Middletown proposes town manager options

MIDDLETOWN – At a work session Monday evening, Middletown Town Council members discussed options for hiring a part-time Town Manager in the future among several other talking points.

Personnel and Finance Committee Chairman Carole Snyder Jones, speaking to the council over a phone call, and committee member Scott Fink proposed the idea of hiring a part-time Town Manager.

After verifying that the town would have the necessary funds in its budget, council members discussed including that item in the next fiscal year. In the meantime, council members agreed that fine-tuning and finalizing the job description and expectations was a sound plan.

The town cut the position in 2012, and Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV said at the time that cut was made by a consensus of council and saved the town around $51,000 a year. After Monday’s work session, he said any potential hirees would take the operational responsibilities he doesn’t necessarily have the time to shoulder himself.

“It’s just the initial discussions about it tonight,” he said. “You have a completely new council now, you have to discuss scope objective, job requirements, who they answer to, salary … it’s going to take a while.”

Vice Mayor Thomas Simon reported to council members that the Frederick County Sanitation Authority has formed a subcommittee to work with the town. He suggested that the council could form a committee of its own during its upcoming Jan. 11 meeting that would work with the authority.

“Everything’s on the table, basically,” he said.

Harbaugh said that committee work would help facilitate the needs of developers that have expressed interest in property across from the Exxon gas station and were meant to appear at the meeting.

“There’s development interest in properties that aren’t exactly in town limits, but that we have the ability to service,” he said after the meeting.

Council members also discussed giving town maintenance workers a percentage pay raise. Harbaugh said the money for that raise could easily come from the town budget.

“I think that we could move that from water and sewer line repairs … $500 won’t be missed if it goes to a raise for an employee who stuck with us, who’s been with us,” he said at the work session.

Council members decided that approving the raise would become an agenda item for the Jan. 11 meeting.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com