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Nigh running to make city safe

February 02, 2001

Nigh running to make city safe



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Frustration and fear that crime will ruin Hagerstown and make it unsafe for future generations drove Penny Nigh to run for Hagerstown City Council.

"I have a granddaughter I like to sit out on the porch with and something has to change or she won't be able to," said Nigh said.

"I had to do it," she said about her first run for public office.

Nigh, 53, says drug activity and violent crime are spreading throughout downtown, including North Mulberry Street, where she's lived for decades.

"The city needs change. We have lots of problems with drugs and crime. It's worse in some areas but it's branching out," she said.

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Nigh is calling for a public forum with city elected and appointed officials to find ways to attack the crime problem.

"It's a matter of sitting down with other individuals. ... To see what the situation is and then see how we can fix it. ... If we don't get it cleaned up we're not going to have a city. ... I wish that I had the answers," she said.

Nigh says she's an "ordinary housewife," who often watches over her 10-month-old granddaughter.

She's involved in her neighborhood group and crime watch group.

A Democrat, she grew up in the West End and graduated from North Hagerstown High School in 1965.

She resides at 634 N. Mulberry St. with her husband of 34 years, Robert. They have lived in the same downtown neighborhood near Fairgrounds Park for 32 years.

Nigh said the fairgrounds needs to be better patrolled to deter vandals from going onto the property.

The fairgrounds needs a caretaker or at least more frequent police patrols, she said.

Nigh supports a city subsidy for Community Rescue Service, the financially troubled ambulance company that serves most of Hagerstown.

"If there's any way of doing it we should do it," she said.

Nigh said that if elected she would "work for all the citizens" of Hagerstown.

She is one of nine Democratic council candidates in the March 13 primary election. The general election is May 15.

Council members are paid $8,000 a year.

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