The Case of the Mistaken Mayor

Some Norristown residents were alarmed to find a listing for a Norristown mayor on a website that lists U.S. mayors. Turns out fears of a local coup d'etat are unfounded.

Some Norristown residents were alarmed recently to find a listing on the United States Conference of Mayors' website identifying Norristown Municipal President Gary Simpson as Norristown's mayor.

Several residents contacted Patch about the listing and one former Norristown mayor even wondered if it could be a practical joke or secret power grab by Simpson. 

As it turns out, fears of a coup d'etat are unfounded.

According to a representative from the U.S. Conference of Mayors' website, the listings section where the info is posted is compiled from municipal websites all over the country and often includes elected officials whose duties and responsibilities resemble that of a mayor's.

"We even have some selectmen and village trustees," said the representative. 

It's evident from the listing that it was put together from unverified information. Simpson's picture was apparently pulled from the municipality's website and the phone number listed is reportedly that of former councilman Bill Procyson who retired from council in early 2012.

Simpson said was made aware of the listing and made an inquiry of his own.

"As it stands, I believe the listing has changed several times over the past few years from Bill Caldwell to Linda Christian and then to myself," Simpson wrote in an email to Norristown Patch. "I received a call from another reporter asking me something similar and I was not aware and decided to place a call for myself."

Simpson joked that it was unlikely he'd attempt to seize power in secret.

"I find it amusing that residents would even consider something like that, since I never ran for Mayor," wrote Simpson. "We would need to change the [Home Rule] Charter for that to happen. That is not my style, nor would this council attempt a coup d'etat. We would provide the needed tidbit of information."

MzPaula January 22, 2013 at 08:14 PM
the word alarmed struck me as kind of harsh. Why alarmed? Anyone who understands the Home Rule system of governmet in Norristown would know that this was a mistake. Especially the former Mayor who ever he was.
Mary Ellen Digregorio January 22, 2013 at 09:14 PM
I knew there would be a positive spin on this story….Thank You
Its Just Me January 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Why is this news worthy? Being around here long enough, I am sure we know what several calls meant... Two, with the above being one of them. Instead of trying to always create something that is not there, why not offer some solutions? I you get from that crew is wa wa wa!!! Past Mayor, hmmmm who could that be? lol
Mary Ellen Digregorio January 23, 2013 at 06:15 PM


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