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Toothman favors downtown green space

February 01, 2001

Toothman favors downtown green space



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Paul ToothmanHagerstown City Council candidate Paul H. Toothman says additional parking and green space is needed around a planned downtown University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

Toothman, 45, a Republican, also favors a proposed Civil War museum for Hagerstown and opposes plans for a new Wal-Mart near Funkstown.

Toothman said there's no defining issue in the upcoming election, and he wants voters to back him because he takes time to research issues before making up his mind.

"We need someone who is going to make the decisions that are adequately researched and not just tell people what they want to hear," said Toothman, an agent with the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.

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Toothman said he's not familiar with the details of a $4.4 million proposal from the Greater Hagerstown Committee to demolish several buildings around the planned education center to make room for wider alleys and more parking. But he agrees with the concept.

"I want to explore the whole issue to try to come up with a plan," Toothman said.

He said he opposes plans to put a new Wal-Mart Supercenter on Edgewood Drive because of the impact the store would have on nearby Funkstown.

"We need to be good neighbors," he said.

Toothman favors a plan for a Civil War museum in Hagerstown, and supports some city funding for the project, "if we can afford it."

Toothman said he "has concerns about the city buying and selling real estate," which is primarily done through the city's Single Family Homeownership Program.

He doesn't want to stop the program, under which homes are bought, renovated and resold, but said he would like to see if a private business could take over the program.

"We haven't mismanaged it but the potential is there," he said.

Toothman said even though the Hagerstown Suns have been sold, and calls for a new stadium have died down, "we'll probably see a new move for a new stadium."

He said he supports a city contribution for a new stadium, but only if a new stadium is at a different location than the existing one.

Toothman was born and raised in Florida. He was in the U.S Air Force for 12 years, until 1989. He moved from Arkansas to Hagerstown in 1990.

He received a degree in social sciences from Frostburg State University in 1995, and a political science degree from FSU in 1996.

He is a member of the Washington County Republican Central Committee.

Toothman resides at 1412 The Terrace with his wife of 20 years, Donna.

He is one of eight Republicans running in the March 13 primary. The top five vote-getters move on to the May 15 general election.

City Council members are paid $8,000 a year.

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