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City manager ready to handle growth

February 24, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - New Martinsburg City Manager Mark Baldwin has his hands full understanding the ins and outs of a rapidly growing town.

But at the same time, Baldwin said it's a situation that works to his advantage.

The widespread development that has occurred throughout town in recent years has added to the city's tax base, and created more jobs for local residents.

"Being a city that is growing, the city is fufilling some of the goals you would like to see happening," said Baldwin. "I think Martinsburg has great potential for the future."

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Baldwin said the reason he left the city manager's job in Wellsburg, W.Va., for the Martinsburg position was because of the challenges the new job creates.

While the growth here is beneficial, it also presents city officials with issues to resolve, Baldwin said. For example, said Baldwin, what will the town do with the old Martin's Food Market building on South Raleigh Street now that the store has moved to Foxcroft Avenue, and how is the decreased traffic flow in the area going to affect other businesses in town?

Baldwin said the city will also have to look at ways to offset the loss of tax revenue from the Wal-Mart store after it moves from the Martinsburg Mall to just outside the city limits.

"Obviously, there's many things going on," said Baldwin.

Baldwin, who replaces former City Manager Phil Hertz, started work at his new post Jan. 6.

Baldwin worked as the Wellsburg city manager for eight years, and before that he worked for the city of Wheeling's Community Development Block Grant Administration.

Prior to the Wheeling job, Baldwin was a community development specialist for the Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning Development Council.

The 36-year-old Baldwin, his wife Patricia and their two young children plan to relocate within the city limits, Baldwin said.

City Council member George Karos, who supported Baldwin for the job, said he was impressed with Baldwin's knowledge of Martinsburg.

Before accepting the job, Baldwin said he spent a lot of time driving around the city and reading recent newspaper articles to familiarize himself with the town.

"He mentioned a lot of things that I had forgotten," Karos said. "So he knew what he was stepping into."

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