Residents request disband of group
The town council met Tuesday and discussed plans for the Easter Parade, salary increases for the public employees and requests made by residents to disband the riverfront revitalization partnership.
In a meeting held at the temporary town hall, visitors presented documents to members of the town council asking for the disbandment of the riverfront revitalization partnership.
Mary Bell, a resident of East High Street, read from a letter that enumerated the reasons she feels the riverfront partnership should be abolished.
In her letter she wrote, “You, the council, created this group over 18 months ago. What began as an effort to improve the tobacco barn and put-in on Princess Street has grown into a huge, amorphous, all-encompassing project that will compromise, if not destroy, our neighborhood.
“It’s not enough to tell us the RRC has no authority; that it only proposes ideas; that its plans cannot be implemented without your approval. That may be true, but this has gone on long enough.”
Bell requested that the town council move immediately in disbanding the group which she feels” has clearly overstepped its mandate.”
Bell also argued that plans made by the revitalization would most dramatically impact residents living on the east end of town on High, Mill, Princess and Rocky Streets.
North Mill Street resident Rana Harmon presented a similar letter to the council in which she also requested the immediate disbanding of the riverfront committee.
Harmon also presented a report authored by members of the neighborhood group which has organized in response to the partnership.
The report lists the topics of greatest concern to the resident group including the riverfront partnership’s perceived lack of transparency, the ” over-ambitious” nature of the project’s scope and affiliations and quoted National Park Service guidelines for Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistantship grants.
The neighbors made the argument that the RTCA criteria have not been met by the riverfront revitalization partnership and emphasized the lack of community support and consensus-building achieved thus far by the partnership.
Mayor Jim Auxer suggested giving the riverfront partnership the opportunity to present their recommendation to the town council in June as he advised them to at the partnership meeting held April 6.
“It would be disingenuous of me not to keep my word,” he said.
The presentation in June would follow another evening meeting, the riverfront partnership plans to hold sometime in May.
A brief presentation was also made by the organizers of the Easter Parade and egg hunt to be April 23 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The council unanimously approved the request.
Council members also voted to approve wage increases for a small group of public employees including members of the Shepherdstown Police Department, like acting Chief Daniel Ransom.
The council unanimously approved the appointment of Theresa Trainor to the planning commission.
The next town council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.