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Hutchinson, Omps in race for county commission seat

October 17, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - One Morgan County Commission seat is up for grabs in the Nov. 7 general election.

Democrat Brenda J. Hutchinson and Republican Wayne A. Omps are running for the open position on the three-person commission after winning their respective primaries in May.

The seat is in District 1, which includes a portion of southern Morgan County, the western part of the county (Great Cacapon and Paw Paw, W.Va.) and the Town of Bath. The election is countywide.

The six-year term has a yearly salary of $34,980 and is currently held by Democrat Bob Ford, who is not seeking re-election.

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Brenda J. Hutchinson

Hutchinson, 53, lives at 5154 Milo School Road in Great Cacapon, W.Va., and is employed as a paralegal.

She said there are many important issues in Morgan County, but growth is still the top issue and one she gets asked about most frequently.

"The county is still facing the problem with overdevelopment within the county. The regulations we have in place still do not address the problem of how will the county pay for additional county services that are a part of new development," she said.

Hutchinson said, "This means we need impact fees instead of having our current residents pay higher taxes to meet the demand for more county services."

"We need a balance on our commission. We need a person with business experience, but without a vested interest in one particular business. We need all residents in the county to be represented. I am a woman with business experience. I have lived here 27 years and can relate to local as well as new Morgan County residents, she said.

Unfortunately, the courthouse fire added a new dimension for the commission, she said.

"As a real estate paralegal, I use the county court records on a daily basis. I know what is needed to design the new courthouse to make it function well into the future."

Wayne A. Omps

Omps, 53, lives at 188 Cattail Drive in Berkeley Springs and is a business owner.

Omps said growth in Morgan County is not only the top issue.

"It's good quality county government and a quality of life for the citizens," Omps said.

He said many important issues face the commissioners, including growth and the creation of new and good jobs.

"We need an aggressive attitude to bring new business to the community by selling the quality of life here. We need growth at a healthy, managed pace," Omps said.

He said he made two promises if he gets the job as commissioner. "I will do my very best to bring in jobs and I will listen to anyone."

Omps said if he gets the job he will "bring 35 years of experience at getting things done."

Carl O. Cowgill of Paw Paw also is running for commissioner as a write-in Republican candidate.

Cowgill received 362 votes in the May Republican primary. Omps received 497 votes.

District 2 and District 3 commission seats are held by Republicans Glen R. Stotler and Thomas R. Swaim, who are not up for election until 2008 and 2010, respectively.

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