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Town Hall hosts open house

By Staff | Oct 14, 2011

The doors to Town Hall were left open Saturday so that Shepherdstown residents could see how local government functions in the new building.

The open house was organized by town officials as well as the parks and recreation committee. Almost the entire building was made readily available to anyone who wished to get a closer look at how the funds gathered for the Town Hall project were spent.

Large boards displayed both town history as well as information about town officials so that residents could get a more intimate look at who keeps everything running in Shepherdstown. The open house also featured music from the Shamaicans and a cook out for attendees which was underwritten by McDonald’s.

While some residents took advantage of the free hot dogs and entertainment taking place just outside of Town Hall, others were taking tours of the building guided by receptionist Angela Wilt. Wilt walked small groups of residents through the building, pointing out the offices of important town officials and describing what they do for the community.

A common theme amongst town officials about the building was how much easier they felt it was to work together now that both the town offices and the police department were located in the same building.

“It’s really good to have everything together,” Mayor Jim Auxer said.

Auxer went on to explain that while the new Town Hall building had been a point of much controversy among residents, he felt that it was necessary for things to run smoothly.

While giving her tours, Wilt got a chance to show how convenient having the major departments of Shepherdstown in a single building could be.

One resident asked about traffic laws. When Wilt couldn’t answer the question, she simply guided the man to the police station downstairs so he could get his answer straight from Police Chief David Ransom.

“Moving from where we were to here there’s been a noticeable change in everyone’s attitude,” Ransom said.

Ransom went on to detail how the new Town Hall has enabled the police department to have consistent daily communication with local government. Speaking on behalf of his officers, Ransom said that they love being in the new building.

Shepherdstown’s government is made up almost entirely of volunteers. The highest paid council member is Mayor Auxer, who draws $2,000 a year for his services. Others get as little as $1,200 or no pay at all, according to Auxer.

Despite this, he said that everyone works very hard to keep everything running. He claimed to be at Town Hall every day because he does not like to get behind. This is one of the reasons the open house was important to the town council. People cannot only see the new building but also get an idea about what goes into making the town work.

Though the open house is over, those with questions for members of town council can still obtain all their contact information from the Corporation’s website, www.shepherdstown.us.