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Council candidate Q&A - Kauffman

May 11, 2001

Council candidate Q&A - Kauffman



* Democratic council candidate


Ira P. Kauffman Jr., 68, 1009 Lindsay Ave., retired from the CIA, former Hagerstown City Councilman from 1977-1981

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


A: I have lived in Hagerstown my entire life except for six years on military bases. I served on the Hagerstown City Council from 1977 to 1981. I handled some labor negotiations for the city during my term. Also, I have experience in the construction field and labor negotiations in the private sector. I negotiated and supervised construction contracts both in private industry and for the Federal Government. I have been attending council meetings and discussing city problems with department heads, particularly the Department of Finance, over the past three years.

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


A: Drugs are the biggest crime problem in Hagerstown. I believe the new Chief of Police in his short time serving Hagerstown, has had success in reducing the drug trade in some areas of Hagerstown while some areas have gotten worse. I believe we should let the Chief follow through with his current plans to improve the entire situation. The city has created eleven new police positions since 1995, making a total of 101 sworn officers, which is sufficient to handle the policing of Hagerstown. This is comparable to other cities our size.

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


A: Yes, the city should be involved in assisting low income families in obtaining their own homes. The city's home ownership program is working well, since 1992 they have sold 54 renovated homes to deserving families. This has improved the quality of life for the families involved as well as improving the quality of life of the entire neighborhood and at a very low cost to the city.

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


A: I am opposed to funding a new or significantly renovated minor league baseball stadium. The city already subsidizes the stadium and the baseball team for an amount exceeding $80,000 per year. The city cannot afford and should not spend any funds on a new stadium. If the subject of a new stadium should come before the council it should go to referendum.

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


A: First of all the city and county must stop buying up tax-paying properties and removing them from the tax rolls.

The city should not take on any new expenditures such as a downtown Civil War Museum, new expenses at the Fairground and the $4.4 million plan for a parking lot and wider alleys at the proposed University Center, etc.

This would leave more funds available for all sections of the General Fund such as fire and police.

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