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Shepherdstown mayor ousted

June 06, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A prison psychologist who is concerned about Shepherdstown's budget process and police service defeated Mayor Vince Parmesano in Tuesday's town election.

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Jim Auxer received 101 votes to Parmesano's 89, according to returns posted Tuesday night. He'll take office July 1.

Auxer's wife, Dawn Fye, was elected to the five-seat Town Council with 119 votes, according to returns.

All incumbent members of the council except Pamela Berry were re-elected.

The re-elected council members and their vote tallies were: Charles Branson, 147 votes, Wayne Bjorlie, 119 votes, Raymond Eschelman, 118 votes and Larry Murphy, 81 votes, according to returns.

Berry received 75 votes, Aaron Blessing received 73 votes and write-in candidate Sylvia Ellsworth received 67 votes, according to returns.

Recorder James A. Schmitt, who was unopposed, received 106 votes.

Parmesano has served three, two-year terms as mayor. He was first elected in 1994 and ran unopposed in 1996 and 1998.

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Parmesano was at a town Water and Sanitary Board meeting Tuesday night and unavailable for comment.

Earlier in the day, Parmesano said he ran for mayor again because there are two important issues facing the town that he wanted to follow through on.

He said he wanted to address new restrictions on the town's water and sewer system imposed by the federal Clean Water Act. He also wanted to see the town annex areas of residential growth around the town to control how they develop and update its zoning laws.

Auxer works for Primecare of Harrisburg, Pa., which provides psychological services to inmates in prisons around the region.

Auxer said he ran for mayor because he wants to see the town's budget process "less crisis-oriented."

Auxer said he wants to expand the town's police service to 24 hours a day and obtain better equipment for the police department. He said he's concerned about more traffic and speeding in town.

Several people who came to Town Hall Tuesday night were surprised to learn of Parmesano's defeat.

Former Shepherdstown Fire Chief D. Lee Morgan said Parmesano was easy to work with when it came to fire protection issues. "He's been a good mayor," Morgan said.

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