Breichner running for mayor

January 24, 2001

Breichner running for mayor

By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

BreichnerAfter almost 12 years on the Hagerstown City Council, William M. Breichner is running for mayor.

"With my experience and knowledge in city government I think I can make a more substantial contribution to the community," said Breichner.

Breichner says his goals include working to encourage revitalization of the downtown and older neighborhoods in part through tax incentives; improving communication with the public by televising council meetings and promoting "open house" programs at city facilities; and providing a city subsidy to Community Rescue Service.

Breichner said how much money the ambulance company should receive is still to be determined.

Improvements to Public Square and the acquisition and redevelopment of the Fairgrounds were among the accomplishments Breichner noted during an interview Wednesday.


He said he is most proud of recent sewer service agreements with the Washington County government. The agreements, which transfer some sewer flows to city and county plants, are expected to delay major plant upgrades and reduce future rate increases. Breichner and County Commissioner John L. Schnebly co-chaired the task force that developed the plan.

Breichner, 69, got a job with the city Water Department in 1956, and became head of that department in 1967. He was made city administrator in 1983 and held that position until 1987.

A Democrat, Breichner was first elected to City Council in 1989. He said he decided not to seek re-election to the City Council because, "the council needs new people and new ideas."

"But I still have an interest in serving and serving as mayor would be continuing that service," said Breichner, who plans to officially file as a mayoral candidate today.

"I can play a different role than what a councilman plays. ... The mayor is the city spokesman and represents the city to many groups in the community. ... I think I can bring a different style to that office. One that would better serve the citizens of Hagerstown," he said.

Breichner said he's willing to sit down and talk with people to exchange ideas and views on issues. He declined to characterize Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II's style.

Bruchey, who is finishing his first term in office, is running for re-election.

Breichner said he and Bruchey, a Republican, recently spoke about potentially running against each other. He said they agreed to try to keep campaigning out of the regular council meetings.

Breichner and his wife, Gann, reside at 1117 Oak Hill Ave.

The filing deadline for city candidates is Friday.

The city primary is March 13, and the general election is May 15.

Hagerstown's mayor is paid $28,000 a year.

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