Council finalists pared to half dozen

November 30, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - The city of Hagerstown on Wednesday notified six finalists for a city council vacancy, one day after the council eliminated 10 other applicants.

The city planned to release the finalists' names Friday. After The Herald-Mail learned who four were and asked Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II to confirm them, he revealed the other two.

The finalists are:

· Martin E. Brubaker of 1016 Lindsay Lane, a retired public administrator

· Walter E. "Nick" Carter of 1009 Salem Ave., a retired Hagerstown police officer

· Christina A. Davis of 815 The Terrace, a publishing director for The American Occupational Therapy Association's AOTA Press in Bethesda, Md.

· David Scott Gysberts of 795 Hamilton Blvd., a school counselor in Montgomery County, Md.

· Ralph Mauriello of 753 Spruce St., a business sales consultant for First Data in Hagerstown

· Henry R. Renner Jr. of 226 Bryan Place, a Washington County construction inspector and retired city employee


Sixteen people applied by Monday's deadline to fill the seat Democratic Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire is vacating. Aleshire won a Washington County commissioner election and will be sworn in next week.

The city charter calls for the council to pick a replacement of the same party as the official who is leaving.

The council will interview finalists for 10 minutes apiece in open session Tuesday, then call some or all of those finalists back for private interviews the following week.

Aleshire's successor is scheduled to be sworn in Dec. 19.

Of the five finalists The Herald-Mail reached Wednesday, only Renner said the entire interview process should be open.

Brubaker couldn't be reached by phone or e-mail.

The council eliminated two applicants - Steven R. Cromer of 448 Summit Ave., Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer's husband, and Gary E. Swartz of 441 Indiana Ave., Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh's brother - to avoid a conflict. The city's ethics policy would have prohibited Kelly Cromer and Nigh from discussing or voting on a replacement council member.

Another applicant, Harry L. Brubaker III of 63 West Side Ave., said he was rejected because of a perceived conflict.

Federal employees can't run for public office in partisan elections.

A contract specialist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Md., Harry Brubaker said he asked his agency if he could serve on the Hagerstown City Council. He said he was told he could because the city needs a Democrat to fill Aleshire's position; therefore, Brubaker wouldn't run in a partisan election.

Bruchey, however, said a city attorney believed Brubaker would not have been eligible to serve and keep his federal job.

City Clerk Donna K. Spickler said one applicant - Ivory Clinton Mann Jr. of 10840 Downsville Pike - was eliminated for not living in the city.

Another, Jerry Lee Hose Sr. of 26 S. Locust St., said he withdrew his application Tuesday. After being laid off from the city's Parks and Recreation Department, Hose found another job that starts Monday, he said.

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