14 candidates file papers to run for Clarksburg City Council
by Paul Leakan

    A total of 14 candidates have filed to run for a seat on Clarksburg City Council, including eight newcomers. Three candidates have filed for a seat on the Clarksburg Water Board.
    The filing period for the June 1 nonpartisan general election ended at 4 p.m. Monday. To file, candidates had to pay a $50 filing fee. Three seats are open on council, and all three incumbents have filed to run for another four-year term.
    Louis J. Iquinto of 525 Harrison St., Robert “Tom” Flynn of 100 Shawnee Way and Frank Marino of 207 Paula Blvd. are seeking re-election. Iquinto has served on council for 12 years; Flynn for 16 years, and Marino for 4 years.
Also running are former council members Herman “Bud” Kesling of 316 Hartland Ave., Paul Dan Thompson of 151 Winding Way and David Kates of 123 Floyd St.
    Kesling and Thompson both have served 8 years on council. Kates has served on council in an appointed capacity.
Among the new faces running for council are Rebecca A. Lake of 193 Bond St., Rebecca M. Steed of 131 N. Chestnut St., Margaret A. Bailey of 118 S. Alexander Ave., Carl Hardy Jr. of 143 1/2 Washington Ave., John Jorgensen of 2012 Goff Ave., Robert Kramer of 505 Buckhannon Ave., Joseph “Rocky” Romano of 103 Grant St. and John A. Scott of 320 Beech St.
One seat is available on the Clarksburg Water Board.
    Incumbent Russell Lopez Jr. of 553 E. Main St. is seeking re-election to the four-year term. Lopez has served on the board for the last six years, taking over as board president in January when Frank “Chunki” Angotti resigned from the position after his election to the West Virginia House of Delegates.
    Lopez is being challenged by Andrew McDougal of 123 Roosevelt Road and Charles O. Thayer III of 149 Garfield St.
Residents still have a chance to run for either council or the water board by filing as a write-in candidate. Write-in candidates, who also must pay a $50 filing fee, have until May 18 to file.
    Residents have until May 3 to register to vote. The voters’ registration office is located in the Harrison County Courthouse on Main Street in downtown Clarks-burg.
    Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on June 1.

Harrison gets third judge, now where does county put him?
by Troy Graham

    Local legislators were overjoyed when they secured a third judge for Harrison County, but their victory presents several problems for Harrison County Commissioners who must find extra space and fund more staff for the new judge.
The commission will most likely have to ask one of the non-county agencies that occupy the courthouse to move out in order to accommodate the extra judge, said Harrison County Commission President  Tom Keeley. “This is called the courthouse and we have to give priority to the court system,” he said.
    The Clarksburg Housing Authority and the United Way are both non-county agencies that have space in the courthouse. Commis-sioners could also consider moving Harrison County Parks and Recreation to the 4-H center, Keeley said.
The good news is that a third judge probably won’t take the bench until January 2001, said Chief Circuit Court Judge Thomas Bedell. The third judge will be selected by voters in the November 2000 election and will take office in 2001, he said.
    Gov. Cecil Underwood could appoint someone to fill the position before the election, but a governor’s spokesman said that is unlikely.
    “The positive thing about the timing of the Legislature’s action is that it will go on the ballot and will not be a political appointment,” Bedell said.
    The bill that created the additional judge has not yet reached Underwood’s office, and officials there refused to comment on whether the governor will sign it.
    The cost of an extra judge to the state, which is responsible for paying a judge’s salary and staff, is $300,000, said Senate Judiciary Chairman Bill Wooton, D-Raleigh.
    Commissioners said Tuesday that they did not know what the costs to the county will be. The county will most likely have to hire additional workers for the circuit clerk’s office and a third bailiff will be needed to cover the courtroom.
Commissioner Beth Taylor said the third judge amounts to “an unfunded mandate.” The commission will seek state money to help out with extra costs, she said. Getting a third judge is positive for the county, but “unfunded mandates are not good things,” Taylor said.
    Commissioners, who are in the middle of drafting the county budget, said they will not make any special changes to next year’s budget.
    Circuit Clerk Donald Kopp, who presented his budget to the commission Tuesday, said his office has long been in need of more bodies. The extra judge should highlight that need, he said.
    “We were planning on asking for additional people anyway,” Kopp said. “This just kind of helped us a little bit.”
Bedell has said that he would be flexible if all the accommodations are not in place by 2001. It is possible with creative scheduling to fit two judges into three courtrooms, he said.
    Taylor pointed out that the court operated with three judges when Judge Lewis Marks was elected, which was before Judge Daniel McCarthy went into senior status, she said.

Clarksburg police to accept 2 percent pay raise
by James Fisher

    Clarksburg police are not happy, but they will reluctantly accept a proposed city budget at Thursday’s council meeting, they say.
    They also will begin working on the fiscal year 2000 to 2001 budget now in an effort to get more money next year, according to Robert Matheny, president of Local 119 of the International Union of Police Associations.
The union had asked that a 12 percent pay raise for police officers be included in the budget.
    However, at a budget session Monday, council approved a 2 percent raise for all city workers and a special assignments pay of 35 cents per hour for police officers working the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts.
    “Two percent is a long way from 12 percent. We will no longer oppose the city manager’s budget, but we will start working tomorrow on next year’s budget,” Matheny said.
    “We hope to work together with the city administration on the next budget,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to get up to parity with the other departments in the area.”
    The big difference in the salary increase, Matheny said, is in the way the city will dole it out. In the past, city workers have either gotten a flat increase, or all the salaries from a department were averaged and the percentage increase was based on the average. This year, however, the raise will be 2 percent of each city worker’s salary.
    Therefore, Matheny said, higher ranking officers will receive a higher amount, although everyone will get his 2 percent.
“This is kind of like putting a small bandage on an open wound,” Matheny said.
    He said, however, that union officials have gained valuable experience in budgetary issues during the past two months and have gained needed public support. “We have learned a lot,” he said.  “There’s a lot of give and take in these things. We’re still in the game, we just got a late start,” he said.


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