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Smithsburg town council briefs

January 08, 2003

Aurand appointed to fill Town Council seat

The Smithsburg Town Council on Tuesday voted to appoint Shirley Aurand to complete the remainder of former Councilman Jake Johnson's term in office.

Aurand was sworn into office Tuesday.

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

"I am honored to accept this position ... I hope to serve the residents of Smithsburg to the best of my ability," said Aurand, who has lived in the town since 1973.

Aurand worked as a clerk in the Smithsburg Post Office for 23 years, and now serves as president of the local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. She is a member of the group's state legislative committee.


"I think Shirley is definitely going to be an asset to our council," Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

Residents complain about snow removal

Residents of the Whispering Hills subdivision in Smithsburg on Tuesday voiced concerns about the town's snow removal services.

Cindy and John Lyons and Brad Nee, all of Vody's Court, and Rodney Weicht of Daniel's Court, told the Smithsburg Mayor and Town Council that inadequate snow removal on their steep cul de sacs poses a danger to themselves and their neighbors.

"It most certainly is a safety issue," said Weicht, who cited the use of equipment too large to effectively plow the tight area as one of the reasons for the problem.

Cindy Lyons, who runs a day-care program out of her home, presented town officials with a list of concerns and a videotape she said showed her unsatisfactorily plowed street following the most recent snowfall.

Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers, who met with the snow removal contractor in December to discuss several problem areas, said she and Town Council members would further discuss the issue and strive to find a solution.

"I will be at the next snow removal event to see what is happening and what is not happening," Myers said. "I do not think this problem is unsolvable."

Chief gets authority to make crossing safer

The Smithsburg Town Council on Tuesday voted to give Police Chief Mike Potter the authority to make an elementary school crossing area safer for children.

Vehicles that often line the road near Smithsburg Elementary School in the afternoon hinder passing motorists' ability to see children walking home from school on a nearby path.

It might be necessary to erect "No Parking" signs in that area, Potter said.

Resident to represent area in Civil War group

Smithsburg-area resident Preston Law will represent the town in a group involved in creating a Maryland Civil War Heritage Area in Frederick, Washington and Carroll counties, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said Tuesday.

Law will meet with other members of the focus group on Thursday.

Troublesome railroad crossing to be fixed

A call to CSX Corp. President Michael Ward resulted in a promise to repair the long-troublesome railroad crossing on South Main Street in Smithsburg, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said Tuesday.

The crossing will be repaired this summer, she said.

"It's not going to be minor surgery. It's going to be major surgery this time," Myers said. The repair work will take about one week.

Police chief's report finds crime on the rise

Smithsburg police responded to 137 calls for service in November, Chief Mike Potter said Tuesday.

Police made three adult arrests on charges of child abduction by a relative and theft, and four juvenile arrests on charges of aggravated assault, hindering a police officer, possession of alcohol and possession of tobacco, according to a monthly police report.

Police issued 13 moving citations, 32 parking tickets, 34 written warnings and three juvenile citations during the month, the report states.

Potter also presented a crime report for 2002 that showed a substantial increase in the number of crimes and calls for service. Smithsburg police received 1,686 calls for service last year, up from 1,266 calls in 2001.

The number of crimes - which ranged from aggravated assault to vandalism - jumped from 38 in 2001 to 95 in 2002. Potter attributed the sharp increase to poor documentation in 2001, before he took over a police chief.

"I can't believe there were no burglaries in 2001," he said.

Crimes committed by juveniles have increased, however, and police are working closely with concerned citizens and school officials to curb the problem, Potter said.

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