The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


December 12, 2013

Beckley mayor

The four Beckley residents who have offered themselves as candidates for the job of mayor came together publicly for the first time this week.

Each made his or her case to replace departing Mayor Emmett Pugh, whose resignation is effective at the end of this year.

His term, however, doesn’t end until June 30, 2016. So whoever succeeds him as chief executive for the City of Beckley is not going to be a caretaker.

For two and a half years, whomever is selected by the Common Council will have the chance not just to put their leadership skills to the test, but to lay down a marker on governing the city.

With so much of Pugh’s mayoral term yet to be completed, we would have liked to see a special election called to let the voters in Beckley decide on their future executive.

But rules are rules, and we are aware that there are substantial costs to holding a special election. So Beckley Common Council will select from among the four candidates to determine which one will serve out Pugh’s term.

We were heartened by the comments of the four candidates, each of whom displayed a knowledge of the financial and political limitations facing all municipalities in southern West Virginia.

Beckley has had the benefit of sound political leadership for some time. All of the candidates pledged to continue that trend.

Tony O. Martin professed his confidence in his leadership ability, which he says is essential to attract new business to Beckley, and to create opportunities that will keep our young people here.

Bill O’Brien, the former radio broadcaster, talked about a more humanitarian approach to helping those in need in the community.

Councilman Cedric Robertson invoked the immutable law of limited municipal resources, and said he would consolidate where necessary to make government more efficient.

Councilwoman Ann Worley voiced her opinion that a financially stable Beckley is a city better-positioned to help not just established businesses, but to attract more business.

We doubt many folks can find much to disagree with among these visions for the City of Beckley. They reflect the realities facing Beckley, and they also acknowledge the kind of future we all hope to see.

But a decision from among these candidates must be made. Not by voters, but by Common Council.

We think we can speak for most Beckley residents in saying this limited forum was a good start. But with decision-time quickly approaching, we’d like to know more about the candidates.

Even though voters aren’t making the decision, we certainly have a stake in which candidate the council selects.

We hope all the candidates do their utmost to make themselves available for questions from their fellow citizens in the short time before the council votes.

We think that, whomever the council decides on, that his or her success as mayor will depend upon winning a consensus of support from Beckley voters.

While we may not have a vote in the matter this time, we think voters should have a chance to ask the right questions.

Text Only
  • Missing from the show

    If they attended, lawmakers would see strides made by TWV

    July 31, 2014

  • VA breakthrough

    Compromise shows Congress can put partisanship aside for the proper cause

    July 30, 2014

  • Doughnut holes

    Annexation benefits outweigh the taxes

    July 29, 2014

  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014