Brubaker: City has everything

December 12, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

HAGERSTOWN - The man about to be sworn in as Hagerstown's newest City Council member raved about his adopted home Monday.

Hagerstown has the "quality of life found in a small urban area, but you can still get around, meet a lot of people," Martin E. Brubaker said.

The former urban planner said he and his wife, Pamela Michael, often walk or drive around neighborhoods to discover more about Hagerstown, where Brubaker officially made his home several years ago in the midst of 12 years of visits.

Upon moving within a half-mile of a chemical site, Brubaker found himself at a neighborhood meeting about that site. There, he networked with people who would lead him to a position on the Hagerstown Planning Commission in February 2004.


"It's a neat area to me," Brubaker said. "You sort of want to give back."

Brubaker has been a member of the Washington County Water and Sewer Infrastructure Commission, Washington County Housing Task Force and Central Chemical Super-Fund Citizen Oversight Committee. He also volunteers with and serves on the boards of directors of several organizations.

He said his application to fill a vacancy on the City Council came from "a strong interest in seeing what can be done with the community." Brubaker sees parallels between Hagerstown and his hometown of Johnstown, Pa., except he said Johnstown is in economic decline "while this area has an up arrow."

"You've got enough here, ... everything from cultural things like the museum and symphony to shopping things," Brubaker said.

Growth needs to be managed in a manner that benefits the community as a whole, not just certain sectors, Brubaker said.

"I think a reasonable level of growth is important for a healthy community," Brubaker said.

The planning commission has taught him to appreciate views of different groups of people, especially longtime residents with a knowledge of the area, he said.

The City Council last week selected Brubaker from a pool of six finalists to fill a seat made vacant when Kristin B. Aleshire was sworn in as a Washington County Commissioner. Brubaker had been a candidate in the County Commissioners race, but he withdrew for "personal reasons" in August.

The formal vote on Brubaker's selection will be today, with a swearing-in anticipated at 4 p.m.

Name: Martin E. Brubaker

Age: 60

Address: 1016 Lindsay Lane

Occupation: Retired from urban planning and budget management

Party: Democrat

Key issue facing the City Council: Growth

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