Coss running for council

January 26, 2001

Coss running for council

By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

Brian CossA proposed Civil War museum and planned University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center are the most important projects for the revitalization of downtown Hagerstown, according to City Council candidate Brian E. Coss.

Coss, 36, said he's running for council because, "I want to help improve Hagerstown."

"The biggest thing right now is to work with whoever we need to work with to get the museum," he said.

Coss said he supports some city funding for the project "because the city will reap the benefits."

Museum proponents are seeking state funding for the project.

Another key to revitalizing downtown is a planned education center in the first block of West Washington Street, he said.

"We need to make sure and secure the money (for the center)," he said.

Gov. Parris Glendening has included $13.3 million in his proposed budget for the education center.


Coss, a member of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee, works as a family investment specialist at the Washington County Department of Social Services. In his job Coss determines people's eligibility for food stamps and various Medicaid programs.

Coss said his director has OK'd his council run, and Coss said he isn't aware of any potential conflicts between his job and serving on council. This is his first run for public office.

He said he favors returning to the ward system for City Council elections. Since the 1985 city election, council members have been elected in citywide races. Before that, council members were elected from five separate districts, or wards, within the city.

Coss said he favors a city subsidy for ambulance service, but said he wants to review all options before giving a contribution to Community Rescue Service. CRS has asked the city for an annual subsidy.

"I want to make sure it's going to the best vendor, so to speak," Coss said.

Coss said he would support some government contribution for a new baseball stadium, if the issue comes up again. But said he would like to see the private sector foot most of the bill.

A union member and past member of his union's negotiating team, Coss said he would bring a good understanding of union concerns to the council.

Coss grew up in St. James Village south of Hagerstown. He graduated from South Hagerstown High School in 1983 and from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1988.

He resides at 1335 The Terrace with his wife, Karen, and two teenage stepchildren.

The filing deadline for city candidates is today.

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

Council members are paid $8,000 a year.

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