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Cromer says she would be a trusted leader

February 17, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Kelly S. Cromer waited until later in life to prove herself scholastically, and now she's ready to prove herself politically.

Cromer, a Democrat, is a candidate running for Hagerstown City Council.

Cromer, 39, is married to Steve Cromer, a Hagerstown police officer. She is a Hagerstown-based criminal defense and family law attorney.

Cromer, a 1983 South Hagerstown High School graduate, married in 1985, had a son and began working as paralegal. She asked that her home address not be published. She lives on Summit Avenue.

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Cromer said that although she was an average high school student, she knew she eventually wanted to be a lawyer. After separating from her former husband, she began taking classes part time at Hagerstown Junior College, and completed her associate's degree in 1996.

That year she entered Hood College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology. After graduating, she stayed at Hood, entering an accelerated master's degree program in psychology, which she finished in 1999.

That same year she entered law school fulltime at the University of Baltimore. While going to school, she worked parttime as a psychotherapist and later at a legal clinic. She graduated in 2002.

Cromer first worked as a family law attorney for a firm based in both Frederick, Md., and Rockville, Md., but started her own firm in Hagerstown in July 2003.

Cromer said city residents deserve integrity, accountability and leadership in their public officials, and "the city needs to be able to trust their elected officials. ... I can provide that."

Cromer said her top priority is to make sure officials continue upgrading the city's sewer system and that the city does not face future sanctions.

The city was forced to pay an $85,750 fine in January and must meet a schedule of improvements because of problems, including wastewater spills, over the past five years.

"The state of the sewer system did not happen overnight," Cromer said, but "I think someone fell asleep at the wheel."

She said there should be a more comprehensive plan in place to continue the upgrades.

The other official council candidates are: Kristin B. Aleshire, Ruth Anne Callaham, the Rev. Haru Carter Jr., Walter E. "Nick" Carter, N. Linn Hendershot, Scott D. Hesse, Ira P. Kauffman Jr., Dan G. Kennedy, Lewis C. Metzner, Penny M. Nigh, Alesia D. Parson, Henry R. Renner Jr., Donald L. Souders Jr. and Torrence "Tory" M. VanReenen.

The primary election is March 8. The general election is May 17.

Council members are paid $8,000 a year and are eligible for city health benefits.

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