Editor’s note: This is one in an series of profiles of candidates running for office in the April 3 primary election.
Jeffrey Coney moved to Hagerstown about 10 years ago, and until now, he says, he “sat on the sidelines and complained like everybody else.”
This year, Coney, a Republican who has never held public office, decided to try to do something instead of complaining.
Coney, 50, of 201 Jackson Ave., is one of six GOP candidates for Hagerstown City Council on the April 3 primary election ballot. The top five vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, where they will face five Democrats and an unaffiliated incumbent candidate for five open council seats.
“I see things that I would like to see done ... but the people in office, at least since we’ve moved here, haven’t really either addressed them or been successful at them,” Coney said. “It’s time for me to get off the couch and put up or shut up.”
While the city faces many important issues, revitalizing business in the area is close to the top, Coney said.
“We need to give this area a shot in the arm,” he said. “I have lots of ideas to entice new businesses and the types of businesses we need to get.”
oney said he doesn’t think Hagerstown’s downtown will ever be a retail center again, but the answer might lie in other types of businesses.
“It’s just the life cycle of cities nowadays ... but professional services (and) companies — everything from engineering firms and website design — is what we need,” he said.
Coney said he would like see the Hagerstown Suns Class A minor league baseball team stay here, and supports the city having a stadium.
“I really don’t want to see the stadium go anywhere either,” he said. “I think that’s a really good draw for the city.”
“We moved here 10 years ago ... because we really liked the town and the area,” Coney said. “We moved here by choice, and I’d like to see the city prosper and continue on an (upward) path.”
Coney, a 1980 graduate of York (Pa.) High School, is employed as a program manager by theU.S. Department of Homeland Security.
His Republican opponents on April 3 include incumbent Forrest W. Easton and challengers Larry Bayer, Jonathan R. Burrs, Chris Kelly and Don Munson.
City council members serve four-year terms, receive $8,000 annually and are eligible for city health benefits.
Jeffrey Coney at a glance
Name: Jeffrey Coney
Date of birth: July 19, 1961
Address: 201 Jackson Ave.
Education: Graduate of York (Pa.) High School, 1980; holds industry certifications
Occupation: Program manager, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: None