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Council to interview 4 finalists for mayor

February 23, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday selected four applicants to be interviewed for the city's vacant mayoral post: program manager Jeffrey M. Coney, retired insurance agent Ann Holtzman, former Hagerstown City Councilwoman Carol N. Moller and former Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II.

City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner confirmed the selections Wednesday.

Each of the applicants will have a 30-minute, closed-door interview with the council Feb. 28. The interviews will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The council should have about 30 minutes to make its choice in time to appoint a new mayor at its 7 p.m. voting session.

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Former Mayor Richard F. Trump, 60, resigned Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences with the city council, an all-Democratic, five-member body. Fourteen people applied for the vacant position.

Metzner said once the council makes a decision, it will explain the choice but will not discuss why it ruled out the other applicants.

"I think that if we would've had a 5-0 vote (Tuesday), we would have had a mayor by now," Metzner said. "I think that we have a number of very competitive people (seeking the appointment)."

Coney, 44, of 201 Jackson Ave., is a program manager for AlphaInsight Corp. in Falls Church, Va. A Williamsport, Pa., native, he is currently working on a five-year vendor contract and oversees a team supporting the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, according to his resume.

Holtzman, 62, of 1076 Lindsay Lane, worked for 28 years as an Allstate insurance agent. She co-founded a victim advocate program with the Hagerstown Police Department and continues to serve as an active member of the program, according to a letter she submitted with her application.

Moller, 70, of 1744 Edgewood Hill Circle, served on the City Council from 2001-05 and opted not to run for re-election. As part of her application, she included the city's rental licensing program, the Jonathan Street police camera system installation, and a new bulk trash program among accomplishments during her tenure.

Bruchey, 47, of 905 Woodland Way, was mayor from 1997-2001. He ran again in 2001 but lost to Democrat William M. Breichner. He lost the March 2005 primary to Trump and finished behind both Trump and Breichner as a write-in candidate in the general election. Bruchey works in sales at Hagerstown Ford. He has served on the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and The Greater Hagerstown Committee.

The council decided to hold private interviews with the finalists, a recommendation Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire made during the work session Tuesday. In a telephone interview Wednesday, he said it would be unfair to hold public interviews because the applicants might not have expected that going into the process.

"I just didn't feel it was a part of the process that we established and, therefore, there was no expectation from those parties that applied that the process would include public interviews," Aleshire said.

Council members Metzner, Kelly S. Cromer and Alesia D. Parson-McBean said they supported Aleshire's suggestion to hold private interviews. Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh did not return a phone call for comment.

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