Schnebly making bid for county seat

March 31, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

Schnebly making bid for county seat

Hagerstown businessman and former City Council member John Schnebly on Tuesday joined the ranks of those running for a seat on the Washington County Commissioners.

The county needs "experience, reasoned leadership to guide it over the next four years," said Schnebly, 48, a Democrat.

Schnebly said his concern about the future of the county prompted him to run for office.

"This whole thing to me is a leadership issue - an intangible," he said. "It's about peering out into the future and seeing with vision."

He said he anticipates an influx of people from the metropolitan area into the county in the next decade.

In light of that, Schnebly said he would work with the Washington County Board of Education, the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly and city officials to create a strategic long-term plan for the county.


"I think we have to try to develop the county to its fullest potential as a safe place to live in social harmony," he said.

Schools are important to the future, Schnebly said.

"The influence of schools extends beyond the classroom to affect economic development and to promote social accord," he said.

Schnebly said he thinks a revival of downtown Hagerstown is vital. "I don't think it will ever return to the glory days, but I think it can survive," he said.

The city should demolish some old buildings and create more parking, Schnebly said.

Schnebly said he wasn't challenging anybody's integrity, but feels that "collectively at times there has been a breakdown in public confidence" in the current board.

As for the county water/sewer problem, Schnebly said he felt regionalized service was part of the answer.

Schnebly said the County Commissioners should sit down with the city and talk about solutions.

This is Schnebly's first run for a commissioner's seat.

He was a Hagerstown City Council member from 1989-1993, and has in the past been a member of the city's water and zoning boards, and the Washington County Recreation Commission.

Schnebly has been a church council member and United Way volunteer, and was active in the parents' group that worked to get funds to renovate South Hagerstown High School.

He lives in Hagerstown with wife Margaret. The couple has a daughter, Margaret, who is a sophomore at Lynchburg College, Va., and a son John, who is a junior at South High.

Candidates have until July 6 to file for the commissioner race. The primary election is Sept. 15 and the general election Nov. 3. The job pays $20,000 a year.

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