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All of us must help work for Hagerstown

February 10, 2009|By WILLIAM BREICHNER

Our city belongs to all the citizens of Hagerstown, an ownership based on the foundation established by generations of citizens who dedicated their time and interest to see that our city is maintained as a solid democratic and progressive system.

Please do not treat it as an impersonal thing or as something to be sneered at and ignored. Treat it as something that belongs to each and every one of you and be proud of your ownership.

I don't care how much you criticize it or to which political party you belong; just remember that our city belongs to you and deserves your support. It is going to take the strong support of all our citizens to manage it in the future because, as we all know, we are facing some very difficult times; businesses are closing and our unemployment rate is climbing.

Many are in danger of losing their homes and some cannot afford the basics needed to live in reasonable comfort.

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We must find a way to restore our inner city. We must rebuild our older residential areas to provide safe and convenient housing at a reasonable cost for our low- and moderate-income citizens as well as for our senior citizens. We must improve conditions to allow for more much-needed retail business. We must improve the safety of our streets so that all our citizens can comfortably live and patronize our residential and business communities.

To accomplish this we must rethink just how we wish our government to operate.

Do we continue to manage as in the past, which has seen many older institutions moving outside the city, local businesses closing their doors and many of what once were great residential areas become vacant or receding to slum conditions?

Do we continue to avoid a good working relationship with our county government and the business community? Or do we begin to think and operate in a manner that will bring a new direction and energy to the way our city is managed and undertake the work of restoring its viability? This will not be easy, but with the support of all our citizens, a way will be found!

The first step in this process is for you to show your pride of ownership and vote in the upcoming primary and general city elections.

William M. Breichner is a candidate for Hagerstown City Council.

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