CLARKSBURG -- Incumbents Jim Hunt, Terry Greaver and Sam "Zeke" Lopez were the top three vote-getters in Tuesday's municipal election and retained their council seats for another four years. They will be joined by newcomer Patsy S. Trecost II, who narrowly defeated former Councilman Tom Flynn for the final open council seat.
Incumbent Vice Mayor Kathryn Folio finished seventh, behind Flynn and Dan Thompson.
This will be Hunt's fifth consecutive term on council. Greaver and Lopez were seeking their first re-election.
"I think the second time is harder," Greaver said. "The first term, I was hunting a seat on council. The second time, they were hunting me. I definitely had to work harder this time."
All three said their priorities were getting back into the neighborhoods and continuing with some ongoing projects, such as the downtown streetscape and the demolition program.
"I'd like to start right back to the Neighborhood 2000 program and visit some of the neighborhoods we haven't visited," Hunt said. "Some people thought it might be used as a political tool, so we kind of slacked off, but I'd like to get back into that. I'd like to see this council continue right on the path we're on now. I think we've turned a corner and we're headed in the right direction."
Trecost said he was pleased with the results and excited to begin serving on council.
"My plan is to listen and learn," he said. "I've found that with both my job and my 5-year-old son."
While most other candidates were gathered at the Harrison County Courthouse Tuesday awaiting the election results, Trecost was out removing his political signs.
"I have campaigned as hard as I could and I thought today would take care of itself," he said. "Besides, that's one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing signs up two weeks after the election."
Aside from the neighborhoods, Lopez said he would like to focus on getting a new economic development director hired to begin recruiting new businesses to the city.
"I would say those are the biggest priorities," he said. "We just need to continue with the programs we've started. We haven't seen a lot of results yet, but I think it's because some of them are so new. We'll start seeing some good things happening in Clarksburg."
Folio, the only incumbent to not retain a seat, said she was disappointed but planned to run again in two years.
"The people of Clarksburg spoke," she said. "I'm grateful to have been able to serve on council and I'd like to continue to help however I can."
City Clerk Annette Wright said the election canvass is tentatively set for 10 a.m. Monday. She is confident that the results will be certified with little problems, since the city used the county's optical scanner this time for tabulation.
"There's a lot less doubt with the scanner," she said. "It's not only faster, but it definitely shows a better chance of everything being more accurate."
Final vote results were:
n James C. Hunt, 1,843
n Terry Greaver, 1,558
n Sam "Zeke" Lopez, 1,373
n Patsy S. Trecost II, 1,154
n Tom Flynn, 1,063
n Dan Thompson, 928
n Kathy Folio, 777
n Allen G. Saoud, 682
n Paul DuPont, 672
n Ralph Pedersen, 458
n Bob Silvis, 246
Staff writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org