Next week's question: Would you support furloughing or laying off municipal employees to save the city money?
The following is the second of four questions that candidates for Hagerstown City Council were asked to answer, followed by the candidates' responses.
Candidates were asked to keep their responses to 150 words or less. Responses were edited for length and to fix typos or errors. Otherwise, they are as received from the candidates.
Question: How will you try to bring jobs to the City of Hagerstown?
R. Noel Brady, 68
40 E. Antietam St.
With the economy, businesses closing almost daily and so many people unemployed it would be a difficult task. The city would need to work closely with the Washington County economic development people to bring new jobs to the city. The city and county would need to work together and not independent of each other.
William M. Breichner, 77
1117 Oak Hill Ave.
Although I would like to see employment levels increase in the City proper, one must remember Hagerstown is a partner in and with the Washington County community. New jobs, regardless of where it is located, benefits and provides opportunities for city residents by way of employment and improved local economy.
I believe that it is important that we develop a stronger working relationship with the Washington County Commissioners and their Economic Development Commission (EDC) in a effort to support the City's Economic Development Office.
First, the City should develop a policy that would ease conditions on water and sewer service in the county's designated industrial and business parks. In return, EDC would play a more active role in encouraging employment opportunities to be located in new or existing sites within the corporate limits.
I call upon every city business and residents to become a partner in helping our local job opportunities grow.
Martin E. Brubaker, 62
183 Brynwood St.
Attracting a variety of employment opportunities is essential to the successful future of Hagerstown.
To lay the groundwork for economic growth, the City Planning Commission has created and the City Council approved new zoning categories for commercial and industrial properties, as well as a new Comprehensive Plan that recommends extensive land for application of these zones. Thus, when economic conditions take an upswing, ample opportunity will exist for potential employers to find suitable locations.
To follow-up, we must reach out to attract new employers and sustain existing business. I support new efforts to market the City such as Hagerstown Advance and various downtown initiatives. I believe that these investments will pay back.
Over the long-term, if the property tax base resumes increasing, we should use a portion of that dividend to reduce property tax, helping competitiveness for business.
Serving on the Planning Commission, Economic Development Commission, and Council, I am working to bring jobs to Hagerstown.
Kelly S. Cromer, 43
21 Summit Ave. (business address)
I have pushed for and will continue to push for the City to form our own Economic Development Commission, which would be made up of volunteers that would comprise citizens and professionals in the economic development field. This will provide an added benefit to our Economic Development Department, to assist with new and innovated ideas and strategies to promote the City and attract better paying jobs.
Additionally, I will continue to push for the City to hire an experienced, knowledgeable and successful person in the economic development field, to provide the needed expertise to draw and retain higher paying jobs to the area.
I also plan to continue my work with the County on the two plus two, in order to attract higher paying jobs to the City, by offering collaborative incentives, ideas and services to new businesses.
David A. Lidz, 43
716 Summit Ave.
To pursue my vision of making Hagerstown "Maryland's (or Appalachia's, or the East Coast's!) Renewable Energy Center," I will: