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Bruchey promises payment

September 13, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

The start of a new school year has come and gone without the expected announcement of three $1,000 scholarships from Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II.

In January, Bruchey said he would be giving away the scholarships sometime during the summer. The scholarships would have counted toward the $4,000 a year the mayor promised he would give away during his 1996-97 election campaign.

Bruchey said Wednesday the scholarship contributions just "didn't come together" this summer, and he hasn't figured out where the money will go.

"It will be given away before Dec. 31," Bruchey said about the $3,000.

"As soon as I figure out where, I'll let you know. I have until the end of the calendar year (to give the money away)," he said.

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"I'll keep my promise."

Prior to the May 1997 election, Bruchey criticized then-Mayor Steven T. Sager for supporting increasing the mayor's annual salary from $24,000 to $28,000. During the campaign Bruchey said that if elected he would not accept the additional $4,000 a year and instead give it away to charity or a city department.

Since taking office more than two years ago, Bruchey has given away or pledged to donate $5,000 - leaving him $3,000 behind a $4,000-a-year pace. He took office in June 1997.

Bruchey has already contributed $500 each to REACH, a Hagerstown cold weather shelter; Holly Place, a Hagerstown assisted-living facility; a Fountaindale Elementary School reading program; and the Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund.

The mayor donated $1,000 during his first 19 months in office to the United Way of Washington County, and is on pace to contribute another $2,000 to the United Way in 1999.

His United Way contributions, like that of many other city employees, are automatically deducted from his city paycheck.

Bruchey said next year he will contribute $4,000 to the United Way through the voluntary payroll deduction program. He said that will make giving away it all away easier than it has been.

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