New Martinsburg City Council takes oath of office

June 28, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Martinsburg City Recorder Gena Long swears in the new Martinsburg City Council Thursday night. The council members are, from left, Kevin Knowles, Donald Anderson, Jason Baker, Roger Lewis, Max Parkinson, Gregg Wachtel, and Dennis Etherington.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — At the onset of his fourth term as Martinsburg’s mayor, George Karos told city council members that he hopes they continue to work as a team to do what’s best for the community. 

After being sworn into office for another four-year term, Karos, 80, said he wanted to especially welcome new City Council members Kevin Knowles (Ward 2), Jason Baker (Ward 5) and Donald Anderson (At Large) who took the oath of office Thursday with incumbents Roger Lewis (Ward 4), Dennis Etherington (Ward 1), Max Parkinson (Ward 3) and Gregg Wachtel (At Large).

In a meeting held just before Karos was sworn in to begin his fourth term, the mayor also bid farewell to council members Rodney Woods and Betty Gunnoe, who opted not to seek re-election in the June 12 municipal election.

Gunnoe, who served a total of 23 years on the council, thanked the residents of Ward 5, which she represented.

“It’s been a privilege and an honor,” Gunnoe said before removing her microphone and stepping down from her chair on the right side of the chamber.

Gunnoe, who was the only female on council, also thanked fellow members for “allowing me to be one of the boys” and she also wished Baker well in the chair she left. Knowles replaced the late Richard Yauger, who died shortly after he was defeated in the election, according to city officials.

During Gunnoe and Woods’ last meeting, Karos lauded the city council as a whole for “a job well done,” citing their efforts to keep the budget intact without cutting services to residents and work on a number of completed city projects like the town square.

Karos specifically thanked Gunnoe and Woods for being “team players. Woods, who held an at-large seat, opted not to seek re-election after serving one, four-year term. 

He was appointed in December 2007 to fill the unexpired term of Anderson, now 85, who then had resigned due to health reasons.

In their last action as council members, Gunnoe and Woods joined fellow members in approving a supplemental agreement with the West Virginia Division of Highways to pay the state $37,130 more for the town square project. The city’s share of the $1.8 million pedestrian improvement effort downtown was $360,850.

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