Thalman Faces Bishop in Race for 1st Ward Council Seat
WHEELING — Vice Mayor and incumbent 1st Ward Councilman Chad Thalman is squaring off against fellow city resident John Bishop in the city of Wheeling’s only two-candidate race.
City voters will decide between the two candidates during the upcoming municipal election on June 9.
Thalman, of Warwood Avenue, graduated from Wheeling Central in 2000 and from West Virginia University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He moved to Frederick, Maryland, for several years before returning to Wheeling and graduating in 2010 with an MBA from Wheeling Jesuit University. He currently works at Warwood Armature.
“Over the last four years, more than 20 streets and the jogging trail have been repaved in Ward 1, all four playgrounds have been replaced and funding has been approved to demolish eight structures, but there is still more work to do,” Thalman said. “We need to continue making progress paving streets and alleys, we need to take steps to reduce basement flooding and become more proactive in addressing road slips.”
Thalman said he believes Wheeling’s greatest asset is its people.
“For decades the citizens of Wheeling have built what was once the tallest building in the state, what was once the largest suspension bridge in the world and have left us with a city rich in history and architecture,” Thalman said. “The people of Wheeling are smart, tough and resilient, and I believe Wheeling will overcome the current challenges and continue on our path of moving Wheeling forward in a positive direction.”
Wheeling has some of the same challenges that many rust belt cities have, Thalman said.
“We have older infrastructure that has been ignored and needs updated, and many of the jobs that have traditionally supported this region have been disappearing,” he said. “We need to continue preparing for our future and making Wheeling a place where people want to live and where businesses want to open and can thrive.
Thalman said he likes to make sure he is accessible to his constituents, which is convenient since he not only lives in Ward 1, but also works there.
He said he has been able to meet his responsibilities and obligations serving the city and looks forward to continue his service in the upcoming term.
Bishop, fellow Wheeling resident who resides on Lark Court, is challenging Thalman for the 1st Ward seat on city council. Bishop is a 1989 graduate of Wheeling Park High School who enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1990 to 1994.
Upon finishing his military service, Bishop began driving trucks and presently is driving for Fraley & Shilling of Brilliant. He is a member of the Salvation Army emergency disaster response team, is a high school football official, and Ohio County Virtual Lions Club member and Salvation Army Men’s Club president.
“I’m running for city council for the people of Ward 1 and the city,” Bishop said. “For a long time, nobody has listened to the people of this ward, and that isn’t right. This administration doesn’t listen to them, and that has to change.”
The greatest asset for the city is its people, Bishop said.
“A lot of great individuals live, work and play here, and I want to keep that,” Bishop said, noting that the city’s many great features are also assets that need to be maintained. “The waterfront, arena, the parks, the walking trails … all of it.”
In terms of challenges faced in Wheeling, Bishop said the city needs to do a better job in handling issues with the homeless, taxes, job creation and retention, and maintaining transparency in the city government.
“If elected I will work with the different agencies to come up with solutions to these problems and help the citizens and people that come here to work and to make Wheeling a better place to live, work, and grow as a great place to raise a family,” he said. “My goal is to help the city move forward in any possible way, and my platform is to push for no new taxes and to get rid of user fee, abolish the three-story mandate, and of course, work to make sure taxpayers do not have to fund a new public safety building.”