Paden City will holds its municipal election Thursday to elect a mayor and three councilmembers; all terms are for two years.
The only contested race on the ballot is for mayor. On the ballot are incumbent William B. Fox, Clyde Hochstrasser, John D. "Hoppy" Hopkins, and Cindy L. Slider. The council candidates are for Glenn "Bob" Casteel, First Ward; Tom Trader, Second Ward; and Larry Potts, Third Ward.
Voting will take place at the former middle school in the cafeteria for the First Ward and at the city building in the council room for both Second and Third Wards. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all of Paden City's mayoral candidates. In alphabetical order, their provided biographies and responses are given below in a simple question and answer format.
Fox is the current mayor of Paden City. A graduate of West Virginia Northern Community College with an Associates Degree in Pre-Business, Fox was elected Who's Who in American Junior Colleges. He was employed in the chemical and aluminum industries for a total of 47 years and retired from Ormet in 1996. He worked as a union representative as well as management at Ormet in instrumentation, electrical, mechanical, safety, and health departments.
Fox is a veteran of the USAF 1951/1954 and served in Korea from 1952/1953. He is a member of organizations including: American Legion Post 86, Elks Lodge #333, Masonic Lodge #39, Grand Chapter of WVRAM #27, and Knights Templar Commandery #14. Fox is also president of Fox's Enterprises.
Bill and his wife Susan (high school sweethearts) attend the Paden City Christian Church where he teaches Adult Sunday School Class and serves as deacon, trustee, and treasurer. Bill and Susan are parents of David, Michael, Barbara, and William, and have five grandchildren.
Hochstrasser has been a resident of the community of Paden City for the last seven years, two of which he has spent as a City Council member.
He has been employed at Ormet Corporation for the last 33 years. He is a welder at Ormet and a licensed contractor and plumber in the State of West Virginia. Hochstrasser is also the owner of C&H Construction, specializing in commercial and residential building and remodeling, a local business located in the community of Paden City.
He is a member of the First Christian Church in New Martinsville. He is also a member of the Eagles in Paden City and a member of the Elks in Sistersville.
His educational background includes one year of welder training at Belmont Technical College and two years in computer programming and microcomputer repair from McGraw Hill.
Hopkins has always lived in Paden City. He is a 1955 graduate of Paden City High School. Hopkins is married to Barbara McCoy and they have two children: Eric (Therese) Hopkins of Morgantown and Juanita (John) VanRyzin of Madison, N.J. They also have one granddaughter, Jordan Brienne Pfohl, also of Madison.
A member of St Paul's United Methodist Church, Hopkins is a member of the trustees, member of the choir, and he and his wife are co-directors of the food pantry at St Paul's, which is a USDA Agency.
For over 50 years Hopkins have been a member and secretary of the Paden City Lions Club, and a member of Wetzel Lodge #39 AF&AM. Presently he is serving on the board of directors of the Council of Senior Tyler Countians, Northwest Area Agency of Aging, the Paden City Foundation, and the Tyler County Planning Commission/Development Authority. He served two terms in the West Virginia Silver Haired Legislature and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from PCHS Alumni in 2003.
Hopkins retired after 30 years service at Bayer Corp. as a Lab Technician. He also retired his business, Hopkins Photography & Woodworking, in 2003.
Slider's previous job experience includes work with the Union Carbide Crompton Corporation and 15 years as a chemical fire fighter. From 1976-2000 Slider worked at the presently named Momentive, Inc., in varying capacities including as a firefighter, trustee, mechanic, pipefitter, master electrician, and insulator.
Slider was also a union trustee for three years, where she counted ballots when voting for union presidents, and she also gathered information from employees concerning their ideas on contracts. She also worked in safety planning, constructing an 84-page booklet for training new employees. Relatedly, she coordinated several safety meetings.
Regarding her educational background Slider graduated from the Texas A and M Fire School and has attended courses at West Virginia University and West Virginia Northern Community College. During her time at WVU she earned certificates in chemical operation, labor relations, and workers compensation.
Presently, Slider, a 1968 graduate of Paden City High School, is taking Criminal Justice courses online.
