SISTERSVILLE - Sistersville residents will vote for a new mayor when they go to the polls today.
The mayor's race is the only contested race on the ballot. The office is being sought by councilman Bill Rice and political newcomer Beri Jean Fox.
Fox, a lifelong resident of Sistersville, is the daughter of the late Roger and Jean Howdyshell. She grew up in the city and later chose to raise her family there.
"I am seeking the office of Sistersville mayor to bring the experience I have gained in business and community service to that office and to help benefit our city through the many contacts I have gained in state and federal government and community foundations," Fox said.
Born in Sistersville in 1960, Bill Rice is a life-long resident of the city, a former mayor and an 11-year member of the city council representing the Second Ward. He said the love for his hometown is the guiding factor in his decision to run again for the mayor's seat.
In 1995, Rice was elected to the Sistersville City Council and served until 2002. He then was elected mayor in 2002 and held the office for four years. In 2010, Rice felt the call to return to civic service again. He again was elected to the Second Ward seat on council and has served on a number of committees for the town. Rice hopes to give voice to those who feel disenfranchised with local government.
None of the city's council seat races are contested, even though there are more than one contestants in some wards. This is because some are running for election to fulfill terms vacated by resignations, some temporarily filled by appointment.
In the First Ward, Harold Dally is seeking an unexpired two-year term and incumbent Councilman Richard Long will run for a full four-year term.
Councilman Mitch Corley of the Second Ward maintains his position because his term does not expire until the next election. However, a council seat will remain open in the Second Ward following the election as there are no eligible candidates registered.
Third Ward councilmen Phil Konopacky and Mark Klages, who were appointed in December, will run for the two available seats - Klages for a two-year term and Konopacky for a four-year term.
Bonnie Hizer is running for the four-year term available in the Fourth Ward. There is also a two-year term on the ballot, and Rachel Marrin registered as a write-in candidate or that seat.
Also on the ballot is a vote for or against the city's five-year levy that supports the fire department, library, park and pool and streets. This is a continuance of a levy already in place.
The polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Polling places include: First Ward, Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department; Second Ward, Oxford Street Church of Christ Annex; Third Ward, City Hall; and Fourth Ward, Methodist Church.