Political newcomer Chris Kelly said the Hagerstown City Council is “making the government of the city too big.”
Putting the onus for sidewalk repairs on residents, a new recycling program and the introduction of speed-monitoring cameras are among the things the Republican candidate said he doesn’t agree with.
“I’m not happy with the way the city has been running,” he said. “They’re adding new things that basically cost the residents more money and (the council is) offering incentive programs (for recycling) ... If people want to participate in recycling, they can participate in it.”
Kelly, 23, of 1425 Glenwood Ave., is one of six candidates for the council on the Republican ballot for the April 3 primary. Five of the six candidates will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Kelly said of the sidewalk issue that he believes the city should find ways to help pay for needed improvements.
“That’s a very large cost for property owners to incur, especially since the city is trying to promote homeownership within the city limits,” he said.
Kelly said the idea of downtown revitalization is “good,” but the city should consider all areas of the city’s center.
Grants are available to help business owners make facade improvements to give the downtown a better image, he said.
“I think those (grants) could be easier to get in the hands of the business owners,” Kelly said.
There also could be a requirement that “business owners need to have a certain standard to the exterior of their building,” he said.
As for the city trying to keep the Hagerstown Suns, Kelly said other issues are more important, “with the crime and everything else in the city, and people just not wanting to go into the city as a whole.”
“My family has lived in Hagerstown ... since the 1820s,” he said. “My grandparents have lived here and they won’t go downtown ... even during the day.
“There’s so many more issues that are more important than (the Suns), but I’m not saying something shouldn’t be done to get them to stay here.”
Kelly, a 2006 graduate of Williamsport High School and a 2011 graduate of James Rumsey Technical Institute, said he doesn’t feel the current elected officials are acting “as a true Democracy” would.
If elected, he said, he would keep the taxpayers’ ideals in mind when voting.
Council members serve four-year terms, earn $8,000 annually and are eligible for city health benefits.
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles of candidates running for office in the April 3 primary election.
Chris Kelly at a glance
Name: Chris Kelly
Date of Birth: July 19, 1988
Address: 1425 Glenwood Ave.
Education: Graduate of Williamsport High School, 2006; post-secondary diploma in automotive technology from James Rumsey Technical Institute, 2011.
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: None