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Hedgesville mayor resigns, town recorder takes over

August 16, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Terri Miskovsky had no ambition to be mayor of Hedgesville. She was perfectly content to be town recorder.

But when Charles E. Mason resigned earlier this month to accept a professional opportunity with JP Morgan Chase & Co., Miskovsky was automatically charged by the town charter to assume mayoral duties, at least until a replacement is found.

"I would think this would be on the agenda in September," Miskovsky said in a recent interview.

"We already piled our plate pretty high in August," she added, noting special meetings already scheduled by town leaders before Mason announced his resignation on Aug. 3.

"That's not something I'm interested in," she added.

Mason said Tuesday he felt that quite a lot was accomplished in the 13 months he held the post, noting streetlight improvements, road maintenance, a town newsletter, and efforts to revise business and occupation tax codes.

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"We got a lot of things moving," Mason said.

In farewell remarks to the council, Mason said he suggested town leaders consider asking former councilman Dennis Donaldson to complete his four-year term. Donaldson lost to Mason by two votes in the June 2005 election.

Donaldson has not returned messages left at his cellular business in Hedgesville.

Miskovsky admitted that she never knew Mason before being elected to council, but said she will miss his involvement.

"We kind of clicked in a way ... on a lot of things," Miskovsky said. "It was kind of disappointing (that he stepped down) because I did enjoy working with him."

When asked if he had any parting words of advice, Mason said he hoped town leaders would continue to function as an "administrative team" and "look out for the citizens" of the community of 240 people. A fourth-generation resident of the town, Mason's father previously served on the town council before his son became the first black person to be elected mayor in Berkeley County, records show.

Incorporated under the laws of Virginia in 1854, Hedgesville grew from a trading village in the gap of North Mountain for settlers moving west, according to historical accounts. Martinsburg, Berkeley County's only other incorporated municipality, was chartered in 1778.

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