Meet Your Candidate

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | May 21, 2013
Senior Center, Clarksburg, WV
Monday May 20, 2013, 6:30 pm.
 
Candidates for Clarksburg City Council.
 
1. Bill Brady – Life long resident of Clarksburg.  He grew up in Adamston and graduated from Victory High School in 1969.  For a little while he worked at Kroger’s.  Bill wants to see the city re-establish itself as the center of the economy, by bringing business over to the west side of I-79.  This will require lots of hard work from council and from the citizens of Clarksburg.  
 
2.  Shaun Jedju – Shaun has lived here since 2007.   Starting in 2012 he began working on restoration of I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) cemetery.   He kept seeing it overgrown and uncared for so he contacted the owner and asked for permission to work on the Cemetery.  It has grown from a clean-up and restoration project to one including education and research. Kids from local schools are doing research on the Cemetery and there is even a professor from Fairmont State University that is bringing his students. Shaun wants to use the community volunteerism model as depicted in his work on the Cemetery to improve the city.  He feels that council’s role is to help the community not run it. 
 
3.  Tim Gentilozzi – Tim ran for council unsuccessfully 4 years ago.  He expressed the same sentiments as Ryan Kennedy and Bill Brady.   Tim feels that we must be able to compete with other cities in the area.  He owns several buildings and businesses in the downtown area.  He thinks that the council hasn’t been aggressive enough in pursuing development money and opportunities for the downtown area.  He cites the aggressiveness of Bridgeport with the TIFF tax break.  When Morgantown was set to receive a TIFF to improve their area Bridgeport vigorously opposed the measure because they felt it would take money away from their developments in Charles Pointe and White Oaks. In contrast Clarksburg does almost nothing by way of development assistance.  He feels this is the reason downtown Clarksburg has so little by way of customers and thriving businesses.  He said that if we can put nearly 4 million into a pool why not put money into the downtown. 
 
4.  Bob Caplan – He has been married for 35 years and lives in Clarksburg where he and his wife have raised their three children.   His web site is clarksburgmatters.com and he suggests going to his web site for a more detailed exploration of his goals for council.  Having said that, Bob is for a vital downtown.  He feels that this includes three basic areas of business; Retail, Professional, and Service not just retail.  However, he feels like retail is opening up and improving in the downtown area.   He would like to see the second floors in the downtown buildings opened to renters and he wants to encourage people to move back to the downtown.   He thinks the senior community would especially enjoy the downtown and wants to see seniors being at least a significant portion of those moving back into the downtown area. Lastly, Bob wants to emphasize community activities that encourage and express pride in one’s neighborhood. 
 
5.  Adam Rowh – Adam is a really young guy, in his mid to late 20’s I would say.  He was born in New Hampshire, but his parents are from Clarksburg.  When he was a child they moved back to Clarksburg and settled in Northview.   Northview is not what it once was said Adam.   Business development and downtown revitalization are important to him.  In fact he has a business in addition to his work for Frontier.  However, he feels strongly that the drug problem should be the highest priority for the city, preceding even that of economic development in the downtown – and in general I believe.  He travels around the state for work and has gotten to see a lot of communities.   He pointed out there are several small towns like Elkins and Buckhannon that do not have nearly as much economic development surrounding them as Clarksburg yet they are wonderful vibrant areas and much nicer cities.  He thinks we should take a page out of their playbooks.
 
6.  Ryan Kennedy – Ryan is a life long resident of Clarksburg.  When he finished school he was forced to leave the area for work and spent several years out of state.  His primary ambition seems to be a bustling downtown, not just for vitality this brings to a community but also because it brings good jobs which means kids won’t have to leave like he had to do.   Ryan had a sheet of paper with a list of all the B&O taxes in the city of Clarksburg.   He highlighted in yellow all the taxes in Clarksburg that were higher than the corresponding tax in Bridgeport.  The sheet was completely yellow.   There is not one single B&O tax in Clarksburg that is less than its corresponding tax in Bridgeport.  He feels that things like that need to be changed so as to attract more business.   He also wants to simplify the forms and create greater reliability and stability for businesses.  Lastly he wants to take away the meters in the downtown.  Ryan wants on council so that when his kids grow up they will stay in Clarksburg.  
 
