SHEPHERDSTOWN – Wednesday morning at City Hall, the Mayor and members of the City Council of the Corporation of Shepherdstown were officially sworn in. Those who took the oath had been officially identified as the winners of the June 7 municipal election on Monday evening, at a special Council Meeting meeting.
A total of 842 residents of the Corporation of Shepherdstown cast ballots in the municipal elections, according to election results released on Monday. Mayor Jim Auxer (148 votes) and City Clerk Lori Robertson (149 votes), who had not opposed the election, were reinstated for the next two years. Unlike the seats of Mayor and City Recorder, all five City Council seats were contested. The confirmed new members of City Council were: Jenny Haynes (107 votes), Marty Amerikaner (120 votes), Chris Stroech (109 votes), Cheryl Roberts (126 votes) and Leah Rampy (124 votes), with write-in nominee James Vigil losing the race (61 votes).
According to Robertson, 76 community members participated in the early voting. No residents of Shepherdstown voted by mail.
Due to the swearing-in which did not take place until the morning after the regular meeting of the city council, which is the second Tuesday evening of each month, former councilman Jim Ford had the opportunity to give his voice at a final meeting. , before giving up his seat to Rampy, its holder.
The first new element of the meeting concerned the appointment of a successor to the last historian laureate of Shepherdstown.
“On behalf of Historic Shepherdstown, I am very pleased to nominate Doug Perks as Shepherdstown’s next Laureate Historian,” said Shepherdstown Historical Commission Chair Donna Bertazzoni. “Doug is a worthy successor to Dr. James C. Price, who was the first Laureate Historian and who recently retired. Doug was a good friend of Dr. Price, who taught him the history of Shepherdstown.
“A resident of Shepherdstown, Doug served as a museum committee member for Historic Shepherdstown, and he and his wife, Sherry, both served as guides. He is also director and historian of the Elmwood Cemetery Association,” Bertazzoni said of the former Jefferson County Schools teacher of 30 years. “He is currently the Jefferson County Museum Historian and is a Certified Harpers Ferry Park Guide. Doug is the historian for the Jefferson County Historical Society, director of the Harpers Ferry Park Association, and co-founder of the Charles Town Library Civil War Roundtable.
According to Bertazzoni, Perks frequently lectures and writes for periodicals on Jefferson County history.
“In 2017 he was named a Hero of West Virginia History, and in 2018 he received the Two Rivers Giving Circle Preservation and Conservation Award,” said Bertazzoni. “For these and many other reasons, Historic Shepherdstown believes Doug would be an excellent choice as Shepherdstown’s next Laureate Historian. We fully and enthusiastically recommend him for this decision.
The City Council unanimously approved Perks as Shepherdstown’s Laureate Historian.
Police Chief Mike King then took the stage to announce that the Shepherdstown Police Department, with the help of the town’s grants committee, had been able to purchase enough automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for each of the vehicles in the service.
“Not so long ago the police department requested AEDs and we asked for help from the grants committee. They were successful and were able to get six AEDs, which we will put in every police car,” said the king. “So we don’t have one left to share where, if we forget to put it out, that’s a bad thing.
“Every car now has an AED. Like most of our equipment, it’s something we hope never to use, but . . . we’ll probably have to use this equipment in the future,” King said, noting that the AED the department previously had will now be housed at City Hall, for emergencies occurring nearby. “The police department just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to the scholarship committee, for all they have done for us. It is expensive equipment.