Three Council Seats on Ballot, Only One Contested

On Nov. 4, voters throughout Moundsville will choose either to re-elect Councilman-At-Large Phil Remke or replace him with one of two challengers, including former City Manager Allen Hendershot.

City Clerk Sondra Hewitt said this is the only contested seat in this year’s municipal election, as no one filed to challenge Vice Mayor David Wood in his bid for re-election in the 2nd Ward or Councilwoman Ginger DeWitt in the 4th Ward.

Moundsville council members receive $4,800 per year, while the mayor – elected by a vote of council after residents select council members – receives $6,000.

“The city needs to be run like a business,” Remke said of why he wants to continue as a council member.

Immediately prior to the close of the July 1 meeting, Remke said, “You know what happens when you put a bear into the corner. He comes out fighting.”

Following the session, Remke said he knows some of the fellow members do not approve of how he conducts himself as a councilman.

Hendershot, meanwhile, retired as city manager in 2011 after a 36-year career working for Moundsville. He spent 27 years as a police officer before working the next nine as city manager.

“I support what the city wants to do with home rule,” Hendershot said. “I feel I’ve got some experience and expertise to bring to the job.”

If approved for home rule, Moundsville leaders estimate they could collect more than $1 million annually by imposing a 0.5-percent sales tax. They also want the right to apply flexible business and occupation tax rates, repair or demolish buildings that owners are not maintaining, increase the city’s power to collect delinquent fees and reduce the number of business licenses from 45 to just a few.

In addition to Remke and Hendershot, Kevin Rhome is also a contender for the at-large council seat. He could not be reached for comment.

Wood faces no opposition in his bid for re-election to the 2nd Ward, which includes most of the northeastern part of the city around First Street. DeWitt also faces no opponent in the 4th Ward in the south end of the city.

While Carl Boso initially applied to run in the 4th Ward, Hewitt said he did not return the required paperwork by the Tuesday deadline.

The seats now held by 1st Ward Councilman Paul Haynes, Mayor Eugene Saunders (who was elected 3rd Ward councilman prior to his selection as mayor by his colleagues), Councilman-At-Large David Haynes and Councilman At-Large K. Mark Simms will be contested in 2016, Hewitt said.