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Mayoral candidate Q&A - Bruchey

May 11, 2001

Mayoral candidate Q&A - Bruchey



* Republican mayoral candidate, incumbent


Robert E. Bruchey II, incumbent, 42, 905 Woodland Way, vice President of PartsBay.com, and part-time sales associate at Hagerstown Ford

Q: What are your qualifications to serve as Mayor?


A: The Mayor's responsibilities are very diverse. Leading the charge for increased economic development is one duty that must be taken seriously for the City to increase the tax base thus allowing us to hold the line on taxes. Understanding, then initiating steps to increase our fight on drugs and prostitution is another must for the leader of this City. Working with other governmental leaders while protecting the sovereignty of our city is delicate work and must be handled diplomatically, cautiously and at times boldly. I believe I have accomplished these things and more as the Mayor of Hagerstown.

Q: Is there a crime problem in Hagerstown? If so, what is it and what should be done to address it?


A: Yes, illegal drugs and prostitution. Our police department has made great strides in curtailing illegal drug activity and prostitution since 1997. But, I believe that a zero tolerance of quality of life crimes is needed. Increased concentration on misdemeanor crimes such as, littering, loitering, public intoxication and disturbing the peace will greatly impact and reduce the larger crimes. Hot Spot Officer Kendall arrested a man for littering and confiscated over 50 pieces of crack cocaine. "Zero tolerance" does work. We must never surrender in our war against drugs and prostitution.

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Q: Should the city be involved in assisting with homeownership? Why or why not, and if so, how?


A: Yes. Our ability to assist with homeownership has been a continuing asset for this city. The possibility of a family who might have their dream realized of owning a home is greatly increased by our homeownership program. The utilization of HUD money for this program has been a valuable tool used to rehabilitate empty and run down properties, thus increasing our tax base. Homeownership also offers responsible opportunities to families and instills pride in the way their property looks, again, resulting in more attractive neighborhoods.

Q: Should there be a referendum on city funding for a new or significantly renovated minor league baseball stadium? Why or why not?


A: The current subsidy for minor league baseball in Hagerstown is sufficient. I believe we need to determine if keeping a quality of life amenity, such as minor league baseball, is a priority. If it is, I would support additional funding to renovate the old stadium or build a new complex either on the same site or a different site. This, only if the funding is available and in a reasonable amount. Any decision to build new or renovate would require a long-term lease from the franchisee along with sufficient funding from the owner. The people control a referendum.

Q: How will you ensure that city services - such as police and fire protection - will continue at a reasonable rate to taxpayers?


A: The best way to ensure affordable police, fire and EMS protection for our citizens is to increase our tax base. We can accomplish this through a multifaceted approach.

An aggressive annexation policy must be implemented to insure the continued growth of our corporate boundaries. Rehabilitation of rundown properties into viable and usable space, i.e. University of Maryland, Silverman project on South Potomac Street, the Keystone Building (Peoples Drug Store).

Offering incentives to property owners who need assistant to renovate deteriorating properties into renewed family homes. All of this is within our grasp.

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