Trump, council continue to be at odds

June 15, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

Hagerstown City Council and Mayor Richard F. Trump continue to experience friction.

Trump, a Republican, has at times been at odds with the all-Democratic city council.

During the council's work session Tuesday, Trump sought to stifle debate surrounding a group's request for city support in funding improvements to the Washington Gardens public housing complex.

Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc. sought the council's support in applying for tax-free loans from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Trump, who was in favor of the group's efforts, appeared agitated at Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh's suggestion that the facility does not give preference to Hagerstown residents. Trump sought to redirect deliberations and was cut off.

"Respect the chair," Trump said. "Are we going to sit around here all night asking questions that we are not properly informed of?"


"The only person who cuts off debate is the body (City Council)," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said. "When you tell us you have one more minute (left) to debate this issue, you're out of order."

Council members were not yet through with Trump, who apparently failed to consult with them before signing a support letter in his name and theirs for Hagerstown Business College.

Near the end of the meeting Tuesday night, Metzner said that despite the "little spat," he believes relations between Trump and the council are improving.

"I think it's going to take a number of weeks before we get our sea legs," Metzner said. "It's constructive criticism, and take it as that."

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