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City hopes to double United Way donations

September 20, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

The city of Hagerstown is hoping to double how much its employees contribute to the United Way this year.

City Clerk Donna K. Spickler said at Tuesday's city council meeting that employees donated about $9,000 last year.

This year's goal is $20,000.

A memo on the fundraising campaign proposes giving employees who donate at least $65 this year four hours off from work.

At the top level - a $195 donation - an employee would get 12 hours off from work.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he supports United Way and the city's campaign, but he objects to the time-off plan. He said the city and its taxpayers would be paying for the contribution instead of the employee - and, for higher-paid employees, the city would be paying more than the contribution.

"That doesn't sound like a donation," he said.

Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer said some departments are short-staffed and would have to pay overtime to make up for employees who get time off.

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Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean said people should donate money because they want to, not because they want time off from work.

She recommended eliminating time off as an incentive, but keeping the second part: Chances to win prizes such as a golf package and a family photo package.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II pledged $20 a week, which comes to $1,040 for a year.

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