Three Seek To Be City’s Street Commissioner
Aaron Ritz, Terry Tuttle, and current appointed Street Commissioner Gary J. Willey are vying to be New Martinsville’s next elected Street Commissioner.
Tuttle has been a resident of New Martinsville for over 20 years. He is married to Eileen Eidom Tuttle and they have a 14-year-old son, Greg, who is enrolled in the eighth grade at New Martinsville School. Terry enjoys getting involved in his community. He is a member of Moose 931 and American Legion Post 28 as a son of the American Legion. Terry is a past treasurer and communication officer for the New Martinsville Fire Department. He has served as the treasurer of the New Martinsville Junior Baseball league for two years. Terry is currently a member of the Peoples Bank Family and Friends Relay for Life team. He is a member of the Ruffed Grouse Association.
Terry is a certified mechanic, a certified equipment operator, and holds a CDL license. He feels his experience has provided a strong foundation of skills including many areas of managing, supervising, and budgeting that will help support new leadership in the street department.
Gary J. Willey has worked for the City of New Martinsville for 27 years. He was appointed in November 2008 to the position of Street Commissioner. He and his wife, Tammie, have four children and six grandchildren.
Ritz did not provide a biography.
If elected to this position, what would be your top priority in terms of work to be done or services to provide?
Ritz: If elected as Street Commissioner for the City of New Martinsville, my top priority will be serving the people of our community. I will work physically with the men and women of the Street Department to make sure the jobs run more efficiently, in return, allowing more work to be completed within a timely manner. As for services to be provided, I will notify the public by local news media in advance when the Street Department will be working within your area to perform maintenance on the streets, storm sewers, and right of ways.
Tuttle: While visiting with many New Martinsville residents, they expressed many concerns. The main ones are the condition of the streets, storm drains that are not draining water correctly and causing sink holes to form in citizens’ yards, and other issues which are not dealt with in a timely manner, leaving residents to have orange cones to deal with. My top priority would be to take care of these issues by repairing streets (potholes, curbs, etc.), repairing storm drains and filling “sink holes” caused by improper drainage. Every issue would be addressed, but the issues that could cause personal injury would be given top priority.
Willey: My top priority would be to resurface as many streets as possible, upgrade equipment as needed, and maintaining the services that the street department offers now.
The city’s budgets are always tight. If elected to this position, how could you either find more money for the department or make cuts and still provide needed services?
Ritz: As Street Commissioner, I would devote my time by working closely with city council in applying for grants for the sole purpose of improving our streets and storm sewers, therefore, bettering the community in which we live.
Tuttle: I realize that there is a lot of work to be done throughout the city involving street and storm sewer repair. I could conserve funds by cutting some unnecessary expenses. By eliminating unnecessary driving of vehicles, scheduling preventative maintenance on equipment, and using man-hours wisely, I feel more funds would be available to perform repairs and upgrades. I would also try to bring additional funds to the department by applying for state and federal grants.
Willey: I would work with council to try and find money available. Also I would apply for any grants that the street department qualifies for to provide needed services. I do not see anywhere in our budget to make cuts and still provide the same services.
What makes you the best person for this job?
Ritz: I am looking forward to working for the citizens of New Martinsville, and to get things working better for the future. I have the knowledge and know how to manage the duties required of me. I worked for my uncles of Mullett and Mullett Contracting from 1985 to 1997, and also worked for the City of New Martinsville Street Department from 1989 to 1996. I currently work for the Wetzel County Board of Education as school bus operator, employed since 1997.
Tuttle: I am a resident of New Martinsville, only minutes from any issue that might arise. My background in operating equipment, as well as my experience as a mechanic, treasurer, and manager/supervisor, gives me a broad range of skills to lead the street department. I believe in an “open door” policy, I will welcome suggestions and respond to any questions or issues. I feel this will give the residents a better understanding of the street department. I will work with the residents of New Martinsville and make a positive difference in the community.
Willey: I feel that I am the best person for the job based on my knowledge and experience of the job. I have been employed with the city for 27 years and the last 18 months I have been Street Commissioner. I have tried to make as many improvements as possible and stay within my budget.