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Why I favor Gysberts for mayor of Hagerstown

March 15, 2009

As a small business owner in downtown Hagerstown, I see my potential for success as being closely linked to the overall growth and development of the city.

Likewise, much of Hagerstown's success lies in the prosperity and achievements of its local businesses and residents. To provide its citizens with a place they can be proud to call home and for our citizens to transform that place into a community that feels like home is a relationship of mutual benefit we should all aspire to adopt.

David Gysberts, Democratic candidate for mayor, exemplifies such commitment. He has invested his whole life towards helping others meet their maximum potential-and now needs your support in helping to lead Hagers- town into an era of change and prosperity.

I first met David in 2001 while he worked as an educator in Washington County Public Schools. While there, he served as a mentor to me and others before moving on to continue his education and training in neighboring school districts.

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While working away from home, he specialized in providing guidance to troubled and delinquent teens, helping them earn diplomas and GEDs they otherwise might not have been able to obtain.

A multi-tasker, he was simultaneously helping overweight individuals improve their lifestyle in a program offered by the Frederick Memorial Hospital - all while earning his Master's Degree - before returning to his roots.

Though many of the experiences he draws from have taken him outside of Washington County, he chose to make the city he was raised in his home.

He now lives a few blocks out of downtown, goes to work every day like the rest of us, and comes home ready to turn his attentions elsewhere - back toward the community he loves.

He says he doesn't want to be mayor for the money or the prestige; he's willing to go the extra mile for you and me - his neighbors - because he truly cares about the place he calls home.

A strong advocate of fiscal responsibility, he said he would maintain the city's currently sound financial position while making sure that spending is allocated for programs and plans that would be of the most benefit to the community.

As a descendant of the Leiter family (who maintained a chain of department stores in Hagerstown and Pennsylvania throughout the middle of the 20th century), he sees the potential for revitalization within the town center and desires growth to come in a controlled, responsible manner that would beautify the city and draw more high-paying jobs and residents into town through careful planning.

As a fighter, he would stand up to developers and special interest groups who would seek to make their profits at the expense of our quality of life by rushing projects through with little consideration given to infrastructure and planning.

As a trained mediator and counselor, he would bring to City Hall the leadership and sound reason necessary to better coordinate and streamline our city government, while reaching out to our county officials and other agencies. He's not one to let personal differences bog down an agenda; when it's an important issue, he'll stand firm. And when it's just a difference of opinion holding progress back, he knows when it's OK to agree to disagree.

David Gysberts knows that by working together, we can better share and cultivate our ideas for how to make the greater Hagerstown area a greener, friendlier and more enticing place to live, work, and grow. I invite you to join in that process!

Eric Muritz is the

owner of Bentley's Bagels, Deli & More.

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