7.  Gary Keith – Gary grew up in Clarksburg and loves it here.  He went to Liberty, his father was a police officer and his mother worked at Kroger’s.  He wants his daughter to have the opportunities he did. His primary job is as a 911 dispatcher.  This gives him the opportunity to hear the problems of the city and consequently he feels he is more in touch with the problems of the city than any of the other candidates.  Gary was forceful to point out that a vote for him is a vote for Clarksburg Police.  Gary feels that generally speaking Clarksburg is heading in the right direction.   He gives a lot of credit for this direction to Cathy Goings and Gary Bowden and cites their fresh ideas as a major cause for this positive direction.  Gary wants to continue the trend of fresh ideas and feels that he would bring a “new vibe” as he called it, to the Council.  In reference to downtown business he said he would concentrate on making the downtown a village and social center.  One idea had mentioned was to make main street a one-lane street with diagonal parking on both sides.  Allow shops to put out tables, string lights across the street, and make it a social venue.
 
8.  Mary Mayer – Mary is a Clarksburg native, has three boys, attended Liberty, went to Fairmont state for two years, and works as a cook at Nutterfort Elementary.  Mary was first elected in 2009 and she is up for a second term.   She thinks Clarksburg has done several good things with her in office and is going in a good direction.  For example the city cleaned up three brownview sites and there are now three businesses there; a pepper supplier, a plumbing store, and Shop and Save.  Highland Hospital is taking over the old UHC building.  A new Sheetz has opened off of Rt. 19 near the VA Park.  The new State office complex is a go and the DMV will be a part of the office.  A new CVS is being built off of Main and Marshall.  The first phase of Chestnut Street is done and the second phase will be underway soon. Plus who can forget the new Clarksburg Aquatic Center.  She is proud of all the city employees and listed several departments – including the Police and their struggle against drugs.  Lastly, she also supports the demolition program.  A vote for her is a vote to keep Clarksburg going in right direction.  
 
9.  Curtis Edwards – Curtis couldn’t be at the forum.  Doug Edwards is Curtis’ brother and spoke for him.  Curtis thinks that Clarksburg is truly the “Jewel of the Hills”.  If elected the motto for his term would be “we need to polish the Jewel”.  The polishing he is referring to is the downtown.  Doug said that Curtis is a great guy with a great mind.  He love’s children and is a coach and a teacher.  He sees that dropouts in school will mean a larger burden for all of us later on so he tries to help them as much as possible.  Apparently Curtis is part of a program that tries to broaden the horizons of kids with the hope that once they see the possibilities they will stay in school and thrive.  They do this by taking kids to other cities to let them see the world.  I think he couldn’t be at the forum because he was on one of those trips.
 
10.  Jim Malfregeot – Jim is a local business owner and grew up in Clarksburg.  He has been married for 33 years and has two sons.  In addition to serving the city through a business he has served on the Clarksburg Board of Zoning Appeals.  He is the former owner of Washington Square but now owns J&J Wing Sauce.   He feels his business experience will help him in Council.  He would recommend removing the meters from downtown and wants to turn the Rosegarden into a cultural center.
 
11.  Zeke Lopez – This is Zeke’s Fifth term, he is currently the longest serving member of Clarksburg City Council.  He also currently serves on the boards for Centra and the Senior Center.  Centra offers free fares to seniors over a certain age, 60 I think but I could be wrong.  Zeke says that after a long time in the wilderness Clarksburg is doing great.  This has given him a new fire in the gut and been a light to him.  The big problem in Clarksburg as he sees it are the drugs.  When he started there were 32 police and now there are 46.  In addition there are three officers on the task force.   However, the economic and employment situations are exploding.  The Rosegarden is part of the puzzle for the downtown and Zeke would like to see a hotel and convention center in the downtown area.  The demolition and sidewalk programs are second to none in the State.   Other cities come to learn from our programs he says.  There is over 3 million in the city’s rainy day fund.  Things have never been this rosy and Zeke wants to be there as things continue.
 
12.  Dan Thompson – Dan did not attend. 
 
13.  Patsy Trecost – Could not attend.  He had a prior event with his son. 
The Following are Running for Water Board.
 
14.  Albert Cox – He was the Mayor of Clarksburg during the flood of 1985.  He is currently on the Water Board and has been there for 12 years.   The Water Board does two things: first, it treats water for safety and second it takes care of the system that delivers the water.  The system is run very efficient, and Albert would like to continue being a part of keeping it that way.  
 
15.  Dave Franklin – Dave moved to Clarksburg from Hawaii.  He was a successful business owner in his younger years.  He said the Water Board is well run, but clean water is his business.  Dave has a deep interest in the environment.  He has a garden and grows Raspberries.  He wants to be part of the future of Clarksburg and would like to use his passion for a clean environment and clean water for the benefit of all. 
 
16.  Paul Howe III – Paul has been on the Water Board for five years.  He says Clarksburg has one of the best water systems in WV and he wants to continue that.  The Water Board delivers water to 80% of the people in the county.   Paul feels it is important to keep rates low for the sake of the economy.  If elected he will try to keep the rates low. 

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