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Son of former councilman runs in Ward 1

June 11, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - City Councilman Merle "B.I." Butts, who is running for re-election in Ward 1, is opposed by Christopher Baker.

Baker's father, Mark, was on the council from 1984 to 1992. Christopher, 24, said he grew up around city politics and always kept abreast of the issues.

Christopher Baker works for United Parcel Service in Hagerstown and is part of a family excavation business.

It's his first run for office. He said he is unhappy with some of the City Council's actions, including its failure to support the B&O Roundhouse preservation project from the start. "It was ... closed-mindedness," he said.

Baker said he was also perturbed by the council's decision to raise the business and occupation tax by 30 percent last year. It's tougher, but better, to make cuts in spending, he said.

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Baker suggested that the city use its mortgage revenue fund for more economic development projects.

Butts could not be reached for an interview. A relative said Saturday that he goes on vacation around election time.

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