Elkins City Council choose not to appoint any new council members during their meeting Thursday night. Several individuals spoke to council to share their interest in filling either the vacant Fifth or First Ward seats.
The need to appoint new council members rose when former Councilmen Danny Satterfield, 5th Ward, and Rob Beckwith, 1st Ward, both resigned. During the public comment portion of the meeting several people shared their interest in the seats. Instead of filling the seats, council decided to conduct a special meeting with all the potential candidates.
Former Mayor Judy Guye and residents Logan Smith and Margaret Kerr Beckwith all expressed interest in First Ward.
"I am interested in the First Ward seat," Guye said. "I know my ward very well. I am interested to see Elkins move forward. We have a lot of potential."
Smith said he recently moved back to the area to help rehabilitate the Scott Hill House. Smith said he is currently the financial administrator for the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area and active in the Americorp program.
"Rob (Beckwith) was a good friend and a good councilman," Smith said. "I hope to have the opportunity to serve."
Beckwith said she sent a letter on Oct. 24 expressing her interest in filling for the seat.
"I plan to run for one of the seats in First Ward during the next election," she said. "I am dedicated to serving to make our community better for everyone."
Resident Joe Sabatino asked to be considered for the Fifth Ward seat. He said he has been active with Youth Empowered Solutions in their projects including the skatepark, the rehabilitation of the former Riverside School and Virginia Chapel.
"I would like to offer my services," he told council.
During the Unfinished Business portion of the agenda, under an item titled "Selection of a 5th Ward Councilperson,": Councilman Carman Metheny, 3rd Ward, made a motion for council to enter into executive session to discuss the matter which was seconded by Councilman Van Broughton, 2nd Ward.
After about a half hour in executive session, council returned to open session. Mayor Duke Talbott said no decisions were made while behind closed doors. Metheny then made a motion to table to selection of a new council person which was again seconded by Broughton. Council unanimously approved tabling the matter until a later meeting.
Councilman Mark Scott, 3rd Ward, then made a motion to hold a special meeting to meet with the candidates at 6 p.m on Tuesday. The motion was passed by council.
"This would be an opportunity for council to meet each of the candidates for each ward and speak with them," Scott said.
After council approved the meeting, Talbott said the appointments will be scheduled for about 10 minutes for each candidate.
"We are not going to accept anymore candidates unless letters come postmarked today," Talbott said during the meeting.
Councilwoman Nanci Bross-Fregonara, 4th Ward, said the reason for the meetings is because the number and the quality of the candidates.
"We have so many great candidates," she said. "We really would like to speak to each of the candidates. It is an incredible thing to have so many candidates willing to serve."
Following the meeting, Talbott informed The Inter-Mountain there were additional candidates from each of the wards not present during the meeting. He said Charles Kinnison expressed interest in First Ward and Brenda Weese and Dr. David Turner expressed interest in Fifth Ward.