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Town's council must fill vacancy

December 22, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

karenh@herald-mail.com

For the second time in two months, the Boonsboro Town Council is faced with the task of filling a vacancy.

According to Councilman Bill Tritapoe, the council probably will choose a successor to Gene William Smith, who died Dec. 9, from a pool of applicants who previously applied for a seat left vacant by Richard W. Gross.

After 25 years on the council, Gross announced in November he was resigning because he was moving.

"I understand that they are going to be the same ones that applied before," Tritapoe said Tuesday.

A majority of council members voted Dec. 5 to appoint Kevin Chambers, one of six applicants, to fill Gross' seat. At the time, Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman said Chambers would serve out Gross' term, which ends next year.

On Tuesday, Kauffman praised Smith for his straight-forwardness and concern for the citizens of Boonsboro.

"Gene was a very loyal council person. He represented the citizens of Boonsboro very well. He was an advocate for their causes, and the citizens of Boonsboro are really going to miss Gene Smith, as will I and the other members of council," Kauffman said.

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According to Assistant Town Manager Debbie Smith, Gene Smith had served since 1994. His term was set to expire in May.

Voters will choose candidates to fill the seats of four council members, including the positions previously held by Smith and Gross, and an assistant mayor in May.

The fourth-highest vote getter in the council elections will assume the seat vacated by Gross, which is now filled by Chambers, Kauffman said. Gross was elected to a four-year term nearly two years ago, and the candidate who fills his spot will serve the rest of that term, Kauffman said.

According to a published obituary, Smith, 76, is survived by a sister, three daughters, three grandsons and three great-granddaughters. Doris Jane Crowl Smith, his wife of 58 years, died in February.

Tritapoe said he had known Smith, who was vice president and service manager at Crowl's Garage in Boonsboro and a service representative for Subaru, since 1957. Smith was a "fine" man, Tritapoe said.

"Gene was well-liked, he was good for the town, and he'd been around town just about all his life," Tritapoe said.

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