Belpre council, BOE races set

BELPRE — Belpre voters will be making decisions regarding Belpre City Council, the Belpre City Schools Board of Education and a pair of alcohol issues involving proposed restaurants in one of the city’s wards.

Three races will be contested on Nov. 2 for city council, featuring some write-in candidates.

Four people will be running for three At-Large council seats. They include incumbent Dave Ferguson, (R), and candidates John Ruth (R), Marvin Richter (I) and Paul Wallace (I).

∫ Ferguson, 69, has been involved in the city of Belpre for about 30 years, having previously served on council and as the city’s safety-service director. He is seeking his second two-year term of his current service and is also a reserve police officer with the Belpre Police Department.

If re-elected, Ferguson said he knows of many projects coming in the future for Belpre, including needed work on water lines, sewer lines, the water tower and others. He believes his current and prior experience with the city will help in those areas and others the city will need to address in the future.

∫ Ruth works at project manager for 3D Construction LLC. If elected to council, he said his goals include bringing unity to the council body so that the time spent during council meeting is productive and effective for the future growth of the city. He also wants to begin reviewing and looking at the current budget, review the area’s future needs for growth and improvements, and create a plan of action to complete them. He wants to create a working partnership between council and the Belpre City Schools Board of Education for the rebuilding of the city and its school system.

Ruth said he wants to create outreach and support for the young people and families of the city, by interaction and involvement through a Mega Youth Center that creates positive family structure and values as well as world class training center for athletics. He will continue to support and reinforce the police and fire departments in Belpre so they have the most current equipment needed to protect the families and businesses of Belpre.

∫ Richter, 45, is self employed as a delivery driver and has not previously held public office. He said his goal if elected to city council is to protect the private property rights of the citizens of Belpre, as well as help the community grow.

“I want the community to know I am for the people of Belpre, not the city of Belpre,” he said.

∫ Wallace, 55, is a pawnbroker and has not previously held public office.

If elected, Wallace said he would like to hold the city accountable, support the police and fire departments and keep a close eye on the city spending and make sure all departments work within their budget. Any grants that a department qualifies for, he wants to make sure it goes into their fund and not somewhere else.

“I want to represent the people, not my personal agenda,” he said.

In the First Ward, Floyd Alan Milhone (R) will be facing write-in candidate Reed Byers.

∫ Milhone, 72, is retired and previously served on council for a two-year term in the 1980s.

He wants to serve the residents of the First Ward and better serve the city of Belpre in general by being a voice for them on council. He plans to talk with his constituents on a regular basis and bring their concerns and interests back to council.

∫ Byers, 28, works as an Opioid Quick Response Team Coordinator at Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and Change Agent at GiveMore Connections. He said he works to invest his time in relationship building and promoting health throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“I have a unique story — as we all do — and mine includes many of the challenges we are facing across Appalachia today. Homelessness, the judicial system, poverty, mental health, and substance use are all things I have experienced firsthand and I am now using that experience to help others,” Byers said.

If elected to council, Byers would like to be a voice for the community. He would like to work on improving sidewalks throughout the city, renovations or new construction of tennis courts, and highlighting arts and culture starting with a mural project. It is important for young people in the community to get involved in leadership and civic engagement, he said.

In the Third Ward, Lyndsay D. Dennis (R) will be facing write-in candidate Derek P. Hadfield.

∫ Dennis, 34, works as the Events and Membership Manager at the Parkersburg Art Center. She is making her first attempt at running for public office. She has an Associates degree in accounting where she also studied business management. She is a member of the Belpre Women’s Club and the Belpre Homecoming Committee where she serves as treasurer, along with previously serving as Homecoming Coordinator.

If elected, Dennis said she will listen to opposing opinions, research matters and resolutions, and give the best of herself to the position.

“Belpre is my home; I grew up here and I want to grow old here. I want to see it flourish, not just for me and its current residents, but for my son and his peers – the future generations to come,” she said.

∫ Hadfield, 34, is retired military and is making his first run for public office.

Hadfield said he would like to see more common sense brought into Belpre and its government. He would also like to work on some specific projects and ideas, including better and safer pedestrian access on Lee Street Hill and on Washington Boulevard.

“Just little things that would improve people’s daily lives in the city of Belpre; not focusing on big city politics just common sense stuff that will work for us,” he said.

The uncontested races for Belpre City Council include: Larry Martin (R) for council president; Tina Nolan (R) for city auditor; Jackie Cassady (R) for city treasurer; John McClead (R) for city council Second Ward; and Steve Null as a write-in for Fourth Ward.

The ballot will also include liquor options in Belpre’s Fourth Ward for two restaurants — Wings Etc. and Antonio’s.

In the Belpre City Schools Board of Education race, five people are running for three open seats. The candidates are Mollie Haught, Frank Meredith IV, Fred Meredith, Michael Miller and Leonard Wiggins II.

∫ Haught is making her first run at public office as she seeks a seat on the board of education.

Haught said she is a conservative and her main goal for education is an old fashioned one: she wants to see each child fulfill their potential, whatever that is.

∫ Miller, 65, is currently serving his first term on the Belpre school board.

“My goal is to keep working hard for the community of Belpre in order to make Belpre City Schools the best in the area and one of the best school systems in the state,” he said.

∫ Frank Meredith, 59, is a repairman making his first run for public office.

He said he would like to see open board meetings with more substance and is concern about recent hiring decisions made by the board and the district’s administration involving cuts to maintenance and service personnel at the same time as expensive professional hirings. He also would like to see the district’s current facilities better maintained and said he opposes any new levies for the district.

∫ Fred Meredith, 64, has served on the school board for 12 years.

His goal is to continue working with the board and administration, to be good stewards of taxpayer money. He also wants to make Belpre City Schools a great academic environment and safe school district.

∫ Wiggins, 62, has served for 12 years on the school board.

“I want to keep moving our school district forward, providing what kids need to succeed,” he said.


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