Editor’s note: This is one in an series of profiles of candidates running for office in the April 3 primary election.
Democrat Lewis C. Metzner, who has been a Hagerstown City Council member since 1994, said he’s enjoyed his time serving the community in which he works.
“I’ve seen a lot of things that have happened in the community over the last 14 or 15 years, and I would like to continue it,” said the 59-year-old lawyer with Metzner & Hadigan Attorneys at Law. “I think there’s a lot of good that has taken place.”
Metzner, of 322 E. Irvin Avenue, was appointed to the five-member council in 1994 and has won re-election every voting cycle since. He will be joined by incumbents William M. Breichner and Martin E. Brubaker, and former council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny M. Nigh, on the Democratic ballot in the April 3 primary election. All five will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, where they will face five Republicans and unaffiliated incumbent Ashley C. Haywood.
The slow-moving economy is at the forefront of Metzner’s mind when asked about the most important issue facing the city.
“It’s a national problem,” Metzner said. “I think it’s improving and I’m hoping to see improvements coming to Hagerstown, but I think the most obvious thing that needs to be done is try to bring business and revitalization to our downtown area.
“Obviously, without ignoring the rest of the city, but we must not let the downtown decay,” Metzner said.
Metzner would like to see a “substantial” downtown revitalization that might include a new stadium for the Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team and/or the Washington County Board of Education moving its offices near the City Center.
“It’s absolutely and abundantly clear for that to happen, there has to be support by the county and the state, and for them to support it, there’s got to be genuine overall community support,” he said.
It is his opinion that discussions on the subject need to be open and public, “and I’ll call for it again,” Metzner added.
“I don’t think anything will proceed ... until we start discussing these things publicly and seek public input,” Metzner said. “And I firmly support that.”
City council members serve terms of four years, earn $8,000 annually and are eligible for city health benefits. The terms of current council members are abbreviated because of the adjustment required to hold city elections with the presidential election.
Lewis C. Metzner, incumbent
Date of birth: Dec. 13, 1952
Address: 322 E. Irvin Ave.
Education: Graduate of North Hagerstown High School, 1970; Bachelor of Science in behavioral sciences from University of Maryland at College Park, 1974; Juris Doctor law degree from University of Baltimore Law School, 1977
Occupation: Lawyer with Metzner & Hadigan Attorneys at Law
Party affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: Appointed to city council in 1994; elected and has served on the council until the present; previously ran for mayor of Hagerstown, county commissioner and state senator