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If elected, Rohrer would increase town's water capacity

April 03, 2002|BY ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

After some "long hard thinking," Michael Rohrer decided to run for mayor.

Rohrer, 34, said it was not a question of his commitment, but whether he would have the time.

"I don't think my interest and love of the town is in doubt," said Rohrer, who is finishing a four-year council term. It was the first time he had run for public office.

Last year, Rohrer embarked on a new career. He took a job teaching technology for Frederick County Public Schools.

Rohrer said he had been an electrical engineer for 14 years before that, but lost his job.

He continues to run a DJ business part-time.

During his time on the town council, Rohrer has been outspoken and sometimes controversial.

In December 2000, he strongly protested the town's decision to spend $3,200 for bicycles and related equipment for its two police officers. The purchase was the idea of Ralf Berger, who was police chief at the time.

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Last month, new Police Chief Mike Potter said the bikes were hardly used and they will be sold.

After a storm in January 2001, Rohrer left a pointed message on the Town Hall answering machine, critical of snow removal efforts. The taped message was played at a public meeting while Rohrer was absent.

"There was never any question where I stood," Rohrer said during an interview last week.

Asked about achievements during his time on the council, he said, "I'm proud of all of it, basically."

He said he has supported the movement to put a library branch on a parcel in Veterans Park.

He also said he helped persuade other council members a few years ago to lessen a large increase in water rates.

Water is the top issue in his campaign platform. Rohrer said he wants to increase the town's capacity, and possibly build a filtration system, to decrease its dependence on the City of Hagerstown.

"I would be more comfortable with two sources," he said.

That may be a lofty goal, but it's important to plan beyond the next four years, he said.

Rohrer said he wants to improve the town's sewer infrastructure at the same time.

His platform also calls for:

- Continuing to support the library and Veterans Park projects.

- Continuing to improve the streets.

- Supporting "orderly growth of the town within current town limits."

- Promoting downtown small business growth.

- Supporting sports, celebrations and other town activities.

- Maintaining the town's quality of life through its civic, religious and other groups.

Rohrer was charged in February 2000 with creating a phony vehicle registration sticker with his home computer and driving without insurance since 1995.

He pleaded guilty to one count of driving an uninsured vehicle. Five other charges were dropped.

Washington County District Court Judge Noel Spence in June 2000 ordered that Rohrer receive 12 points on his driver's license, and fined him $500 plus court costs.

Rohrer later apologized to the Town Council, saying he had "made stupid mistakes" and he hoped the matter was settled since he had his day in court.

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