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Martinsburg council seats to be contested Tuesday

June 05, 2004|By CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Ward 5 Councilman Glenville Twigg is running on his record. Frank "Tex" Idoni, Twigg's opponent in the city of Martinsburg election, said he's running against what he perceives to be "a good-old-boy club."

In Tuesday's election, the race for the Ward 5 seat and two at-large seats will be contested.

Mayor George Karos and three current council members - Richard Yauger, Max Parkinson and Roger Lewis - are running unopposed. All are Democrats.

Because Councilman Chris Baker decided not to seek re-election, the only person running for his seat - Shari Knadler Persad, a Republican - will win it.

Those seeking the two at-large seats are Councilmen Donald Anderson and Gregg Wachtel, along with challenger LaRue Frye.

Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $200 per meeting.

Ward 5 encompasses the northeast area of town.

Frank "Tex" Idoni

Frank "Tex" Idoni, 46, said that he, more than anything, wants to clean up his neighborhood.

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"Our neighborhood doesn't seem to be getting any better," he said. "We could have a really nice neighborhood if the city would enforce the codes, clean it up."

Idoni, a Republican, said his wife is too scared to walk the couple's dog at night because of increasing crime and drunks on the street. Idoni, who said he's not afraid to report problems to the police, has been assaulted and his windshield was broken.

Rather than spending money on campaign signs, Idoni has been knocking on doors and talking to people, he said. He said he wants to see change.

"It seems to be a good-old-boy club here in town," he said.

If elected, Idoni said he plans to keep track of problems in town and try to do something about them. He already is familiarizing himself with city codes, he said.

He said he would look into a program where children could be paid to pick up trash.

"We could have a better town, but it takes somebody doing something," he said. "It's terrible, the filth on the streets."

Idoni grew up in Silver Spring, Md., and lived in Austin, Texas, for 10 years, he said. He moved to Martinsburg two years ago and works for Schewel Furniture Co.

Glenville Twigg

During his 14 years as a City Council member, Glenville Twigg said he has made several improvements to the city.

He said he coordinated an effort between property owners, state and city officials to improve the dangerous intersection at Moler Avenue and Factory Street. He created Take Pride in Your Community, an anti-litter program, and created the Code Enforcement Committee, which hears issues regarding blight, slum lords and code violations, he said.

He also said he spearheaded what now is an annual street repaving program.

Twigg, 58, is a lifelong Martinsburg resident. After working for 20 years at Washington County Hospital, in December he opened Twiggy's, a small restaurant/convenience store on Centre Street.

Twigg said he is running on his record.

"I always strive for things to be as professional as possible," Twigg said. "I am somewhat controversial because I'm outspoken.

"I'm a very direct, honest person," he said.

Twigg said he feels downtown Martinsburg is in relatively good shape compared to other towns.

"I don't think downtown areas will ever be the shopping meccas they were 30 years ago," he said. Restaurants, offices and specialty shops will keep Martinsburg's downtown viable, he said.

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