New term begins for Strasburg Town Council

John Massoud was sworn in as a new member of the Strasburg Town Council on Tuesday. Max Lee/Daily

STRASBURG — Four new Strasburg Town Council members and one returning member were sworn in on Tuesday, as the council met for the first time since the new members’ terms began.

In a Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Judge Kevin Black of the Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court swore in Ken Cherrix, Emily Reynolds, John Massoud, Taralyn Nicholson and returning member Scott Terndrup.

The council also voted to reappoint Terndrup as vice mayor.

After Black swore in the members, Mayor Rich Orndorff announced that he was making some changes to the number of committees, citing the move as part of an effort to speed up the process between potential actions appearing before committees and receiving a vote from the council.

“We do want the committees to work more; we want the committees to be more active so that we do not need as many work sessions or committees,” Orndorff said.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, Orndorff said that he designed the previous eight-committee structure with the idea that each council member would chair one of the committees.

“I like for each council person to have ownership, so to speak, about a particular area,” Orndorff said.

But he said that some of the Town Council committees were not particularly active during the last two-year term.

That was partly responsible for his decision to reduce the number of committees from eight to five. But Orndorff said that he also saw some committees had overlapping duties.

He said that the transportation, streets and sidewalks committee overlapped with the public safety committee and the infrastructure committee. The buildings, sanitation and recycling committee overlapped with the infrastructure committee. As a result, the transportation, streets and sidewalks committee and the building, sanitation and recycling committee no longer exist.

Orndorff also said that the finance and personnel committees overlapped.

“If you’re looking at a salary study or a personnel handbook, a lot of that involves the finance committee as well,” Orndorff said.

Now, the finance and personnel committees will be operating as one.

In addition to reducing the number of committees, Orndorff said that he hoped the committees could take care of more of the council’s work, so fewer items would have to go through a council work session.

“I don’t see a need for topics to be discussed at three or four work sessions and a council meeting,” Orndorff said.