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Blackstock moves from Red Cross to development coodinator

January 16, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Cindy Blackstock, the former director of disaster services for the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, will be introduced as the City of Hagerstown's community development coordinator today during a City Council work session.

Community Development Manager Larry Bayer said last week that Blackstock was hired, in part, for having nine years of experience working with Red Cross volunteers. She began her new job Jan. 2.

One of Blackstock's primary duties is heading Hagerstown's Neighborhood First Program, a program in which city officials meet with neighborhood groups to discover what improvements residents want, Bayer said. Once the problem areas are pinpointed, the city tries to find a way to fund fixing them.

Some of the program's accomplishments include landscaping, graffiti elimination campaigns and upgrading neighborhood playgrounds, according to the city's Web site.

"(The Neighborhood First Program) is to make people responsible for the well-being of their own neighborhoods," Bayer said.

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He said Blackstock also will be in charge of putting together community forums.

The community development coordinator's position is full time and has an annual salary range of $42,203 to $63,440, Bayer said. Blackstock will start at $43,930, he said.

Blackstock, 49, said she applied for the position after a city employee told her it was open.

Blackstock said the main difference between her job with the city and working for the Red Cross is that she will be able to do more planning, rather than reacting to disasters on a moment's notice.

"I'm at the point in my life when I needed a change," she said. "I'm now where I was meant to be."

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