Penny Nigh Q&A

May 11, 2001

Council candidate Q&A - Nigh

* Democratic council candidate

Penny May Nigh, 53, 634 N. Mulberry St., housewife

Q: What are your qualifications to serve as a City Council member?

A: I have lived in the city all my life. I have seen its decline and instead of talking about it, I felt perhaps by getting involved I could improve our city. I have attended council meetings for two years. I do not pretend to know everything but I am willing to listen and then take action. I feel that listening to the concerns of our residents is a large priority.

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

A: Yes. The crime problem is a result of our large drug problem. The amount of drugs in the city is unbelievable. All types of drugs are being sold because of our accessibility to interstates 70 and 81. Crack cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana, and Ecstasy are just a few of many. Most of the drug sells are done between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Not a good picture for Hagerstown! We need more police on our streets. We need more state, county, and city support for additional officers for both the police department and the drug task force.

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

A: I do not feel that the city should be involved in real estate. First, because it's not right to use the taxpayers money. Second, when you buy a home, fix it up, and then sell it for less of a profit that's not good business sense. It's also not fair to the residents that have their houses assessed at a higher value and then the value decreases because the purchase of the newly renovated home was less.

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

A: As I stated before, I could support the stadium knowing that there is more private funding and a guarantee from the owners that they will sign a long-term commitment. I am here to listen to the citizens. If the majority want a referendum on city funding then they should get it. You have to remember when it's your tax dollars being used for such a project you should have a say.

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

A: Unfortunately you cannot ensure anything about the city services. Most people do not want to be without these services and that is why we will have to work together to find common ground. "Look before you leap." By looking at all the avenues we may be able to find other funding before a tax hike is necessary.

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