Seals Won’t Run For Re-Election

WHEELING – Councilman Vernon Seals announced on Tuesday he will not run for a seventh term on City Council.

Seals, who has represented the city’s 2nd Ward since 1988, told fellow council members and city officials he will not file for re-election.

“It was never my intent to be a career politician,” he said. “It was always my intent to represent the city of Wheeling and my constituents. After serious thought and discussion with my family, I have come to the conclusion I will not be a candidate for Wheeling City Council. All roads come to an end.”

“I would never consider you a politician, but a public servant that has always fought for your beliefs and fought for the people you represent,” Mayor Andy McKenzie told Seals. “People can agree with us and disagree with us, but one thing I learned about you is that I’ve thought you were never anything but honest (and) that you are hard-working.”

Two 2nd Ward residents already have filed for Seals’ seat: Charles Ballouz of downtown and Alex Coogan of Wheeling Island.

In other business Tuesday, City Manager Robert Herron addressed concerns over a number of dump trucks entering and leaving the former North Park Landfill.

He said it is a West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection effort to begin “capping” the landfill – or closing it once and for all. The process will take 85,000 cubic yards of dirt to fill in more than 30 acres of space. The property will then be reclaimed for its eventual reuse.

Herron said the dirt came from a slip in southern Marshall County that the DEP determined ideal for a landfill site. A majority of the dirt went to a landfill in Wetzel County for the same purpose.

He added the amount of dirt used in North Park should fill 75 percent of the space. The state will need to acquire the remaining dirt.

“This is not a city of Wheeling project,” Herron said.

He said the state and city have a contract for the state agency to repair any road damage found to be caused by the trucks.

In voting matters, council unanimously approved abandonment of a portion of Alley E to Mike Ferns, owner of the former Robinson dealership in East Wheeling. Ferns said the state issued a letter of intent to install an agency office there. The lane is needed to cut off vehicle access and allow safer access to the building from the parking lot, between which the alley passes.