CUMBERLAND — During Thursday’s regular meeting of the Downtown Development Commission, it was announced that a new code officer has been hired to enforce the rules and regulations of the downtown mall.
Donald Orr, a retired corrections supervisor from Hyndman, Pa., was introduced at the meeting by Cumberland Chief of Police Charles Hinnant as a replacement for Larry Bascelli, who resigned.
“One of his positions in law enforcement was to supervise a hostage negotiations team. He knows how to talk to people,” said Hinnant.
Orr, who worked in the Pennsylvania corrections system, has been hired to enforce city ordinances in the town center and is expected to work an average of 30 hours per week.
Hinnant said that the position on the mall is more than code enforcement. The officer will be a goodwill ambassador to the people and businesses on the mall.
“I’ve worked on a cell block with 260 inmates, with 70 being lifers. I’m used to a tough neighborhood,” said Orr.
“We welcome you here and we don’t think our neighborhood will be as tough as the cell block,” said Ed Mullaney, the downtown manager who attends the DDC meetings to update the commission of downtown activities.
After 15 years of service, Mullaney is retiring from his post as of Oct. 31.
Orr will not have arrest powers and will not carry a firearm, but will work closely with police.
“I think he (Orr) is going to be an outstanding fit,” said Hinnant.
In other DDC news, downtown manager Jennifer Light introduced a new intern who will assist the Downtown Managers’ Office.
From China, Weiwei Chen, a recent graduate of the master’s in business adminstration program at Frostburg State University, will work 20 hours per week in the downtown office.
“She will work with the Downtown Cumberland Business Association to help increase the membership. She will also work with the local businesses to see what their needs are,” said Light.
It was also announced that a showcase of the available downtown commercial properties will be held Oct. 19.
The Cumberland Commercial Property Tour will be held throughout the downtown from noon until 3 p.m.
Properties for sale or lease will be showcased as well as some occupied buildings. An owner-occupied property at 55 Baltimore St., home of the Fort Cumberland Emporium, will be open for visitors to see a rehabilitated project in progress.
A complete list of the properties included in the tour will be in the Times-News Saturday Real Estate Guide.
For more information on the tour, or how to include a property, phone 301-777-8426.
The annual Mountain Maryland Art Sale and Tour will also be held over two weekends in October with 41 artists featured.
On Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., artists will open their studios for a viewing of their works.
A wide variety of artists are participating including painters, photographers, craft workers, sculptors, jewelers, furniture makers and more.
For more information, including a list of participating artists, visit Artsaleandtour.com or phone 301-777-2787.
Greg Larry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org