City Council prepares for elections to be held April 28
Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Updated: Monday, October 12, 2009 01:10
Beginning in July, the Morgantown City Council will have new leadership, including a new mayor after current Mayor Ron Justice announced his retirement in November 2008.
During this year's elections, all seats are up for grabs come April 28.
One candidate has been confirmed for the ballot, though his or her name cannot be released until the candidate's filing packet is fully completed, according to Morgantown City Clerk Linda Little.
All current City Council members have picked up their filing packets as well, with the exception of Justice.
A possible replacement for his seat on council, not as mayor, is current Student Government Association President Jason Parsons, who has said he thought about running.
To run for office, potential candidates must reside in the ward they want to represent and collect at least 75 signatures from registered voters living in that ward.
To ensure the signatures are from registered voters in the correct ward, the lists will be compared with the voter's registration data base in the City Clerk's office.
"In the instance of multiple candidates in a particular ward, no names can be used twice," Little said.
The certificates of announcement must be filed by Feb. 10, and there is no fee for filing.
Councilor Ron Bane, of First Ward, said he is running for re-election.
"One of the biggest things I'm looking for in 2009 is to get City Council to be frugal with its money and to maximize what we are doing for the city as a whole, especially with the way the economy is today. In 2009, we need to set ourselves up for 2010 and the future," Bane said.
Bane has been vocal about Council's frugality regularly during meetings in 2008, calling for a closer look at expenditures and projects like Sunnyside Up, which aims to redevelop the student area of Sunnyside.
John Gaddis, the councilor of Second Ward, said he is currently gathering signatures for his filing packet.
"My goal in running for re-election is to continue to represent my ward and the city as a whole with a plan that will allow us to get better conversations from the neighborhoods to do what's best for our communities," Gaddis said.
He also wants West Virginia University students to get involved in the city.
"(City Council) wants to get a lot more feedback from the students. They should let their voices be heard and attend neighborhood meetings because they are a part of the city as well. We are working for the students," Gaddis said.
Councilor Bill Byrne, representing Sixth Ward, said he is also running for re-election.
"I want to continue the city's current projects, most importantly making living in neighborhoods attractive to people. I also want to help develop quality student housing downtown and make neighborhoods more pleasant, especially by having fewer rentals and continuing the Sunnyside Up project," Byrne said.
Councilor Don Spencer of Seventh Ward said he is definitely running again.
"I want to work toward becoming a greener city and give priority to transportation issues, especially the walkability and bikeability of the community," Spencer said.
Councilors Charlie Byrer and Jenny Selin, of Third and Fourth wards, respectively, had not responded as of press time.