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Sharpsburg adds new council member

December 04, 2000

Sharpsburg adds new council member



By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer


SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg Town Council members named one of their own vice mayor on Monday night and appointed a longtime resident to council.

Councilman Hal Spielman will be sworn in as vice mayor on Jan. 8 after his four colleagues voted to have him fill the post that has been vacant since Sept. 11. That was the day Vice Mayor Sid Gale took over as mayor after George Kesler resigned the post.

The council voted in a secret ballot to appoint Joseph "J.W." Eichelberger to fill Spielman's council seat.

Eichelberger received four votes and Marjorie Jamison received one vote, Gale said. During a discussion before the vote, Councilwoman Denise Troxell supported Jamison because that would give the council three women and three men.

Eichelberger, 34, of 114 E. Chapline St., works for the Maryland State Police in Montgomery County, Md. Before the vote, he told the council his work schedule could accommodate council meetings.

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"I do have a vested interest in this town," Eichelberger said after the meeting. He said he has lived in or near the town his whole life and within it the past six years. He has a wife and two children, ages 3 and 5.

"I do want to have a say in how the town changes over time and hopefully make that for the better," Eichelberger said.

Eichelberger said he respects the council and anticipates a good working relationship. He has served on the town's Board of Appeals, which addresses zoning issues, for approximately three years.

Eichelberger, Jamison and Jeffrey Sheffler, who had all been candidates in the election, attended the meeting and were each given an opportunity to tell the council why they wanted to serve the town.

Voting by secret ballot was suggested because the council seemed uncomfortable voting with three candidates in the audience, Gale said.

Council members were provided a written list of six candidates and checked off who they voted for, folded the paper and handed it to Town Attorney Charles Wagaman. Gale counted the votes.

Gale said he constructed the list of six names based on suggestions, volunteers and people who ran for council but were not elected.

The other three candidates were Tracy Kretzer, Anne McCullough and Joel Thomas. Sheffler and Thomas both ran unsuccessful bids for council in last month's town election.

Since Spielman, 51, was just re-elected to a four-year council term Eichelberger will serve those four years.

Spielman's vice mayoral post will be up for election in 2002.

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