City Council discusses holiday party

June 13, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Some members of the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday defended a December holiday party in which several city officials spent nearly $800 of the taxpayers' money at a downtown restaurant.

The party was attended by Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, four of the five members of council, an unknown number of city department supervisors and an unknown number of private residents who were at the restaurant and invited to join.

During the Tuesday city council work session, Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer said that in its coverage, The Herald-Mail was scrutinizing the council too harshly, while at the same time, turning a blind eye to other government bodies in Washington County.

She mentioned the Washington County Commissioners as one of those government bodies and offered some possible story ideas concerning the commissioners' spending of public money.


Although Cromer did not give any details, she joked that the council might have another party during a break between two meetings on the council's schedule next week.

Councilwoman Alesia Parson-McBean said she would not apologize for attending the party.

"Those hors d'oeuvres were really good," she said, referring to the crab and shrimp that were among the items on the menu.

Parson-McBean justified the party by saying that it helped benefit a Hagerstown restaurant whose owner had invested in the downtown.

She and Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the bill covered only food and not alcohol.

Metzner said he didn't want to say that the council should refrain from having another holiday party.

Now that the mayor and council have been called "on the carpet," he said the issue was worth discussing.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh, the sole council member who did not attend the party, and Councilman Martin Brubaker did not comment about the party.

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