Decision Time

Who will be the next mayor of Elkins? Do you believe Elkins should create a city manager position? Who will represent you on Elkins City Council?

If you’re a registered voter living in Elkins, you’ll soon have the opportunity to voice your opinion on these questions, as early voting for the March 2 Elkins Municipal Election will begin Wednesday.

Early in-person voting for all wards will be at Elkins City Hall, from Wednesday through Feb. 27. Early voting will be available Monday through Friday and Saturdays during the following hours:

Weekdays: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Four candidates are running for mayor, including Andrew Carroll, of Buffalo Street; Fourth Ward Councilwoman Karen Wilmoth, of High Street; D.C. Talkington, of South Kerens Avenue; and Jerry Marco Jr., of Ferndale Drive.

Mayor Van Broughton announced last fall that he would not seek re-election.

In First Ward, incumbent Robert C. Chenoweth, of Bridgewater Drive, will seek re-election to Elkins City Council, challenged by Phillips B. Kolsun, of Sylvester Drive, and Travis Norwood, of Lavalette Avenue.

In Second Ward, incumbent Charles H. Friddle III, of Mountainview Drive, is being challenged by Carman Pennington, of Baxter Street.

In Third Ward, incumbent Carman L. Metheny, of Hanley Street, will face challenger Clint Higgins, of Capitol Street.

In Fourth Ward, Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean, of Elm Street, is running, as is former Fourth Ward council member Nanci Bross-Fregonara, of Boundary Avenue. The Fourth Ward incumbent, Wilmoth, will vacate the seat after her current term as she is running for mayor.

Fifth Ward incumbent David C. Parker, of Henry Avenue, will be challenged by Howard Knapp II, of First Street, and Burley Woods, of Davis Street.

Also on the ballot are three proposed changes to the city charter that voters will get to make the final decision on. The proposed changes include:

• Shifting from the city’s current Mayor-Council form of government to a Mayor-Manager form, which would include creating a new city manager position.

• Extending the mayor’s term from two to four years (effective starting with the mayor elected in 2023).

• Amending the city charter to affirm the city’s commitment to complying with state open government rules.

We encourage all of the city’s registered voters to make their voices heard in this election. In addition to selecting a new mayor and choosing your council representative, you’ll also be determining whether the city will create a city manager position, which several current council members oppose.

In Thursday evening’s virtual Candidate Forum, candidates both in favor of and opposed to creating a city manager position estimated that with salary and benefits the position would cost the city somewhere from $75,000 to more than $100,000 annually.

However you feel about this issue, exercise your opportunity to get out and vote. Don’t let these decisions be made for you.


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