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Four vying for seat on Morgan County Commission

April 19, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Three Democrats and one Republican are vying for one open Morgan County Commission seat in Magisterial District 3, which is currently held by Thomas R. Swaim.

Democrats Todd Farris, Tony Lynch and Barbara Tutor are facing each other in the May 11 primary election. The top vote-getter will run against Republican Bradley J. Close in November. Close is running unopposed.

The six-year term has an annual salary of $35,640.

Swaim is not running for re-election.

Here are the candidates and their answers to questions asked of each:

DEMOCRATS



Todd Farris

Age: 46

Residence: Berkeley Springs

Occupation:Leader/operator, Federal Mogul Friction Plant, Winchester, Va.

Q.: What is the most important issue facing Morgan County?

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A.: "The most important issue is our economy. We are in a countrywide recession, and people are losing their jobs and homes. A lot of Morgan County citizens are struggling to make ends meet and finding it hard to pay their taxes. People are moving out of this county; they are moving to where the jobs are. This recession is hurting our children also. Their minds are off their schoolwork in the classrooms because where once a classmate, a friend, sat, now is just an empty chair.

"County government has to make cutbacks when and wherever they can. This county has to cross-train employees in the government offices to replace an employee if they are off work, or to help out in other offices if they are overrun with work. This would save the county thousands of dollars per year. At the company I work for, an employee can run about every machine in their assigned department. This is the way companies work to stay competitive in today's market. This is the way our county government needs to efficiently operate. If elected, I will always be looking for ways to cut operating costs to keep your taxes as low as possible."

Q.: Why should people vote for you?

A.: "People should vote for me for my family values, common-sense decisions, leadership skills and trustworthiness. I have lived in Morgan County almost my whole life and I've seen a lot of changes in this county -- some good and some bad. I have sat back long enough, and it is time for me to stand up and do what is right for our county and its citizens. Morgan County has a lot of challenges ahead and the decisions I would make would be carefully thought out.

"With our unemployment rate on the rise, I would look for ways to bring more manufacturing jobs to our county. This way, the working people would not have to travel out of this county to find work and would also give them more time to spend with their families."

Tony Lynch

Age: 39

Residence: Berkeley Springs

Occupation: Law enforcement officer and former Town of Bath police chief

Web site: http://www.vote4tlynch.com

Q.: What is the most important issue facing Morgan County?

A.: "The most important issue facing Morgan County is the infrastructure. We need to support the county population with community services and needs. As the supporting government, we need to provide adequate law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel, juvenile community outlets and jobs.

"We need to take an aggressive approach on luring businesses to build in our community. We need to have a community center dedicated to our youth giving them a drug- and violence-free location and Public Safety the tools they need to perform their duties every day."

Q.: Why should people vote for you?

A.: "People should vote for me for a multiple of reasons. I have a modern-day approach on issues surrounding our community. I have experience ... in the public eye and can handle the many obligations the commissioner's job holds. I am familiar with the drug and juvenile problems that need to be combated in our community and have ways of getting things done."

Barbara Tutor

Age:77

Residence: Berkeley Springs

Occupation: Retired

Q.: What is the most important issue facing Morgan County?

A.: "'We need jobs' is the first response I get when talking to people about this question.But what people are really trying to grasp is how to assure that good, steady jobs are locally available. I believe that the county's Economic Development Authority should develop a Comprehensive Economic Plan and establish a formal process that sustains a purposeful and stable local economic network of small businesses and industries providing local goods, services and jobs.

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