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Thirteen file to run for City Council

January 25, 2009|By DAN DEARTH and HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- Thirteen people have met the filing requirements to run for Hagerstown City Council in the March 10 primary election.

The top five vote-getters from each party will advance to the general election on May 19. All five council seats are up for grabs.

According to election documents, the official council candidates for the primary are R. Noel Brady, William M. Breichner, Martin E. Brubaker, Patrick N. Crist, Kelly S. Cromer, Forrest W. Easton, David A. Lidz, Alesia D. Parson-McBean, Jeremy L. Manford, Joseph A. Marschner, Lewis C. Metzner, Don Mohar and Penny M. Nigh.

Brubaker, Cromer, Metzner, Nigh and Parson-McBean are incumbents.

Another candidate for council, Ashley Haywood of 629 Oak Hill Ave., Apt. 6, will not participate in the primary because she is running unaffiliated.

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Democrats

  • R. Noel Brady, 68, of 40 E. Antietam St.

    Brady, a co-owner of Andrew K. Coffman Funeral Home Inc., said he has lived downtown for the past 37 years.

    "I decided to run for the City Council because I believe the city needs a positive change with new vision and input from the citizens of Hagerstown, and from local established businesses," Brady said.

    He said the City Council needs to stop spending money frivolously.

    "We are in a recession," Brady said. "The federal and state government are spending in a deficit. Money the city government would receive will be reduced. The council cannot keep spending money with the economy."

    Brady said the city needs to continue to develop downtown by finding investors who want to renovate vacant buildings.

    "All this can be done if the City Council will listen to new ideas and have an open mind," he said. "I feel I have new ideas, an open mind, and I am willing to listen to the people of Hagerstown if elected."

    Brady is a graduate of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Services.

  • William M. Breichner, 77, of 1117 Oak Hill Ave.

    Breichner served as Hagerstown mayor from 2001-05 and as a city councilman for three terms.

    "Anyone who runs (for office) is interested for progress and the future of Hagerstown," he said. "I believe I can make a contribution."

    Breichner said he wants to see downtown continue to succeed. To do that, the city needs to bring in "moderate-income types."

    "We need to provide services that people need in their everyday living -- like a loaf of bread and a quart of milk," he said. "That sort of thing is needed if you're going to have residential services."

    Breichner said some of his biggest accomplishments while he served in office include helping secure funding for the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown and University Plaza.

    He also helped facilitate the demolition of the former Double T Lounge on South Potomac Street so development could proceed, he said.

    "I think that was an accomplishment in itself," Breichner said.

    Breichner graduated from St. Mary's High School and then served in the Navy from 1951-53, he said. After being discharged, he worked for the City of Hagerstown as a draftsman, superintendent of water and city administrator.

    "The City of Hagerstown was a great employer," he said. "They treated me well."

  • Martin E. Brubaker, 62, of 183 Brynwood St.

    Brubaker was appointed to the council in December 2006 to replace Kristin B. Aleshire, who is now a Washington County Commissioner.

    He said he stands for conservative fiscal policies and managed growth.

    A longtime member of the Hagerstown Planning Commission, Brubaker now serves as an ex-officio member of that group and was a leader in recent efforts to update the city's comprehensive plan, which guides development for the next 20 years. The updated plan was approved by the council in April.

    In May, Brubaker voted to decrease the city's property tax rate by one cent per $100 in assessed value. He said he feels that when property values are increasing, the city should provide for its capital needs and protect necessary services, but should also look to give some of the property tax assessment back to the taxpayer.

    He said his other goals would be to continue to improve relations with the county and with the county's delegation to the General Assembly, to bolster the central business district and to seek funds for the central library.

    Brubaker is retired from a career as a management and budget official for Montgomery County, Md., and holds a bachelor of arts degree from Gettysburg (Pa.) College. He serves on the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and is on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity-Washington County.

  • Kelly S. Cromer, 43, of 21 Summit Ave.

    Cromer, a current council member, is seeking her second term. She said she decided to run again "to keep improving Hagerstown and be a voice for the citizens."

    "I enjoy being on the council and I think I'm needed there," she said.

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