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Bruchey back in office

Former mayor sworn in to familiar post

Former mayor sworn in to familiar post

March 02, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

Headed to Annapolis today on behalf of the city, scheduled to deliver part of the State of the City address next week and soon to be immersed in the city's budget process, freshly appointed Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II will have little time to relish in his return to the position after about five years away from City Hall.

Susan Bruchey expected as much and believes her husband has returned to his comfort zone in city politics.

"He is off and running," she said Wednesday morning, after the former mayor took the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall. "I think he's real comfortable being here."

The Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint Bruchey to replace former Mayor Richard F. Trump, who resigned Feb. 1. Washington County Circuit Court Clerk Dennis Weaver administered the oath of office to Bruchey as his wife, one of his sons, his mother and mother-in-law sat among an audience of about two dozen for the 15-minute event.

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"Congratulations, and welcome back," Weaver said to Bruchey, who then drew applause after he called his wife to stand by his side, put his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek.

Council members Kelly S. Cromer, Lewis C. Metzner and Penny M. Nigh stood by Bruchey as he became the city's new mayor. Metzner could not help but remark on the symmetry of the occasion, that of a former mayor replacing former Mayor Trump.

"Soon ex-mayor, soon to be new Mayor Trump, who's -," Metzner said before correcting himself, "this would be ex-Mayor Bruchey, soon to be new Mayor Bruchey."

Bruchey, 47, a Hagerstown Ford salesman, served as mayor from 1997 to 2001. He lost to Trump in the Republican city primary election and to Trump and incumbent Democratic Mayor William M. Breichner as a write-in candidate in last spring's general election.

"I want to thank the council for having the faith to pick me ," Bruchey said during the brief ceremony. "I think we're going to have a fantastic 3 1/2 years."

During Tuesday's council meeting, Bruchey volunteered to accompany City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman and Kathleen A. Maher to Annapolis today to lobby against state legislation which could affect municipalities' ability to annex land into their borders. Following his swearing-in ceremony, he said he spent the early-morning hours Wednesday researching the legislation.

Bruchey said he has made arrangements to scale back his hours at Hagerstown Ford and is looking forward to throwing himself into the role of mayor once again. He said while he is pleased with the council's appointment, "I'm a very grounded person, I don't get excited very often, but I am excited."

Perhaps more excited than Bruchey was his mother, Pat, who said her phone began to ring as early as 7:30 Wednesday morning with people calling to congratulate her on her son's appointment. She said the calls were so frequent she barely had enough time to get ready for the 9:30 a.m. ceremony.

"I'm just thrilled, emotionally I was crying, but they were happy tears," she said. "It's been a little 'pins and needles' the way it went, but I'm very proud."

Council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Alesia D. Parson-McBean did not attend the ceremony. Aleshire said he was unable to clear his work schedule and Parson-McBean said she was unaware the event was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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