Elkton appoints interim town manager, council member

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:46 PM EDT
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - It was another packed house for Monday night’s Elkton Town Council meeting. The council finally took action to fill two town leadership positions that have been vacant for the last month.

Monday marked the first regular meeting of the council since the divisive firing of town manager Greg Lunsford last month. Several special meetings were called over the last month but they were either canceled or completed with no action taken.

Since Lunsford’s firing, which divided the town council and some of the town’s residents, Elkton has been dealing with two key vacancies in town leadership: the town manager position and the vacant council seat of Hedi Zander who resigned in the aftermath of Lunsford’s firing.

After meeting in closed session the council selected Bob Holton to serve as Elkton’s interim town manager. Holton is a former Bridgewater town manager who spent over 40 years working in the town office there.

During the closed session meeting, the council also interviewed four candidates who applied to fill Zander’s vacant council seat. The council voted unanimously to appoint David Smith to the seat for the remainder of the term.

Smith has worked in production at Lakeside Book Company in Harrisonburg for the last 17 years and writes monthly articles on the Elkton Town Council meetings for the Valley Trail.

“I’m just the type of person who likes to help people and that’s kind of what drives me is to help people out, to help the citizens and just get the information out there on what goes on,” said Smith.

Smith will serve in the seat until December 31 when the term expires.

During the meeting, the council also passed a pair of motions from council member Jay Dean affecting the town’s leadership. The first will temporarily eliminate meetings of the town’s leadership team.

The motion passed 3 to 1 with council member Rick Workman voting against it. Council member Steve America was not present at the meeting. Workman expressed concerns about what the decision could mean for the town employees.

“Who’s gonna say ‘yes do that, no don’t do this?’ I’m thinking if we take away what leadership we have now, who’s gonna make those decisions we need someone to do that,” said Workman.

Those in favor of axing the meetings argued that the town’s leadership team has not met since Lunsford was fired.

The second motion put the council members directly in charge of the day-to-day operations of the town departments that they oversee as committee chairs.

Vice-Mayor Randall Snow who serves as the chair of the finance committee will now have the final say on the town’s day-to-day financial matters.

Council member Troy Eppard will handle town personnel matters, council member Steve America will oversee the public health & safety department, and council member Jay Dean will oversee the public utility department.

The motion passed 3 to 1 with Workman once again the lone vote in opposition.

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