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Shepherdstown residents face choices Tuesday

June 01, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherdstown voters will have the opportunity to choose their mayor, recorder and five town council members during the town's municipal election Tuesday.

Lance Dom and former Mayor Jim Auxer will compete for the mayor's seat, incumbent Cindy Cook will face Deborah Harding in the race for recorder and seven council candidates will run for the five council seats. There were eight candidates, but candidate Maura Balliett dropped out of the race, town officials said.

The elected positions have two-year terms. The mayor's salary is $2,000 a year, the recorder's salary is $1,500 a year and council members earn $1,200 a year, town officials said.

Polling will be conducted from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Entler Hotel on German Street.

Dom, 56, of 203 W. German St., said previously that he decided to run for mayor after current Mayor Peter Wilson and others in town asked him to run. Wilson is completing his first term as mayor, but decided to run for council in Tuesday's election.

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Dom said previously that he thinks some of the important issues in town revolve around parking, the busy four-way stop and improving the town's streetscape. While there are issues in town, Dom said he also thinks it is important that people not get too wrapped up in them or go too far in one direction.

Auxer, 59, of 108 E. New St., was first elected mayor in 2000 and won re-election in 2002. He lost a re-election bid in 2002.

Auxer said previously he is running again because he plans to be a town resident for the rest of his life and feels a responsibility in helping the town deal with its "trials and tribulations."

Auxer said he believes the town needs to move ahead with a renovation of its sewer plant to meet new pollution standards and look at possibly expanding the water plant.

The candidates for council, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Jim Ford, 53, 300 W. German St. Ford, who runs the Thomas Shepherd Inn bed and breakfast with his wife, Jeanne, is completing his first term on the council. Ford said he is running for re-election because he has learned about the workings of council in his first term, which he thinks will allow him to be more effective if re-elected.

  • John Meeker, 37, 112 E. New St. Meeker is the co-founder and vice president of Briefings Inc., a news clipping and summary service for government agencies and professional associations. Meeker said he is running because he wants to represent the interests of growing families in town and thinks attention needs to be paid to issues such as cost of living, gentrification and condition of parks.

  • Howard Mills of 104 N. Church St. Mills is the president of the board of directors of the Gateway New Economy Council, an organization that works to promote high-tech growth in the Eastern Panhandle. He could not be reached for comment after repeated attempts.

  • Mark Smith, 69, 105 King St. Smith has worked in finance, including 20 years with the Ford Motor Co. and subsidiaries. Smith, who is completing his second term on council, said he is running for re-election because people have asked him to run and because he feels an obligation to serve the town since he lives there.

  • Wanda Grantham Smith, 54, 103 N. College St. Smith is an administration associate in the admissions office at Shepherd University and is finishing her first term on council. Smith said she is running for re-election because she learned about town government in her first term and wants to continue helping the town.

  • Frank Salzano, 21, who lives in the Register Building on German Street. Salzano is a junior at Shepherd University and said he wants to be on the council to make sure the town develops in the most economical, social and environmentally responsible ways and to build a healthy relationship between Shepherd and the town.

  • Peter Wilson, 62, 204 S. King St. Wilson is retired and worked for the American Hospital Association as vice president for policy. Wilson said he is running for council for the same reason he ran for mayor: To make sure issues are dealt with in town and not "ducked." And the issues need to be addressed in an "honest, open process," Wilson said.
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