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Commissioners candidate wants to manage growth

July 07, 2006|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY

A member of the Hagerstown Planning Commission with experience on a number of other government boards is running for a seat on the Washington County Commissioners.

Martin Brubaker said he wants to help manage growth so the county doesn't become another "residential, scattered development, suburb of Baltimore, Washington and Frederick."

Brubaker, 59, said he doesn't think the county's existing growth plan, known as the Comprehensive Plan, will protect that from happening.

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"I'm not anti-growth," he said. "I'm just looking for ways to make it work better."

Brubaker thinks moderate and balanced growth is necessary for the economy and future generations, "but every effort should be made to see that the average citizen does not pay for it and that quality of life is not diminished."

Brubaker, who filed last Friday, is running as a Democrat in the Sept. 12 primary election.

Twenty-four candidates - 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats - are in the primary. The top five vote-getters from each party will move on to the Nov. 7 general election.

The deadline to file was Monday. All five commissioner seats are open.

The position pays $30,000 per year, with the president of the commissioners making $33,000.

Brubaker's list of strategies to maintain moderate and balanced growth include seeking increased funding from the state and developers, better coordination of county and municipal capital budgets and operations, revamping the Comprehensive Plan to reflect sewer capacity limitations and reserving sewer capacity now for future economic development.

He said the county's overall goal "should be to maintain a diversified, unique community with a strong employment base, sustainable agricultural areas, a variety of housing, successful cities and towns, and preservation of our remaining heritage."

Brubaker has been on the Hagers- town Planning Commission since February 2004. He also is a member of the Washington County Water and Sewer Infrastructure Commission, Washington County Housing Task Force and Central Chemical Super-Fund Citizen Oversight Committee.

Brubaker has three stepgrandchildren in Smithsburg-area schools. He and his wife, Pamela Michael, live in Hagerstown.

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