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Middletown council loses another member

By Alex Bridges

Middletown Town Council lost another member this week.

Councilwoman Donna M.G. Gray resigned Monday, Town Clerk Becky Layman said Wednesday. Gray submitted a letter that stated the resignation took effect immediately, Layman said. Gray gave no reason in the letter for her resignation.

Gray did not appear at the Town Council's regular meeting Monday night. She was not able to be reached for comment Wednesday.

Voters elected Gray to council in 2010 after her termination as Middletown's treasurer.

Gray's resignation comes days after Councilman Clarence C. "Trip" Chewning III stepped down from his seat. Chewning resigned effective for "personal health reasons" after serving about a year on council.

Council last month appointed Carolyn Aliff to fill the seat vacated by Councilwoman Mary Shull, who moved to Strasburg.

Mayor Charles H. Harbaugh IV expressed regret over Gray's resignation.

"I would like to say that she was a good councilwoman," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh and Gray were both elected as council members in 2010.

"These positions are not lifetime jobs," Harbaugh said. "Sometimes life gets in the way and people want to move on and I don't blame her for wanting to do that."

Harbaugh said he doubted claims that Gray resigned because council would not appoint her to serve as the chairwoman of the Finance Committee. Harbaugh pointed out that Gray served as the number two person on the committee, second to Councilwoman Carole Snyder.

Gray's departure leaves Town Council with another vacant seat to fill. The town is seeking applications from those interested to serve on council in either of the two vacancies.

The town also has petitioned Frederick County Circuit Court to hold a special election for Gray's seat. The county will need to hold a special election for all three seats.

"I'm sad to see [Gray] go," Harbaugh said. "At the same point we're anxious for new people to step up and run for these positions.

"I don't think we're going to have a shortage [of candidates] to fill these positions," Harbaugh said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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