Let’s talk with Steven Schutte and his run for Mayor of Hagerstown 

11 March 2024- Steven Schutte, General Manager of Point Broadband in Hagerstown, will be throwing his hat into the ring for Hagerstown Mayor this November.

He won Business Person of the Year for Washington County recently. 

Schutte said, “I’m actually lucky enough this is my fifth win with the Chamber. Two for customer service, one for Young Professional of the Year and one for Small Business the Year and this one was completely unexpected. I was sitting there with my mom and my dad and my girlfriend. I looked over and I said there’s no way. I’m a young guy. I’m 38. I never thought at 39, I’d have that win. They called my name and I stood up and I swear I was shaking from the time I walked up to the steps, received the award, my speech, all the way out. I was still shaking for a day after that. It was not expected.”

What made him want to run for mayor? 

Schutte said, “It’s been a long time coming into consideration. I do so much in this community already and really, really enjoy my time with Hagerstown. I’ve basically lived here my whole life. I already advocate on the county level, the state level, in library systems and out volunteering just about every week. The city deserves a mayor that is going to represent us here locally and is going to represent us here on the state level and the county level and make a big play here to bring everybody back together.”

What does he love about Hagerstown and what would he change? 

Schutte said, “My biggest love for the city and really this community as a whole is it’s a microcosm of Maryland, it’s a microcosm of the country. You have a large swath of diversity, small business, large business, different industries coming through. I like the support and people don’t realize that there are so many nonprofits in the area working hard to make a bigger impact and difference here in the city. That’s where I’ve kind of laid my hat and seen all those individuals kind of work together and those organizations work together to drive a narrative of peace and success. I was so happy to be a part of that. If I had that magic wand to fix something, I’ve been telling people COVID kind of hurt us a little bit and the dynamics have changed across the state, city, the country. Do you remember when you were a kid and you’re in your neighborhood and you do something bad, you throw a rock into the street? Everybody knew. The first person to call your parents was your neighbor. We’ve gotten away from that. We’ve gotten away from that sense of community where we hold each other accountable. We lift everybody up. Another big thing too, for me is youth support and understanding that our teens, our kids in this community are our future. We need to have better things in place and better collaboration to really engage these kids early and often. So that it builds a better future for them and really shows that we care.” 

What about kids and social media? 

Schutte said, “Social media can be defined as a double edged sword, right? I mean, there are the negative aspects, the bullying, but you’ve got to remember, it brings folks together. I mean, you don’t have pen pals anymore. You can just reach out to somebody across the seas. I think we’re going to have a couple of wonderful opportunities coming up. I work with the Hagerstown Youth Council through the city, and it’s some of the best and brightest teens in the city’s public school systems coming together every other week and developing new policy, new plans, new events, to really get themselves engaged, other teams engage and people and their peers.”

Charge for Change is coming up in April. 

Schutte explained, “It’s going to be geared around youth support, mental health support, physical education and just showing them that there are people that want to see them succeed and the adults want to see them succeed and getting them out and moving. So it’s a 3K run. That’s the big thing too. I’m a big fitness guy. So as long as you get out and moving, you feel a bit better about life. Every year they pick a different topic. They pick a different major thing that they’re going to work on. This was teen driven. Sitting in the room and hearing them talk about what they need, and what they need to get engaged with has really given me a different perspective on, I thought it was just we’ve got to give them more tech, we’ve got to give them more of this, but no, they want the mental health support. They want physical education. They want to get out and move. They want the exercise, they just need a safe space to do it where they know that they’re okay to be themselves.”

The new Hagerstown Fieldhouse is another opportunity to help teens. 

Schutte said, “That field house is going to be key when it comes to youth and teen support and kid support. After school activities, making sure that a kid gets off the school bus they have somewhere to go to exert a lot of that energy. A big thing that I’m looking at here and we’re working through is that it shouldn’t just be for the families that can get there, that have the car and are well supported. We’ve got to find a way to bring the nonprofits together to get transportation for these kids that aren’t within walking distance of the fieldhouse to do after school activities and engagement.”

Bringing everyone to the table is a big goal. 

Schutte said, “When I won Business Person of the Year, in my speech I spoke about how I held on to things too tight. If you think about when you’re going to the beach with your family and you’re holding on to the sand, if you squeeze that sand too tight, sand just shoots everywhere and you can’t hold on to it. But if you just cut the sand and you lift it up, you have a better time holding on to the sand, holding on to those thoughts and values. What we need to do is get everybody to stop gripping on to what they see as theirs. It’s ours. It’s for the betterment of the community. The city needs to come back to the table. The county needs to come back to the table and stay at the table. Because what I’m telling people is a strong Hagerstown is a strong Washington County and a strong Washington County is a strong Hagerstown. We really need to show on the state side, the state level side, that Western Maryland is more than just the mountains and the trees. I mean, there’s some good value out here and we need to bring a magnifying glass back towards that.”

Business is also an important part of the future. 

Schutte said, “Part of that, getting out of our own way, is a big statement there. But on the flip side of that, it’s really bringing that sense of community back that I talked about earlier, and a rising tide lifts all ships, having pride in that small, local business.”
For more information on Schutte, click here.