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Shepherdstown officials discuss making mayor's job full time

January 31, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherdstown may be a small town, but there's a lot of thinking going on.

So much so, that town officials have discussed making the mayor's job a full-time paid position or creating some sort of full-time executive position.

Mayor Lance Dom discussed the idea during the Jan. 22 town council meeting.

Dom said he thinks a full-time mayor position or other type of paid position is needed to examine long-range issues.

One of the issues Dom said he has been studying recently is how the town's water rates are structured.

Like other parts of the state, Shepherdstown has a "declining" rate structure, meaning that the more water a customer uses, the lower the rate per gallon.

Dom said he would like to see the town go to an "inclining" water rate structure, meaning a customer would be charged a higher rate the more water that is used.

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Dom said some cities such as Seattle and some areas in California use an inclining water rate structure and Dom said he thinks that is a good route to go to promote water conservation.

Dom said those types of issues take long-term planning and he would like to see the mayor's job be made a full-time paid position so the projects can get the attention they need.

Council members discussed whether the town should go to a full-time, paid mayor's position or have some sort of full-time executive position like an aide to handle the duties.

The mayor's job is currently considered part time and pays $2,000 a year. If made full time, perhaps the mayor's salary could be around $35,000, Dom said.

The town could hire a town manager, although that would require changing the town's charter and would be a long process, Dom said.

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