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Five candidates seek one seat on Morgan Co. Commission

April 05, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Five candidates are seeking one open position on the Morgan County Commission and the May 9 primary will determine which Republican and Democratic candidate will face off in the November general election.

Four Republicans and one Democrat are in the race. April Bautista-Mathias, a Democrat, withdrew from the race in March, but since the primary ballots were printed in February, her name will appear along with Democrat Brenda J. Hutchinson.

This is a six-year position with an annual salary of $28,600. The seat is held by Democrat Robert "Bob" L. Ford, who will not seek re-election and who has withdrawn his candidacy for the 51st District House of Delegates' seat in the W.Va. Legislature.

The other two commission seats are held by Republicans Glen R. Stotler and Thomas R. Swaim, who are not up for election until 2008 and 2010, respectively.


The candidates are:


Roger D. Steiner Sr.

Age: 52

Address: 309 Hammond St., Great Cacapon, W.Va.

Occupation: School bus driver

Top Issue: "Morgan County needs businesses here so that we and future workers won't have to travel so far to work. Also the home building growth in Morgan County must be stabilized so it is not a burden on the taxpayers. The first step is to attract businesses to the Morgan County Industrial Park that has ample space available."

Wayne A. Omps

Age. 52

Address: 188 Cattail Drive, Berkeley Springs

Occupation: Business owner

Top Issue: "The biggest issue is the growth in Morgan County. Our growth in Morgan County needs to be economically and environmentally sound we need to have some form of land management. The issues regarding the bypass, the hospital and the traffic all are byproducts of this growth."

Tricia L. Strader

Age: 36

Address: 410 Wilkes St., Berkeley Springs

Occupation: Reporter, substitute teacher

Top Issue: "The main issue for Morgan County is the tax increase that is especially hard for low income and our seniors to bear. Also, we need more jobs here in the county. More business growth will create jobs for middle class workers and part-time jobs for teenagers are needed. With business growth and more jobs, we will generate more tax dollars for the county, and this could bring lower property taxes for all our citizens."

Carl O. Cowgill

Age: 61

Address: 53 Kathy St., Paw Paw, W.Va.

Occupation: Business owner

Top Issue: "Due to the growth in Morgan County, we need to consider building the bypass and a new modern hospital. The bypass would alleviate some of the traffic. Also, more jobs are needed in the county, and we need to utilize our industrial parks in Berkeley Springs and Paw Paw. Businesses are needed in these parks that's why they were built with taxpayers' dollars."


Brenda J. Hutchinson

Age: 52

Address: 5154 Milo School Road, Great Cacapon, W.Va.

Occupation: Paralegal

Top Issue: "We need to control the unbridled growth in the county. We are no longer looking at just local developers, but we see an influx of developers coming in from other counties and other states and taking advantages of our tax structures and lack of building restrictions. There is no easy solution, but we need to begin addressing these problems."

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