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Hall of Fame inducts mayor and councilman for service to town

August 10, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - Mayor Paul Hose Jr. and Councilman Gary Grove may not think of themselves as hometown heroes but the Maryland Municipal League sees it differently.

Hose and Grove were inducted into the municipal league's Hall of Fame in June for their 20 years of elected service to the town.

Hose and Grove both said they didn't get into politics for the glory. And it certainly wasn't for the money - the mayor makes $100 a month and council members get $60.

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"Crist Hawbaker called me in 1981 and said no one was running for vice mayor," Hose said. "He wanted to know if I would and I said OK."

The only one on that first ballot, Hose was elected and served his first two-year term. "I got 49 votes," Hose said.

William Albowicz, who has since died, was mayor then and Hose sometimes had the opportunity to run the meetings. "It was during that time I learned what the town needed," Hose said.

Grove ran for the first time in 1983 and took office in January 1984. "Crist Hawbaker had called me, too. I thought it would be interesting to learn about small-town politics," Grove said.

Both said they have stayed through the years to preserve the quiet, simple lifestyle that Clear Spring residents have enjoyed through the years.

The town's population is 450, according to July 2003 census figures, but Clear Spring shares many of the problems faced by much larger cities. Those include making sure there is clean water and dependable sewage disposal, safe streets and homes and worthwhile activities for children and youth.

"When I first started on council, the town's water and sewer systems were in," Hose said.

Over the years, both have needed upgrades and expansions. A major water filtration and storage project is just about to begin west of town and will demand a lot of attention from town officials.

As mayor, Hose said, he spends about 30 minutes every evening at Town Hall, checking mail, signing checks and making sure town business is on track.

"I would guess my duties take up three to four hours a week," Hose said, adding that he now carries a cell phone.

Sometimes there are crises and Hose will be called out at night or to his job at Mack Trucks. But that isn't often, he said.

Grove, who works for the State of Maryland, wants more young people to get active in town politics. "So many people want to complain but they don't want to do anything about it - they need to get involved," Grove said.

Hose recommends that more citizens get involved and the best way to start is by attending town meetings which begin at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month.

The next best thing would be to run for the two seats that will be up for election this fall - that of vice mayor currently held by Julianna Albowicz and one council position held by Terry Baker.

Grove was born and raised in Clear Spring and Hose started out life in the Williamsport area. Both are 56 years old and both graduated from high school in 1965.

Hose and his wife, Toni, have two children and one granddaughter. Gary and Betty Grove have two children.

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