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Two apply to fill vacancy on Sharpsburg Town Council

Mathew Barnhart resigned, citing more involvement in his job as a career firefighter in Va.

January 15, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG — Two Sharpsburg residents have applied to fill a vacancy on the Sharpsburg Town Council after Mathew Barnhart resigned from his council seat, Town Clerk Kim Fulk said.

Barnhart said Friday he has become more involved with projects and activities through his regular job as a career firefighter in Fairfax County, Va. He said he didn't think it was fair to the community to continue to be on the council when his regular job was taking all of his time.

Barnhart said it was unusual for him to miss council meetings, but he missed two or three in the past couple months, so he knew he would have a major scheduling conflict.

Barnhart was serving his first term on the council before resigning, effective Jan. 1, he said. The seat is up for election in November.

Fulk said Clarence Edward "Ed" Beeler and Stephanie Taylor have applied to fill the vacant council seat. The deadline to apply for the vacancy was Jan. 5.

The mayor and Town Council are expected to interview the candidates in a closed session on Feb. 6, and the council is expected to appoint someone during the council's regular 7 p.m. meeting that day, Fulk said.

Sharpsburg's mayor and council members may receive a small stipend for their service, but Mayor Hal Spielman said no current elected officials for the town accept the stipend.

Taylor, 59, of West Main Street, said she and her husband have lived in town for about 10 years and plan to live in town the rest of their lives. Taylor, who ran for council two years ago, said she wants to be more active in town business.

She is a member of the Sharpsburg Historical Society and the Sharpsburg Heritage Society.

Taylor, who has a degree in horticulture, said she worked at Behnkes Nursery in Potomac, Md., until 2010, when the company laid her off due to the economy. Her husband still works for the nursery, she said.

Beeler, 52, of South Mechanic Street, said he's lived in town for about six years. He said he wants to get more involved and do more for the community.

Beeler is a housekeeper for Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown. He said he is a board member for the Sharpsburg Historical Society and supervises the historical society's research center at Sharpsburg Town Hall on Wednesdays.

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