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Keedysville town clerk wears many hats

November 02, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

KEEDYSVILLE - Amy Simmons said she can hardly believe she is coming up on her seventh year as town clerk for Keedysville, but she insists she is enjoying the job even more than when she first came on board.

"When I started out in this job in January 1998, I was told the work would include collecting taxes and recording that information," Simmons said. "At that time, then-Mayor Ralph Taylor did everything else."

But shortly after Simmons, 31, started her new job, Taylor retired after more than three decades of serving as Keedysville mayor.

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"I had to learn everything from him as he eased me into the job," she said.

Now, she has so many duties she would find it hard to fit them all on a standard-sized business card.

Simmons described Taylor as a wonderful man and a wonderful mayor.

"He wanted more than anything else to keep Keedysville small and nice," she said. "We're so lucky in Keedysville to be bypassed by Md. 34 ... it's so peaceful and quiet."

Taylor died in 2003 at the age of 87.

A 1992 graduate of Boonsboro High School, Simmons - then Amy Waters - was a sports standout. She and her husband, Jason, have four children, Avery, 8, Lexie, 6, Riley, 3, and Berkley, 1. The two older children are in school while the younger ones go to work each day with their mother.

"I work 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday," Simmons said, a schedule that works out very well for everyone. And when there are school holidays or snow days, the older two children come along and help entertain Riley and Berkley.

Even when she isn't working, Simmons said she checks messages on Fridays, picks up copies or meets with the town attorney if necessary. And then there are the telephone calls she gets at home, and there are a lot of those, she said.

The town hall shares space with the Keedysville Library in a small building in the middle of Taylor Park. The library and town hall hours are different but Simmons said she can take care of people who want to return books while she is on duty.

Simmons' office adjoins the library/meeting space. From there, she is available to answer questions from walk-ins and people who call the town office for information, etc.

"The Town of Boonsboro handles billing for our water customers and I send out reminders in the envelopes when necessary," she said.

When she first began her work, Simmons sent out the water bills - all done by hand and recorded in ledgers before they were computerized.

Simmons prepares the town audit for the accountants each year, issues building permits, does all the bookkeeping, takes minutes at the town meetings and schedules street sweeping.

"And when it is necessary, I pull the weeds in the flower bed out front," Simmons said.

Current Mayor Lee Brandenburg stops by the office at least once a day, she said. Her duties also involve working with Washington County Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Ken Cain, the town's resident deputy.

"People have been so nice to me," Simmons said, conceding that being a lifelong resident of the town has been helpful to her while she has learned her job while on the job.

A bulletin board in the meeting room shows that the town meets the first Monday of each month. And the Keedysville planning and zoning board meets the second Monday of the month.

"By the way, I'm the zoning administrator too," Simmons said.

There's another entry for that business card.

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