Simon appointed vice mayor

Tom Simon is the new Vice Mayor of Middletown. Simon was appointed to the new role by way of a unanimous vote at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

“All I can say is that I thank the council for their confidence in me and I look forward to doing a good job in working with the council,” said Simon, a longtime member of the council.

According to Simon, his new responsibilities will include continuing to serve on the council as well as running meetings “if the [Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV] is absent … or became incapacitated.”

Looking forward, Simon said, “I’d like to continue what I’m doing with the council. I’d like … [to] bring more revenue into town and make the tax rates more stable.”

Also at the meeting, the council tabled the appointment of Carl Brown Consulting, a water and sewage company based out of Jefferson City, Missouri, to “perform a water and sewer rate analysis.”

“We had looked at the bids from our work session meeting last week and there were a few councilors absent,” Simon said, adding that the absent councilors “had some questions and problems.”

If appointed, Simon said Brown would be looking “at what we currently charge our residents for water and sewage to verify that our rates are accurate.”

Although Brown’s company is based in Missouri, it also performs rate analyses in Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota and Virginia.

Although Simon said that the councilors agreed to tell him their concerns, he noted that he decided to table it “and have a positive vote.”

Simon said that the council will make a decision at next Tuesday’s water and sewage committee meeting.

The council also expressed opposition toward legislation from the state General Assembly that might rescind the non-profit, tax-exempt status from numerous Frederick County organizations.

Organizations under this legislation would include the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Inc. and the National Wildlife Federation.

The council passed a motion to oppose the legislation and “respectfully requests” the general assembly not to pass the bill.

According to the resolution, a copy will be sent to local delegates including Del. Randy Minchew (R), Del. Mark Berg (R), Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) and Rep. David LaRock (R), who introduced the bill to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Town mayor Charles Harbaugh IV said, “These … organizations work hard for our local community and should not be taxed from a non-profit except status.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com