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Chamber endorsements for city election

May 15, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce on Friday announced its endorsements for candidates in the 2009 Hagerstown city election.

In March, each candidate had the opportunity to answer a Chamber questionnaire and, based on their responses, the Chamber has chosen its candidates for Tuesday's election, it said in a prepared release.

Following is the text of the chamber release:

"For mayor, the Chamber supports incumbent Robert E. Bruchey II because of his experience and grasp of the issues. Above all, we appreciate Mr. Bruchey's recognition that not all good ideas come from within City Hall. His willingness to hear from different constituent groups -- whether he agrees with them or not -- means that anyone living or working in the city has a receptive listener in the mayor's office.

"For City Council, the Chamber supports William Breichner, Forrest Easton, Martin E. Brubaker, Ashley C. Haywood and Lewis C. Metzner.

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"Each candidate brings his or her own strengths to the council and, as a group, their collective skills offer an approach to governing well suited for Hagerstown. Together, they bring to city government a mix of experience, gender, perspective, and party affiliation.

"Ms. Haywood, a small business owner, knows when government should help and when it should get out of the way. Mr. Easton values process and data-driven decision making, and he would hold government accountable by measuring results. Mr. Breichner, with his years at both the staff and elected levels, offers city government an institutional memory and a thoughtful temperament. Mr. Brubaker and Mr. Metzner provide a measure of experience and continuity.

"Together, these five will make up a council well equipped to lead the city for the next four years.

"On the possible change to the election date, the Chamber supports moving the city election to coincide with the general election beginning in 2012, and so we urge a 'Yes' vote on the ballot question. The Chamber believes the city's off-year election schedule hurts voter turnout, and so the mayor and council are elected by a tiny fraction of the city electorate. If citizens could decide Hagerstown's leadership at the same time that they vote for other elected leaders, more, well informed people would vote in city elections, and its mayor and council would be determined by a broader base of residents."

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