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Smithsburg Councilman steps down

December 04, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Saying he did so with "sadness and deep regret," Smithsburg Councilman Jake Johnson resigned Tuesday following the monthly Town Council meeting.

Johnson, whose four-year term was slated to end in May 2004, cited "increasing family commitments and responsibilities" as the reason for his resignation.

"Rather than jeopardize either my effectiveness as a Town Council member or my family responsibilities, I felt it best for the town to be able to find a suitable replacement in a somewhat immediate time frame so that the new interim council member will have sufficient lead time to get acclimated to the responsibilities of the office and prepare for the upcoming budget negotiations work sessions," Johnson said.

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Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers, Town Manager Betsy Martin and the three other council members present Tuesday expressed regret about Johnson's announcement.

"This was a very tough choice for Jake and I know he didn't make it lightly," Myers said. "Jake has been an extremely devoted council member. He often puts the town before his own needs."

Councilman James LaFemina credited the dedication of Johnson with sparking his interest in town politics.

Councilman Jerome Martin said initial differences of opinion between him and Johnson were resolved after Martin realized that Johnson "always had the best interests of the town at heart."

The two men have since become good friends, Martin said.

Betsy Martin and Councilman Ralph Regan agreed with other town officials that Johnson's resignation is a loss to Smithsburg. Council members will soon vote for a replacement to serve the remainder of Johnson's term in office, Myers said.

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