Morgantown 7th ward council candidates debate ways to increase revenue

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The City of Morgantown’s 7th ward council candidates agree on one thing. Council members need to look at ways to increase revenue, especially as the city heads into the next fiscal year with a budget $3.5 million short of the city’s current budget.

They disagree on where that money should come from to boost the budget.

Nancy Ganz, the incumbent seeking her second term in office, said she’d support a plan she has seen work in other parts of the country.

“We are looking at a future of retail sales tax versus B&O tax. It’s been very successful nationally where it’s put into effect,” Ganz said, a guest on Morgantown AM Tuesday.

Bill Graham, a write-in candidate for council, is a former municipal employee. He told listeners he’s calculated the benefits of a bed fee and changing the way policing is handled in the area.

“At $50 per bed – $10 million dollars. That would fund the entire sheriff’s department and the merging of all Granville, Westover, Star City and Morgantown into one county-wide sheriff’s department. It can be done,” Graham said.

Election day is Tuesday, April 28. The candidates for the 7th ward join those in the 2nd, 6th and 1st ward for opposed races.
The current incumbents in the 3rd, 4th and 5th wards are running unopposed.

Graham said he’s running on his own accord, eluding that his opponent is running in conjunction with a group of candidates backed by Morgantown Together.

“I am not a tax and spend candidate. I believe revenue dictates operations. We also need to focus on what are our primary responsibilities as municipal government,” Graham said.

Ganz said she is a “can do” candidate.

“I’m using my municipal experience around the country to find ways, I’ll call them tools, to pull out of the tool chest to meet these financial needs.”

The two engaged in a somewhat heated exchange on Morgantown AM and their interviews can be heard in their entirety in the Tuesday podcast on our website.