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Morris bids to be mayor

February 05, 2001

Morris bids to be mayor



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Eugene E. "Buddie" Morris wants to turn back the clock and take downtown Hagerstown back 30 years.

Morris, 78, said he is running for mayor of Hagerstown because "I want to put it back like it originally was."

Public Square was once round, not square as it is today, and around Christmas there was a big tree in the middle of the street there, Morris said.

Morris, a Democrat, said the changes to downtown have cost the city new business.

Morris said that in July 1983 he was driving through Public Square on Potomac Street when a man in a Cadillac motioned for Morris to roll down his window. When he did, the man asked "Where am I at?" Morris said.

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"I said, 'Downtown Hagerstown, Public Square,' and the man shook his head" and drove away, Morris said.

That man's car had New York license plates and, "who knows how many millions he would have spent here" said Morris.

Morris said he could tell the man was an investor who would have invested in Hagerstown had the square looked like it once did.

"Downtown Hagerstown is a monstrosity," Morris said.

Morris said this is his second run for mayor, and he has run for City Council four times.

"I kept getting closer and people said 'Why don't you run again,'" Morris said.

If elected, Morris said he would form a citizens advisory council, which would be made up of two members from each voting precinct.

Also, he said he would meet with the police and fire department employees four times a year, "to see what their needs are."

Morris said he would try to change pay raises for city employees so they receive flat raises instead of raises based on a percentage of their salary. Morris said percentage-based raises are unfair because it gives those making more money a larger raise.

Morris said he would be a full-time mayor.

Morris was born and raised in Hagerstown, and is involved with area Little League.

A retired planner for the federal government, he lives at 1001 Salem Ave.

Morris will face Councilman William M. Breichner in the Democratic mayoral primary on March 13. The general election is May 28.

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

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