Barth, Pallisco Want On Council
The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all political candidates in the upcoming New Martinsville Municipal Election to be held May 13 in conjunction with the Primary Election. Their responses are being printed in the April 30 and May 6 editions of the Wetzel Chronicle in a simple question and answer format, candidates in alphabetical order by race.
None of the major races on the county ballot are contested until the General Election; we will print stories on those races at that time.
Early voting is now in progress, through May 10, in person at the Wetzel County Courthouse. Voting takes place between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Thursday; and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday. The period for absentee voting by mail is through May 9, with the last day to receive an application for absentee by mail being May 7.
Linda Barth and Steve Pallisco are both seeking a seat on New Martinsville City Council to represent the Fourth Ward.
Barth is the wife of Bill Barth and previous co-owner of Barth’s Florist. Bill and Linda raised three daughters and are the proud grandparents of one grandson and five granddaughters. Linda and Bill have lived in New Martinsville for over 30 years. Linda worked for the Wetzel County Board of Education for 34 years and retired in 2012.
Linda Barth is a member of the New Martinsville Lions Club and a member of the First Christian Church. She is very active in her church, and will serve as secretary for the Lions Club beginning July 2014.
Pallisco, a 32-year employee of Bayer, member of Chemical Union Local 566, and co-owner of Tin Ceiling gift shop, has served the city on council for 11 years and would like the opportunity to use his experience to complete projects that have already begun.
Pallisco has worked with parks and recreation, fire department, and a group of volunteers to develop the riverfront on city-owned property. Phase I of the project, which includes docking and a shelter, is set to begin. Serving another term would allow him to be involved in Phase II, which would include a boat ramp. This project is helpful to recreational boaters, emergency efforts, and the Regatta, an event he has helped organize. He is very proud to be a part of bringing power boats back to the Parlor City and would like to continue to work with this dedicated group of volunteers.
He would also like to be involved in completing the final two phases of the Engineered Storm Sewer Project. Another goal is to work with the building inspector to improve or remove dilapidated structures. In addition, he wants to work with city government to develop a long-term strategic plan that would stabilize city finances.
What is the first thing you would like to get accomplished if you are elected (or re-elected) to this position?
Barth: I would like to clean up Main Street and state Route 2.
State Route 2 does not portray New Martinsville to be the inviting small town it is. Though a state highway, keeping it clean is the responsibility of New Martinsville. The street sweeper needs to have a regular schedule, weather permitting. People with businesses and homes there would be glad to clean their sidewalks if they knew the street sweeper was going to run on a Wednesday, for example. They could clean up their sidewalks and know that the sweeper would pick it up on their scheduled day.
Work with the Chamber of Commerce to update the flag holders on Main Street to ones like WVNCC has placed on their light poles and buy banners or flags for those holders. Also, work with business/chamber to plan and upkeep the planters now on Main Street. The ones that are planted and maintained are very attractive. Finally, work with a possible “Donation in Memory” program and begin replacing the trees on Main Street. I would plan to plant six per year for the next three years, using trees that are ones without a huge root base. Many other cities have trees without damage to their sidewalks.
Pallisco: There are several issues that need addressed, but of the most importance to me is the stabilization of the city’s finances. I would like city council, the mayor, the city recorder, and the department heads to meet with a professional planner who would help us put together a short- and long-term financial plan and prioritize needs that would move our city forward to a successful future. I have seen this process be very beneficial to a local credit union when I served on its supervisory committee. I believe doing this on a yearly basis would allow us to see progress and shortfalls and help us make the proper adjustments in our planning.
Elaborate three main reasons you should fill/keep this position.
Barth: First, I am retired and would have the time to devote to serving on city council. Not only attending meetings, but sitting in on all committee meetings (even those I am not assigned), working as a liaison with the Wetzel County Commissioners and/or with the Chamber of Commerce. I feel this would be beneficial to the city by keeping everyone well informed.
Second, I have a number of years experience with grants, budgets, finance, including serving as an auditor for Wetzel County Schools. I also have six months experience as a member of the city council.
Thirdly, I worked with the public for 34 years with the board of education, and know how to get along and work well with others. I also have a common sense approach to tasks. I will, if elected, work for all the citizens of New Martinsville.
Pallisco: I believe I have worked hard for my constituents in the Fourth Ward and for all the citizens of the community. I have good working relationships with city employees, Senator Edgell, Delegate Pethtel, our county commissioners, CVB, Chamber of Commerce, and the Regional Economic Development Office. These relationships are essential in solving problems and completing projects. There are many open projects that need to be completed: Phase I and II Storm Sewer, Building Inspector’s plan to repair or eliminate dilapidated structures, long term city financial stability, park improvements, Lincoln Theater structural repairs, Main Street electrical updates and beautification, Firemen’s Park completion, city police equipment updates and staffing, and drug prevention. I want to see these things to completion.
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?
Barth: This amount of money is not much when you want to benefit as many people as possible. I have thought about a number of projects I feel are very important, but for a $10,000 one time gift to the city I would give it to the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department.
If anyone has ever needed our fire department; you know they are well trained, devoted, hard working, and serve the people not only who live in New Martinsville, but also in the surrounding area. The department takes great care of any equipment they have. When you see their trucks you may think they are new, but no they are just cared for and maintained to be ready when needed.
When Bill and I were in business on Main Street with Barths’ Florist, we had a minor fire in the back alley behind us. By the time we knew there was a fire, the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department had it under control and we were left with little or no damage. What a relief for us to know that we had a great group of volunteers who we could count on when needed.
Pallisco: There are several good uses for this donation, such as police equipment, electrical updates, and beautification efforts; however, I would chose the paving fund. Many folks would benefit from this, and it would aid in our efforts to catch up on road improvements.