Expenses show mayor's efforts to be in touch

January 18, 1998

Expenses show mayor's efforts to be in touch


Staff Writer

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II spent the first few months of his administration getting in touch with his constituents and it's reflected in his expense reports.

Of the $3,502 Bruchey spent his first six months in office, $339 was for mileage, according to the city's finance department. That included at least 32 trips through the West End and Westview the first three months. He is reimbursed 25 cents per mile.

"At that point in time, it was very important," Bruchey said. A man had been found shot to death in a Lanvale Street apartment on July 7, 1997, and there had been continuous complaints concerning rowdy youths in the West End.


The mayor also spoke to several civic organizations, including the Lions Club, Optimist Club and Rotary.

"It's good because I got a feel for what people are looking for from local government," Bruchey said. They want to be heard, he said.

"Sometimes, people don't get the answer they want, but they get an answer," he said.

On June 20, Bruchey went to the West End Little League field to check out the restrooms with Little League advocate Buddie Morris.

Bruchey said Morris wanted new restrooms at the field, despite new ones about 150 feet from the field. Bruchey said City Council members will talk about whether to refurbish the old restrooms during upcoming budget talks.

The new mayor also got a leg up on legislative issues and networked with government officials by attending the Maryland Municipal League conferences in Ocean City, Md., and Solomons Island, Md.

Bruchey's league expenses from June through November totaled $880, according to the finance department. That includes lodging costs for both conferences and the registration fee for the Solomons Island conference.

Bruchey was reimbursed $320 for four nights he spent at a friend's condo in Ocean City during the June conference.

Two nights at a Holiday Inn during the October legislative conference cost $138, city officials said.

Other information gleaned from Bruchey's expense reports:

- His favorite meal is breakfast and his preferred restaurant when on the road is Denny's.

On his way to the legislative conference at Solomons Island, Bruchey stopped at Denny's on the Dual Highway to have an $11.46 breakfast with Police Chief Dale Jones.

Bruchey had a pork chop, three eggs and coffee while the chief had a French slam and coffee.

- Bruchey spent $68 on crabs and shrimp for meals eaten over three days during the Ocean City conference.

The city's elected officials can list expenses of up to $10 per breakfast, up to $15 per lunch and up to $25 per dinner, said Al Martin, the city's finance director.

- Bruchey bought two Hagerstown sweatshirts at County Market for $31.98.

During his September visit to Hagerstown's sister city, Wesel, Germany, Bruchey gave the sweatshirts to the burgermeister and his wife.

He gave the burgermeister's two daughters each a Hagerstown pin. The pins cost $16.74.

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