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Surkamp, Manuel lead in Jefferson Commission race

November 03, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Jim Surkamp had a slim lead over Gary Phalen and Dale Manuel was way ahead of Al Hooper in two Jefferson County Commission races Tuesday, according to incomplete, unofficial election results.

With 25 of 29 precincts reporting, Surkamp picked up 7,879 votes compared to Phalen's 7,810 votes in a race for the Shepherdstown seat on the commission and Manuel garnered 8,859 votes compared to Hooper's 6,985 votes, according to results.

James G. Knode holds the Shepherdstown seat on the commission but decided not to seek re-election.

Hooper is president of the county commission.

Commission terms are six years and the salary is $30,800.

Phalen, 60, of Shepherdstown, said previously that he knows how county government works.

Phalen was a Jefferson County Commissioner from 1980 to 1986 and was a member of the Jefferson County Planning Commission for two years.

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Phalen stepped down from the county commission in 1986 to run for a 16th District state Senate seat and was defeated.

Phalen, who has spent the last 18 years in the mortgage banking business, was on the county commission when it passed zoning.

To help relieve the tax burden on home owners, Phalen said county officials need to work as hard as they can to bring new business to the area.

Surkamp said the county is building too many houses and not attracting enough business.

The county is in a mess as a result, Surkamp said.

Local fire departments are being stretched to handle emergency calls and often there are only two police officers on duty during the night, said Surkamp, 55, of 64 Larkspur Lane, Shepherdstown.

Manuel said he wants the county to adopt a method of zoning that would allow for more effective methods of preserving green space and setting aside land for public facilities such as recreational fields and walking trails.

Manuel, 55, of 75 Porter Way, Charles Town, said he also wants to use slot machine revenue from Charles Town Races & Slots to acquire recreational facilities and parks.

Hooper, who is finishing his first term, said the rate of development in the county must be slowed so the county has a chance to implement public services needed to support it.

Hooper, 76, of 615 S. Seminary St., Charles Town, believes cities and the county must begin working together on future planning and that adequate water and sewer services, roads, schools, emergency services and park facilities must be considered in all planning efforts.

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