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Mayoral candidates address Potomac St. project

March 02, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown voters will head to the polls during the March 10 primary to choose a Republican mayoral candidate to advance to the general election in May.

On the GOP ballot are incumbent Robert E. Bruchey II, and primary challengers Jonathan R. Burrs and Ann Holtzman.

Burrs and Holtzman are political newcomers.

The winner of the primary will move on to the May 19 general election to face Democrat David S. Gysberts, who is the lone Democrat running for mayor in the primary.

Bruchey was mayor from 1997 to 2001, but lost a re-election bid to William M. Breichner. He ran again in 2005, but was defeated by former Mayor Richard F. Trump.

The City Council appointed Bruchey mayor in 2006 after Trump resigned from office less than a year into his term.

Gysberts unsuccessfully sought a seat on the City Council in 2006 to fill the remainder of the term of former Councilman Kristin Aleshire, who resigned after he was elected to a seat on the Washington County Commissioners.

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Aleshire's seat was awarded to Councilman Martin E. Brubaker.

Brubaker is running for re-election this year.

The next mayor will take office June 1. The annual salary for the post is $28,000.

Mayor candidates address

Potomac Street project

With the City of Hagerstown's primary election approaching, The Herald-Mail asked each of the four candidates for mayor to respond to four questions.

The candidates' answers to the fourth and final question can be found below. Responses to the previous questions were printed Feb. 9, 16 and 23.

This week's question: Do you believe the current administration has neglected other parts of the city by focusing too heavily on developing the first block of South Potomac Street?

What ran Sunday: Candidates for City Council responded to this week's question.

The Feb. 23 question: Would you support furloughing or laying off municipal employees to save the city money?

The Feb. 16 question: How would you try to bring jobs to the City of Hagerstown?

The Feb. 9 question: What is the biggest problem facing the City of Hagerstown and, if elected, what will you do to solve it?

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Check out the candidates' answers to all four questions and view videos of those candidates who accepted an invitation to tell voters why they thought they are the best candidate for the job. Go to www.herald-mail.com and click on Hagerstown City Election, which is a hot topic beneath the two blue bars at the top of the page.

Editor's note: The following is the fourth of four questions that candidates for mayor of Hagerstown were asked to answer, followed by their 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 appear as they were received from the candidates.

Question: Do you believe that the current administration has neglected other parts of the city by focusing too heavily on developing the first block of South Potomac Street?

Republicans



Robert E. Bruchey II, 50

Republican, Incumbent

905 Woodland Way

As mayor, I represent all of Hagerstown. While the downtown area might get a lot of press attention, it is simply one part of a much bigger city. Right now, the city is making major capital investments on Eastern Boulevard, Jonathan Street and the West End reservoir. We are actively working with residents across Hagerstown to make our neighborhoods safer and respond to needs that exist. Our Neighborhoods 1st groups have helped to make improvements in their neighborhoods all across the city. The cost of improvements to the Arts and Entertainment District pale in comparison to these other projects mentioned. I have always maintained an open-door policy to constituents and organizations so they have a voice at City Hall for any concerns or suggestions.

Jonathan R. Burrs, 38

Republican

950 Lanvale St.

Development in the first block of South Potomac Street is a good beginning to the downtown revitalization; whether too much focus has been given to these efforts is a matter of opinion. I do believe other parts of the city have been neglected and I don't believe enough attention has been given to the downtown area in general to ensure a small number of irresponsible city residents are prevented from trashing the city.

Shortly after Bulls and Bears opened, my wife and I took a walk through the downtown area and made several distressing observations: people throwing cigarette butts and other trash on sidewalks, in addition to some walking animals with no intentions on cleaning up after them. In my opinion, there needs to be an ordinance preventing people from walking their animals in the business district and heavy fines for those who trash the city.

Ann Holtzman, 65

Republican

1076 Lindsay Lane

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