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The best stuff happens when I'm out of town

March 30, 2000

Wouldn't you know, Hagerstown Mayor Bob "The Jesse" Bruchey publicly tells Sen. Don Munson to shut his pie hole and I miss it.

Based on the "loud applause" the mayor received following his comments at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored State of the City address earlier this month, it would appear that a lot of people have wanted to tell Munson to shut up for a long time now, but never had the nerve.

Specifically, Bruchey said funding for a downtown University System of Maryland branch campus was on track so long as local leaders could "shut Munson up."

Many believe Munson was behind a legislative rider that would have called into question the campus' downtown location. To which Gov. Glendening promptly said if the campus doesn't go downtown it's not going anywhere.

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Munson is denying interference, but of course, who really knows?

But in all this commotion, I think people are missing the really big news, that being that something interesting actually happened at a Chamber of Commerce event. That's banner headlines, man.

It leaves me with hope that maybe BOE Superintendent Herman Bartlett will sell out Marie Byers at the next State of the Schools speech. Or that Marie Byers will sell out Herman Bartlett. Either way, it's OK with me. I'm firm, but fair.

Let's see, what else did I miss? I see that City of Hagerstown clerk Gann Breichner is retiring in order to spend more time with the City Hall minutes. What are we up to now in transcribing the backlog of unrecorded City Council meetings, October of 1853? I'm just scared that we'll get up to 1887 and someone will discover that Hagerstown passed an ordinance to build a new rounders stadium with the proceeds from a Ye Olde Tavern and Flophouse Occupancy tax.

Oh, speaking of, I see the stadium issue has moved forward substantially in the month I've been gone. Snicker snicker. It's like one of those daytime soap operas were David is about to clandestinely climb through Brooke's bedroom window, then you miss seeing the show for six weeks and come back to discover he still hasn't made it past the sash.

Of course it may not matter, since there's a new plan pending to tear down the entire City of Hagerstown and replace it with a Civil War museum.

Well why not? It's not is if anything else has been a pounding success lately. I don't know that you really need to tear down all the existing businesses on the Antietam-Potomac block though. Integration may be a better solution.

Instead of Ferris, Baker Watts you have the investment firm of McClellan, Burnside Hill. Where it's always a Bull (Run) Market.

The car wash is trickier, true, in that they didn't have car washes during the Civil War because, technically, they didn't have cars. But they do need a parking deck, so why not build it on top of the car wash?

You enter the museum through the car wash, drive upstairs to park and go check out 47,000 different styles of Minie balls. What's not to like? All right that's solved, now what else?

Smithsburg.

Smithsburg, Smithsburg, Smithsburg. Who's running the personnel department in that town, Homer J. Simpson? One more wacky police chief and Fox TV is going to show up for the new show "When Smithsburg Hires."

The new chief, it turns out, was fired from the Frederick County Sheriff's Department five years ago for a litany of administrative offenses. Smithsburg is going to keep him though - I guess Mark Fuhrman isn't available.

But enough. It's time for me to shut up.

(Loud applause).




Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist

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