By Tina Alvey
The Spa City’s two most recent mayors will go head-to-head in this summer’s municipal election, with both men saying they feel they have a mission to accomplish.
Current Mayor Thomas Taylor told The Register-Herald, “I just can’t let go of the things that we’ve accomplished. The budget has been in the black ever since I took office, and I want to continue to see things through.”
Taylor was arguably the youngest person ever elected mayor of a West Virginia municipality when he took office at the age of 21 in 2011, promising to make his town more business-friendly and at the same time put “Mayberry back in White Sulphur Springs.”
Less than three months after taking on the mayoralty, however, Taylor wrote a letter of resignation that started a chain of events that landed the city in court and — temporarily, as it turned out — put Lloyd Haynes in the mayor’s chair.
When Taylor regained the city’s helm by order of a judge, Haynes moved back to his previous seat on City Council.
In announcing his bid for re-election Saturday, despite the travails of his first term, Taylor emphasized, “The people put me in office. It’s up to them to decide whether to let me continue on.”
In a Monday interview with The Register-Herald, Haynes explained his decision to try to take back the mayor’s post he held for only a few months, saying, “I think that I could maybe do the city some good — get rid of all the drama and negative things that we’ve become known for lately.”
He added, “We can emphasize the good stuff about White Sulphur and put the city in a position to grow.”
Haynes said he feels that, without a change at the top, the Spa City’s reputation will continue to suffer.
According to information obtained from City Hall, six people have filed to run for five City Council seats, Incumbents G.P. Parker, Lynn Swann, Bruce Bowling and Jackson Bowling will contend with two newcomers to the political scene — Betty Coleman and Audrey VanBuren.
Incumbent city Recorder Peggy Bland will run unopposed, barring a write-in campaign.
All office terms are two years.
The deadline for a candidate to withdraw his or her name from the ballot for the June 11 municipal election is Feb. 12. The deadline to register as a write-in candidate is April 23.
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