freshman.

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