ELKTON — After reviewing five applications and holding a closed session Friday to discuss candidates, Town Council unanimously approved Louis Heidel at Monday’s meeting to fill the council seat of Jeff Jones.

Jones was re-elected in the November elections to serve a second four-year term, but resigned June 24 saying it was “mostly work-related.”

Voting in favor were council members Jay Dean, Steve America, Randell Snow, Heidi Zander and Margaretta Isom.

“I feel confident in Louis’ ability to serve the citizens of Elkton,” Mayor Josh Gooden said following the vote. “I have known Louis for several years and he has always had a listening ear and initiative to serve others.”

Heidel, 66, has been a resident of Elkton for more than five years and has lived in the Valley for more than 50 years.

He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in agronomy and has a background in environmental work. He worked for the United States Department of Agriculture from 1985 to 2015, at which point he retired.

Dean said his work with the USDA gives the council a connection with the department, which will be an asset for the town.

“Everybody that we interviewed and everyone that applied were good people and we hope to work with them in the future,” America said, also thanking the applicants for their interest.

Heidel will begin fulfilling his term on the board immediately.

Jones resigned from council due to his concern of missing meetings had been an issue prior to his re-election, but residents and council members asked him to go for re-election that the meetings wouldn’t be an issue, “but personally they are an issue.”

“I’m not comfortable missing meetings,” he said in an interview two weeks ago. “Between council and the committee meetings, I was constantly having to adjust and it wasn’t fair to everyone.”

Heidel’s term will last until December 2020. After the November 2020 elections, whoever fills the seat will begin a full four-year term, Elkton Town Manager Kimberly Alexander said in a prior interview.

Contact Laine Griffin at 574-6286 or lgriffin@dnronline.com. Follow Laine on Twitter @laine_griffDNR

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