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Webster will face write-in candidate in Bath election

June 08, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Susan J. Webster, longtime mayor of the Town of Bath, is facing a challenge for her post in Tuesday's election.

The mayor serves a two-year term and earns an annual salary of $500.

Barbara Campbell, of 137 Hageman St., is running as a write-in candidate for mayor. She is a landscaper/housewife, and chairs the Urban Tree Board and is a Streetscape committee member for the Town of Bath.

Campbell believes moving the town municipal center into the new courthouse would be "an undue burden that the residents of our town do not need. We have other issues that all of us deal with on a daily basis that need to be addressed, especially our streets," she said, which she feels is a major problem.

"Let's take the monies, sell unneeded property and use it to repair our streets, address the parking problems, the water department problems, maintain the cemetery we own and work on beautification projects," Campbell said. "Pressure the state to maintain the state and county roads for the residents and the businesses that all of us here use on a daily basis."

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Campbell feels the Bath Police Department needs additional guidance and training "for the unique town that we are in the Town of Bath."

"Residents need to feel protected; tourists need to feel welcomed and safe," she said. "Generating more money through parking tickets and speeding tickets should not be what we are known for."

Campbell also said town ordinances must be updated in order to enforce them.

"Currently, it appears they are addressed only when an issue arises," she said.

Campbell said she wants voters to choose her for mayor.

"A number of residents of the Town of Bath are looking for a change," she said. "I believe I offer a choice for change."

She said "volunteering the past four years in both the county and the town has enlightened me to many issues that I believe need to be addressed, and I would like the opportunity to represent all the residents and businesses."

- Webster, of 551 Cacapon Road, has been the Town of Bath mayor for 14 years.

Webster said the main issue facing the town is water.

"The responsibility of maintaining and improving the Berkeley Springs Water Works is a constant and daunting task that affects not only the Town of Bath, but also the county," she said.

"As mayor, I have overseen many successful infrastructure improvement projects," Webster said. "I believe the next vital water project must include additional tank storage capacity and more line replacement. This will enable citizens in need of clean, potable water the ability to acquire it. It also provides the business community with a dependable utility that encourages growth, jobs and prosperity."

"For the past 14 years, I have devoted myself to public service," she said. "Running a town is a complex task and serious, hard work. The priorities can change instantly and leadership must display sound judgment, energy and compassion while keeping the organization stable and productive.

"I believe I have demonstrated in my daily work with the town these capabilities and the qualities of a strong, dedicated public servant. I ask citizens to vote for me so I can continue projects that I am currently working on and to enable me to seek more ways to enhance the quality of life for our citizens and businesses."

Bath is the local government within Berkeley Springs. Polls are open Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall on Wilkes Street.

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