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Mayor hopes flap with Munson is settled

March 16, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said Wednesday he hoped any conflict he and State Sen. Donald F. Munson may have had is over now that Munson says he supports a downtown Hagerstown location for an education center.

On Tuesday, Bruchey criticized Munson, R-Washington, for making negative comments about the proposed location for the university center.

Munson claims he's been supportive of the governor's decision to put the University System of Maryland education center downtown. But in recent weeks Munson has expressed skepticism the downtown site will be successful.

During Bruchey's State of the City address Tuesday morning, he said to ensure the money for the university project becomes available, "you have to shut Munson up."

Later, during Tuesday's City Council meeting, Bruchey said it seemed like officials from the city, Washington County and most of the county delegation to the Maryland General Assembly "are all playing the fiddle and Senator Munson is playing the drums."

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Bruchey said maybe it is a communication problem.

"Maybe Sen. Munson isn't in the loop and maybe that's my fault. But when he doesn't return my phone calls that's hard to do," Bruchey said Tuesday.

Bruchey amended those comments Wednesday.

"I was just letting off steam," the mayor said. "I can't say he doesn't return my phone calls."

Bruchey said he and Munson talked about the university center on Friday.

Bruchey said he was frustrated Tuesday and meant to say that he and Munson "just can't (agree) about this project."

"We both are so much on different sides of the fence on this," Bruchey said.

The mayor has long supported and was one of the driving forces behind getting Gov. Parris Glendening to consider the vacant city-owned Baldwin House on West Washington Street as a potential site for a university center.

Munson had been a proponent of sites outside the downtown.

Bruchey said he hoped their differences are behind them.

"Sen. Munson and I had a good working relationship and will continue to have a good working relationship. This is just one of those times elected officials have a difference of opinion," Bruchey said.

Munson said Wednesday that he "wasn't going to get caught up in every shot."

Munson said he was "unconcerned" about Bruchey's comments.

Staff writer Laura Ernde contributed to this report.

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