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Mayor's wife to fill council seat

February 02, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

BOONSBORO -- The Boonsboro Town Council voted 3-2 Monday to appoint Cynthia Kauffman to complete the term of former councilman Mervin F. "Frank" Nuice, who resigned last month.

Cynthia Kauffman, wife of Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman, ran for council in May, but lost by 10 votes to Councilwoman Barbara B. Wetzel.

The mayor recused himself from the appointment process and left the meeting before the appointment discussion began. Assistant Mayor Howard W. Long took his place and cast a tie-breaking vote to appoint Cynthia Kauffman to the seat.

Councilwomen Natalie J. Mose and Barbara B. Wetzel voted against the appointment, saying they thought the council should open the position for applications and select the most qualified applicant.

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Former councilman Ray C. Hoffman had also expressed interest in the seat, Long said.

Councilmen Kevin M. Chambers and Richard E. Hawkins said they felt obligated to appoint Kauffman in recognition of the large number of votes she received in the previous election.

Kauffman and Wetzel were the only candidates for one vacant seat in the May election. Kauffman received 178 votes and Wetzel received 188.

"I think with that many constituents putting some confidence in (Kauffman) ... I think it's appropriate that she be appointed to the seat," Hawkins said.

Wetzel said she thought Hawkins should recuse himself from the vote because he is married to the mayor's sister, making Cynthia Kauffman his sister-in-law.

Hawkins said if he had thought his relationship to the Kauffmans would influence his vote, he would have recused himself.

"We're in a time when we've got to have some good people up there, and what I do and what I vote is what is best for this town and the citizens," he said.

When the meeting was opened for citizens' comments, resident Frances Lynch was the only one to comment on the appointment. She called it "ridiculous" and suggested there had been "collusion" in the appointment process.

"I wish I had a railroad whistle," Lynch said. "This has been railroaded through."

Nuice submitted a letter of resignation Jan. 23, citing "difficult family issues" he felt would interfere with his ability to serve on the council, the mayor said.




How they voted:

Motion to appoint Cynthia Kauffman to complete the unexpired term of former councilman Mervin F. "Frank" Nuice.

  • Kevin M. Chambers: Yes

  • Richard E. Hawkins: Yes

  • Howard W. Long: Yes

  • Natalie J. Mose: No

  • Barbara B. Wetzel: No

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