Being a member of Fairmont City Council is not an easy job.
It requires a strong commitment of time and energy.
You’ll be approached by many of your fellow citizens wanting answers, and you will not always be able to give them a response they want to hear.
You may come in with the highest of objectives and not be able to accomplish everything you want as quickly as you would like.
Nevertheless, it’s a position of leadership in a city taking positive strides, and there are an unusual number of openings this year — seven.
We’d like to see a strong field of people file during the period that ends Aug. 6.
While no filings had been received as of the middle of last week, Janet Keller, Fairmont city clerk, said several residents had called expressing interest.
“I think this is the first time in the 24 years I’ve been the clerk that we’ve had this many council seats open on the ballot,” Keller said.
The city council election will be held in conjunction with the general election Nov. 4. Seats are up for election in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th districts.
Indeed, it’s an unusual year. Ordinarily, only half the seats on city council are up at one time. Council members serve staggered four-year terms. However, due to the resignation of Travis Blosser from the 2nd District seat in April and the recent resignation of Robert Garcia from the 7th District seat, those seats will be up for election as well. The 2nd and 7th District seats are for two-year terms, while the remaining seats are for four-year terms.
The city appointed Frank Yann to the 2nd District seat in May.
The city is currently taking applications for the 7th District seat and will be accepting resumes and letters of interest at Keller’s office on the third floor of the J. Harper Meredith Building through noon Wednesday, July 16, and council will convene July 22 to interview and appoint a successful candidate.
Now, looking toward November, three current council members won’t be able to file for re-election this year. The city council positions have a term limit, limiting council members to serving two consecutive, full four-year terms.
Debbie Seifrit for the 3rd District, Chuck Warner for the 5th District and Robin Smith for the 8th District cannot file for re-election.
Both appointed council members, Yann and the person selected to take the seat held by Garcia, will hold their seats until the end of the canvass after the Nov. 4 election. The members holding the other council seats up for election will remain on council through the end of 2014.
For those who make the decision to run, the process is straightforward. Candidates for the seven nonpartisan seats must live in and be registered to vote in the city district they want to represent. If elected, during their term of office the council members must reside within their district.
Residents interested in filing for candidacy should come in person to the city clerk’s office on the third floor of the J. Harper Meredith Building. Keller will confirm their voter’s registration for the district in which they are filing to run. They must also pay a $15 registration fee.
“Then I have a packet of information for them once they come in to file with their announcement of candidacy for them to fill out, how they want their name to appear on the ballot, and all of the financial forms they will need for their campaign,” Keller said.
Keller can be contacted at 304-366-6211, ext. 329, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Service on Fairmont City Council brings many challenges along with the rewards generated by doing your best for the city’s residents.
We encourage Fairmont’s best to step forward.
Being a member of Fairmont City Council is not an easy job.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
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