"As mayor of Paden City I will give back what's been taken away," Slider says. Particularly, Slider plans, if elected, to take $15 off the water bill for every citizen 65 years old and older.
Is there any city ordinance you would like to see modified? If so, which one and how would you modify it?
Fox: I think any ordinance that needed modified has been done in the last four years. We are voting on the second reading of a new ordinance titled "Property Maintenance." This is to stabilize, establish minimum standards to maintain property values in Paden City. The establishment and enforcement of this ordinance is to preserve and promote the private and public interest of its citizens and their property values.
Hochstrasser: There are no ordinances I would modify at this time. I think we just need to enforce what we have on the books.
Hopkins: Rather than look at changes to any single ordinance, I believe it's time to codify our ordinance book. I believe the last time it was codified was over 20 years ago. It is the duty of the municipal government to maintain its ordinances and see that they are comprehensive, up-to-date, and in an easy to read form. By compiling all of the ordinances and amendments into one document, the need to refer to separate documents is eliminated. There are state codes changes that would affect our ordinances and this could also be addressed. There are firms that specialize in doing this and they would present their findings to council for final approval. Our codes are used daily and need to be more user friendly for our enforcement officials to use them with confidence. Once the ordinances are codified they could be stored electronically and thus easily updated.
Slider: I would like to put up a sign saying, "No Smoking Around The Children While They Are Playing". I'm a smoker, but will not smoke around my grandson.
What is your opinion on the recent discussion, that was eventually dropped, to make the city recorder appointed instead of elected? Explain your position.
Fox: As Mayor, I felt it was in the best interest of the citizens and towns to have the recorder hired rather than elected. There are no qualifications other than being a citizen of Paden City and voting age. If the position was a hired one, then you could require qualifications for the job. (ie: experience, educational skills, administrative, computer knowledge, and etc.)
Hochstrasser: The feedback I'm getting when I ask the voters what they want, is that they are satisfied with the recorder being elected. Therefore, I believe it should stay an elected position.
Hopkins: The office of city recorder is very important. Contrary to some beliefs that this position is merely clerical, the person in this position is responsible for much more than keeping minutes of our council meetings. The recorder must keep accurate account of city finances and accurate employee records. The recorder is responsible for running the city elections and is in charge of the payroll and employees taxes records. He/she is the liaison to county and state government. I have just named a few of the duties, thus making the recorder responsible to our citizens, and not to elected officials.
Slider: It does not matter to me. We have one of the best city recorders there ever was.
What would you do with a $10,000 gift to the city if it was completely up to you, and why would you use it in that manner?
Fox: If the city was to receive a $10,000 gift and it was completely up to me how I would use the gift, I would put it in the sewer account and help the Sewer Board with the purchase of a new O'Brian Hydro-Jetter (20000P51) sewer line cleaner for our maintenance crew. This is a piece of equipment that is badly needed by the citizens and maintenance crew.
Hochstrasser: I would use it in the park to upgrade and possibly expand our campsites. I would also like to eventually see boat docks installed. The city has a beautiful park and I think we should capitalize on it. I think if we could make the campsites more inviting and user friendly by adding a sewage pumping station, electric, and water hookups, we could draw more campers on a regular basis year after year. I believe if we could get return campers year after year, this could generate some much needed revenue to the city because the campers would use the pool facility, pay rent for their site, and shop at local businesses. Once this expansion is completed, the possibilities are endless. This could be the shot in the arm the city has needed.
Hopkins: My answer for this question refers back to the first question. During my previous term, one of our council members contacted a firm to codify our ordinances and he received a quote of $8,000. I think this would be a good use for this money. Any amount remaining could be used any number of places, such as the Park and Pool Commission, for they can always use some financial assistance. Another option for any money left over could be used to purchase computers for the police department.
I think these questions are very comprehensive and I appreciate the opportunity to reply to each of them. My hope is that the citizens of Paden City will take more interest in the workings of the administration in city government. We always need the input from our citizens to provide a "fair and balanced" government for the people of our town.
Slider: I would use the money to put in a better drainage system and pave roads. Main Street is the worst. It is a like a washboard.