The Times West Virginian

April 21, 2014

Former mayor Burdick runs for county commission

Says bringing jobs to county is main issue

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — After years of serving the City of Fairmont, William “Bill” Burdick hopes to further his career in politics by running for Marion County Commission.

In 2007, Burdick was appointed to fill a seat on Fairmont council. After the term expired, he ran for council and was voted in.

“Then I ran for my seat again and won,” Burdick said.

In 2011, he was elected to a two-year term as the mayor of Fairmont. Burdick is now currently serving on Fairmont’s city council.

With a politic science degree from Otterbein University, Burdick went into politics after his two children, Heather and Christopher, were out of high school. He also coached high school lacrosse.

“I had some more free time and I didn’t coach lacrosse anymore,” he said. “When my scheduled became free, I could pursue politics.”

Burdick said if elected to the Marion County Commission, there are more opportunities to do things as a commissioner.

One of the main issues Burdick said he would focus on if elected to commission is bringing jobs and business to Marion County.

“As far as economic growth and jobs, I think the commissioners can play a larger part than a mayor or council,” he said. “We’re losing jobs and that’s a concern.”

Burdick said that he feels there are several opportunities for economic growth in the county. He said if elected, he plans on traveling to companies and businesses outside the area and try to get them to bring their business to the county.

“On my days off, just go cold calling or something like that,” Burdick said. “Places in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; or Hagerstown, Md., and just say, ‘Do you ever think about coming to Fairmont or Marion County or having an office here?’ Just asking them to branch out.”

With his experience in the public sector, Burdick said there is always a time for a city, town or county to expand.

“I hope Marion County is ready for new business,” he said.

Burdick said if new businesses would come to the area, he would like to see a strong workforce.

Another issue Burdick said he would focus on includes road conditions.

“I know Monongalia County allocated money to the state to help on some of their roads up there,” he said. “I think that will definitely be a possibility down here.”

Burdick said if elected, he would visit every town and city in Marion County often to see what their communities’ needs are.

He said with his experience as being the mayor of Fairmont, he has a relationship with higher county and state officials such as delegates, congressmen and senators.

“As far as being able to discuss things with them, the (mayoral) position has helped me with that,” Burdick said.

If elected, Burdick said he would professionally run Marion County and aggressively seek job development throughout the county.

“At some point we need a change, we’re not going out and aggressively seeking jobs,” he said. “You can see things are going south of us and north of us.”

Burdick residences in Fairmont with his wife, of 26 years Marjorie. He is a member of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is serving on the Board of Directors as president for Main Street Fairmont, Fairmont Community Partnership, Region VI Workforce West Virginia, and the Municipal League of West Virginia.

Burdick said he is active in currently active in the community with activities such as running and refereeing high school soccer.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.