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Councilman likes what he sees of N.C. city

August 11, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown City Councilman J. Wallace McClure said Tuesday night that Hagerstown could learn from Greensboro, N.C., when it comes to presenting a well-groomed city.

During a council work session, McClure compared the two cities to two men at a formal ball.

Greensboro is the man whose outfit is in perfect shape, while Hagerstown's grooming resembles the man with the shirt untucked, tie askew, uncombed hair and shoes that need shining, he said.

"If ever there was a role model for what a city should be it's Greensboro," said McClure, who visited the city last week on business. McClure owns McClure's Piano Shop and 'Round Town Movers at 63 E. Franklin St.

Driving down a main street in Greensboro, McClure said he saw no weeds, no trash and landscaping that was well kept.

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"You drive around this town and it is not well groomed," McClure said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

McClure said he intends to contact public works officials in Greensboro to see what they do that Hagerstown could be doing.

He also plans to contact officials in Parkersburg, W.Va., about a program under which juvenile offenders clean the city to fulfill a community service sentence.

Parkersburg also has a program in which volunteers plant marigolds around the town, he said.

McClure learned about Parkersburg's programs through his sister-city newspaper initiative, which has city officials reading newspapers from similar-sized cities to generate ideas for improving Hagerstown.

"Basically, there's a lot of things around here that could be improved," McClure said.

It wouldn't take a great deal of effort for private business owners and tenants, especially downtown, to assume responsibility for keeping the area in front of their stores clean, he said.

McClure said he sweeps the sidewalk and street in front of his downtown business and continues to pull weeds out of the slate curb.

"It's about community pride," McClure said. Hagerstown needs to give visitors a good impression so they will return, he said.

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