Herald-Mail Forums

December 29, 2008

Last week's question:

Recently, a majority of the Hagerstown City Council voted to spend $58,000 to hire four local firms to market the downtown and bring higher-paying jobs there. Is that a good idea?

o Yes. The malls and outlet centers promote their product and the city should as well. - Four votes (5 percent)

o Yes and hiring downtown businesses to do it makes sense, because they have a stake in downtown's success.- 16 votes (20 percent)

o No. Downtown will never succeed until city officials do what a consultant told them to do five years ago and bring in residents who have some money to spend. - 18 votes (23 percent)


o This is just one more example of what government does when it doesn't know what else to do - they throw money at the problem. - 41 votes (52 percent)


o Posted by hdenof on Dec 22.

You can do all the studies you want. Until you have a "master plan" for business, home owners, landlords, new homes, smart growth and developers, the city is wasting time and money!

Provide tax incentives; how about waiving the city real estate tax for say five years on 100 properties that are owner-occupied in target zones - first come, first serve!

It's time to get to work and I don't mean tearing up the square again! There has been some very good progress downtown. It is only a glimpse of what could be! Here is something I've always wondered: How many of the city administrators and Workers live within the city limits?

o Posted by notlaffen on Dec. 22

Hagerstown is important because it is the largest city and the county seat. But how many people and organizations does it take "to market the downtown and bring higher-paying jobs there."

If the people in this area can not do this for free, maybe the people in this area don't want it done at all.

The City Council and the County Commissioners can spend all the money they want to on consultants, advisors, study groups and their friends and if there is no progress, you think maybe they would try Plan B? What is Plan B, by the way? I have never heard of any alternate to market the downtown and bring higher-paying jobs there.

o Posted by justthink on Dec 23

If you talk to many of the businesspeople and entrepreneurs who have risked capital to do business downtown, you will hear from them that their No. 1 complaint is the obstacle-inducing nature of city government, most specifically those in building codes and inspections. They have conflicting codes and interpretations, along with circuitous paths toward renovation that, added together, discourage and deflate the business persons' hopes and chances of ever recovering enough money to pay for it all and see any profit. These business people are not seeking a pass, but are needing the city to work with them and not against them.

o Posted by independent on Dec. 26

Let's look at the record. We have had numerous attempts to market downtown Hagerstown. The college was going to do the trick and police in the square were going to eliminate the danger but the truth is it cannot compete with the malls, which have free, easy access to parking and all of the stores in one area. Downtown should be looking at setting up offices and possible low-income housing, which would get federal funds. Downtown will never become the once-thriving place it was before the mall was built.

This week's question

On the Christmas just past, what was your greatest blessing?

o Gathering with friends and family.

o Attending church and reflecting on the birth of Jesus.

o Getting the gift I'd been hoping for.

o Still having a job.

o Nothing. Christmas is just another day to me.

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