Former Mayor Bruchey says he has more to offer the city

February 24, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

HAGERSTOWN - Robert E. Bruchey II said he believes the way he did things when he was mayor four years ago is better for the City of Hagerstown.

Bruchey, a Republican, is again a candidate running to be the city's mayor.

Bruchey, 46, of 905 Woodland Way, sells autos at Hagerstown Ford, where he has worked for four years. He has three sons - Jason, Robert and Patrick - from two marriages. His wife is Susan Bruchey.

Bruchey was born in Hagerstown and raised in the city's West End. After his parents moved outside the city, he attended Smithsburg High School, graduating in 1976.


After attending Hagerstown Junior College for one year, Bruchey joined the U.S. Army and served as a military police officer in Germany.

In 1980, Bruchey took a job with the Maryland Division of Correction, where he worked as a prison guard and then a supervisor. He retired from the prison system in 1994 and began working in auto sales.

Bruchey won election as mayor in 1997. He said his most proud achievements as mayor were marked by his being able to respond to citizens' needs. Among those, Bruchey included his invitation to then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening to tour the Baldwin House, a meeting he said spurred this year's opening of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

He said he also is proud of smaller achievements, such as pushing for the anti-cruising ordinance.

Bruchey said his biggest failure in those four years was "not being able to do more," although he said if he is elected, he wouldn't need time to acclimate to city government, as he did in 1997.

He lost his re-election bid in the 2001 general election and also lost a race for the General Assembly in 2002 against Del. John P. Donoghue, R-Washington.

Bruchey said he wants to be mayor again because "I believe I have more to offer to the citizens of Hagerstown: The leadership that they require, the leadership the city requires."

Bruchey's top priority in this campaign is to stabilize property taxes while looking at the possibility of decreasing them while maintaining city services.

He also wants to unearth some procedures from his previous administration, which he said would help increase communication with local officials and citizens. He said he would like to hold bimonthly meetings with the commissioners, and he would like to hold special office hours for citizen comments.

The other official candidates for mayor are: Charlie Baker, William M. Breichner, Anthony "Tony" T. Campello, Richard "Dick" F. Trump.

The mayor is paid $28,000 a year and is eligible for city health benefits. The primary election is March 8. The general election is May 17.

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