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Bruchey takes helm at City Hall

June 03, 1997

Bruchey takes helm at City Hall

Sager passes mayor's gavel as new era begins

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

After 12 years in elected office and a "so-long" speech, outgoing Mayor Steve Sager passed the gavel to Bob Bruchey on Monday night.

"I pass to you your gavel as a symbol of responsibility," said Sager, a Democrat.

"Good luck and God's speed. Call me when you wish," said Sager, who then took a seat and became one of about 70 spectators for the swearing-in of the new mayor and City Council members.

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Bruchey's swearing-in was followed by a cheer and applause.

Afterward, Bruchey thanked Sager for his 12 years of service.

Then he addressed the crowd, which included viewers watching Antietam Cable Television's Channel 6, telling residents their six elected officials would act as a team.

"We're a team and we're going to be a team, a good team," said Bruchey, a Republican.

As the ceremony drew to a close, the mayor and council, accompanied by first-time Councilman Wally McClure on the piano, sang "God Bless America." They were joined by the audience, which included friends, families and city employees.

Not wanting his administration to get off on the wrong foot, Bruchey said he wanted to set the record straight about the starting time for the swearing-in ceremony.

He said it was he who had changed the time from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in keeping with the City Charter.

The time originally had been set at 6 p.m. at Bruchey's request and with the council's approval so Bruchey's son Robert, 12, could attend the ceremony as well as remain the starting pitcher for the night's Federal Little League game.

It turned out all was for naught - the game was rained out.

Before passing the gavel, Sager commented on the accomplishments of his past administrations.

Outgoing council members Mark Jameson and Fred Kramer, who had not sought re-election, also made a few comments before the new administration was sworn in.

Returning Councilman Bill Breichner told his colleagues their administration would be judged in four years by whether they were able to look beyond their four years in office, whether they had not forgotten the principles of good government and whether they were devoted solely to serving the public good.

McClure compared the new administration to a ship leaving port.

While there are calm seas now, the ship's hull would be threatened by icebergs, McClure said. "Some of us may even be in danger of being swept overboard" in shark-infested waters.

McClure said he hoped they could bring the ship back safely to port.

Returning Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said they had the best city administrator and staff they could have for their voyage.

New Councilman Al Boyer called Hagerstown a "great city" and said city leaders must be positive about the city and its future if they are to attract tourists.

The mayor and council thanked their families and the voters.

Returning Councilman Lewis Metzner said, "For once I get to thank the voters rather than those who appointed me and it feels good."

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