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Saum-Wicklein makes city history

March 19, 1997

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein made local history Tuesday by becoming the first woman ever to chair a City Council meeting.

The two-term council member described the experience as "neat."

Mayor Steven T. Sager regularly chairs council meetings, but was late to Tuesday's special meeting and work session because of a meeting in Baltimore.

When Sager is absent, usually Councilman William Breichner takes over, but Breichner also was absent on Tuesday.

Sager said he usually taps Breichner for the job because of seniority and because he was the top vote-getter among council members in 1989. Breichner also is in his second term on the council.

That tradition continued out of habit in recent years, despite Saum-Wicklein being the top vote-getter in the 1993 city election, Sager said.

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Sager said he had asked Saum-Wicklein to chair a meeting once before, but she had declined.

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